The Battle of the Alamo comes to an end

The Battle of the Alamo comes to an end


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On March 6, 1836, after 13 days of intermittent fighting, the Battle of the Alamo comes to a gruesome end, capping off a pivotal moment in the Texas Revolution. Mexican forces were victorious in recapturing the fort, and nearly all of the roughly 200 Texan defenders—including frontiersman Davy Crockett—died.

Thirteen days earlier, on February 23, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered a siege of the Alamo Mission (near present-day San Antonio), which had been occupied by rebel Texas forces since December. An army of over 1,000 Mexican soldiers began descending on the makeshift fort and setting up artillery.

Over the next two weeks, the two armies traded gunfire, but there were few casualties. Despite being clearly outnumbered, Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William Travis insisted on remaining in place. The volunteer soldiers defending the Alamo included doctors and farmers, as well as Tennessee frontiersman and Congressman Davy Crockett, who fought in the Tennessee militia.

The final attack came before dawn on March 6. Mexican troops breached the north wall and flooded into the compound, awakening many of the Texans inside. The fighting lasted 90 minutes, some of it hand-to-hand combat. Bowie and Travis were killed, as was Crockett, although reports differ as to exactly how and when. Several Texans reportedly surrendered, but Santa Anna ordered all prisoners be executed. Only a handful survived, mostly women and children. Historians estimate several hundred Mexicans died.

After the battle, the Mexican army marched east. Meanwhile, Sam Houston, commander of the Texas forces, had been building and developing his army in Harris County. “Remember the Alamo!” became their rallying cry as an urgent reminder to avenge their earlier defeat. On April 21, Texas and Mexico fought again at the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas was victorious this time, and won independence from Mexico, bringing the Texas Revolution to an end.

The defense of the Alamo remains a symbol of resistance and revolution. The battle has been immortalized in several TV series and films, including 1960’s The Alamo, starring John Wayne as Davy Crockett.


New Book Challenges Readers To Confront History Of Slavery By Forgetting The ‘Alamo Of Our Dreams’

Forget the Alamo &ndash that&rsquos what authors of a new book about the famous battle site in San Antonio are asking readers to do &ndash or to at least consider.

In &ldquoForget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an America Myth,&rdquo Chris Tomlinson, Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford explore the Alamo&rsquos &ldquoactual&rdquo history rather than its lore. Tomlinson and Burrough spoke with Texas Standard.

At the core of that actual history is a hard truth Texans struggle to accept today: slavery. Burrough says Texas&rsquo entire, cotton-based economy was dependent upon slavery, and the Battle of the Alamo was an attempt to maintain the status quo. He says the Mexican government accommodated Texas for years but it was slavery about which the two sides vehemently disagreed.

&ldquoBy and large, the Mexican government had given the Texans everything they had wanted for 15 years, including Texas being the only place in Mexico&hellip where people were still allowed to have slaves,&rdquo Burrough said. &ldquoThe Texans, led by Stephen F. Austin, fought zealously every single year with a different legislature, a different empire who wanted to take away the slaves.&rdquo

Tomlinson says the idea that Santa Anna, the Mexican general against which the Texans are said to have fought courageously, was &ldquoevil or dastardly&rdquo is plain wrong. He says the general was determined to end slavery in Texas, and had a right to do so.

&ldquoThis was a government defending its rightful territory from invaders who had brought slaves and slavery into a post-colonial nation founded on egalitarian principles,&rdquo he said.

The time is ripe for correcting historical narratives that omit or downplay the role of slavery. In an increasingly multicultural Texas, Tomlinson says it&rsquos especially important for the state to tell &ldquothe truth&rdquo about its past.

&ldquoSo much of the history of the Alamo, the Texas creation myth, if you will, is wrapped up in racial history &ndash whether it&rsquos treatment and mistreatment of the Tejanos &ndash the Mexican-Americans &ndash or the fact that so much of the Texas revolt itself was wrapped up in the Texans&rsquo fight for slavery,&rdquo Burrough said.

The book&rsquos timing also coincides with a major renovation of the Alamo grounds &ndash a site steeped in Texas mythology. Texas is planning to spend $450 million, which includes a new museum.

&ldquoIt&rsquos one thing, you know, when the myth is just kind of in the air. But when you&rsquore about to spend millions of dollars on something, I think that&rsquos an opportunity to reexamine it,&rdquo Tomlinson said.

He and Burrough were, themselves, steeped in Texas lore from a young age. Only later in life did they question its validity: Tomlinson, when he was writing his first book Burrough, two years ago when he was 58 years old.

Both expect blowback for the new book they know that many Texans will find it hard to challenge beliefs they&rsquove held true for a lifetime. But Tomlinson says the book doesn&rsquot present any ideas beyond what historians and experts have already reported. Plus, Burrough says, it&rsquos overdue.

&ldquoIt&rsquos the 21st century it&rsquos long past time to start looking at the actual, the real, the historic Alamo, rather than the Alamo of our dreams,&rdquo he said.


How confident are you in America's infrastructure?

The defenders of the Alamo went down to defeat nearly two centuries ago, but still raging is a clash over the legacy of the storied Texas revolutionary battle that gave rise to the cry “Remember the Alamo!”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation this month to create the 1836 Project, named after the year Texas declared its independence from Mexico, to help counter what Republicans describe as an onslaught of critical race theory and woke revisionist history.

“To keep Texas the best state in the United States of America, we must never forget why Texas became so exceptional in the first place,” Mr. Abbott said at the June 7 signing. “A law creating the 1836 Project does that. The 1836 Project promotes patriotic education about Texas and makes sure that generations to come understand Texas values.”

Central to the historical head-butting is the Battle of the Alamo, the mission turned garrison where Mexican Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his overwhelming army wiped out nearly 200 settlers and Tejanos after a 13-day siege that ended on March 6, 1836. Gen. Sam Houston‘s Texas Army avenged the defeat less than two months later at the Battle of San Jacinto.

The Alamo has become a target of liberals seeking to reframe the siege, not as a last stand for freedom but as a struggle over slavery, with the defenders on the losing side of both the conflict and history.

Promoting that interpretation is a widely reviewed book released June 8, “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of the American Myth,” which was No. 1 on Amazon bestseller lists last week for Mexican history and the history of the southwestern U.S.

Like The New York Times’ � Project,” which attempts to reframe the American Revolution as a war in defense of the institution of slavery, “Forget the Alamo” argues that the fallen heroes of the Alamo were not heroes at all.

“The many myths surrounding Texas’ birth, especially those cloaking the fabled 1836 siege at the Alamo mission in San Antonio, remain cherished in the state,” two of the authors, Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford, say in a June 9 op-ed in Time magazine.

Slavery, they write, was “the single issue that regularly drove a wedge between early Mexican governments — dedicated abolitionists all — and their American colonists in Texas, many of whom had immigrated to farm cotton, the province’s only cash crop at the time.

“Even as the nation is undergoing a sweeping reassessment of its racial history, and despite decades of academic research that casts the Texas Revolt and the Alamo’s siege in a new light, little of this has permeated the conversation in Texas,” the authors wrote.

Swinging back are critics who argue that Santa Anna was no Abraham Lincoln. History.com described him as a “military-backed dictator” who once proclaimed himself the “Napoleon of the West.”

“Texans should read this article in Time and know that the progressive socialist left is disrespecting the Lone Star State,” Texas Republican Party Chair Allen West tweeted. “These disciples of Critical Race Theory have chosen to align themselves with a dictator rather than honor Texas history.”

The racism narrative is hardly new.

In a 2017 Texas Observer op-ed, University of Houston professor Daniel Pena called the Alamo “dedicated to the American fear of the Mexican body, of Mexican invasion, of Mexican agency that firmly and directly contested agendas of white supremacy in early 19th-century Texas.”

Even so, many Texans remain leery of those who mess with the Alamo. In 2018, the state board of education defeated a proposal to delete the word “heroic” when describing the Alamo figures after a groundswell of public opposition.

Texans should read this article in Time and know that the progressive socialist left is disrespecting the Lone Star State. These disciples of Critical Race Theory have chosen to align themselves with a dictator rather than honor Texas history. https://t.co/VIgG5j27Tq

— Allen West (@AllenWest) June 12, 2021

“Forget the Alamo” was released against the backdrop of a 5-year-old skirmish over plans for a $450 million renovation of the Spanish mission, now nearly 300 years old. The project has become mired in politics.

The San Antonio City Council voted in April to approve an Alamo Plaza redevelopment plan that leaves in place the Alamo Cenotaph, a 56-foot-tall edifice, or “empty tomb,” outside the plaza that stands as a monument to those who died at the fortress.

Council members voted after the Texas Historical Commission defeated a proposal to move the monument. Cenotaph defenders, led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, squared off against those calling for a “complete” story of the Alamo.

They included former San Antonio City Council member Roberto Trevino, who described the traditional Alamo telling as “bunk.”

“The battle is a significant event, and it becomes a portal by which we can tell a lot of this compelling history, but we also know that the story that has been well-known, well-recognized for all these years is a mythology. It’s wrong. It’s bunk,” Mr. Trevino told the “San Antonio’s Voice” podcast in September.

Mr. Trevino, who lost his June 5 reelection bid, said, “San Antonians don’t want to tell that it perpetuates a lie, it perpetuates the kinds of things that we have worked hard to work against as we tell a complete story.”

George Cisneros, a member of the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee, said at a September meeting that the Cenotaph squabble “is not about the 13 days it’s about race and pigment.”

“They want to preserve their White establishment icon,” Mr. Cisneros said in the San Antonio Report. “And everybody knows that that’s not the true story.”

Taking issue with such descriptions was Mr. Patrick, who asked, “What part of the story is ‘bunk’ and a ‘lie’?

“Did almost 200 Texians not die there on March 6, 1836? Did William Barret Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and their volunteers not fight bravely against overwhelming odds? Did the battle of the Alamo not lead to Texas’ independence, and inspire millions in America and around the world of what it means to sacrifice oneself for the cause of freedom and liberty?” Mr. Patrick asked in an October op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News.

He said he was “committed to fighting back against those like Councilman Trevino, Cisneros and others who want to erase the history of the Alamo battle.”

“Forget the Alamo” authors and other critics say, “We’ve been telling the Alamo story wrong for 200 years,” but some of the inaccuracies they cite have been published — including at the Alamo.

The Alamo website includes a “Myths and Legends” page by R. Bruce Winders, a former director of history and curator. The webpage says the lore that the battle bought time for Sam Houston to fortify his army is unfounded.

Indeed, Mr. Winders, who left in 2019 after 23 years at the Alamo, suggested that readers “consider all the evidence to come to their own conclusions.”

“Immediately after the Battle of the Alamo, accounts were published in newspapers and quickly spread by word of mouth all across Texas and the United States, leading to some of the myths, legends and tall tales that we know today,” he said. “Some of these stories contain fact but also stretched the truth, while others were completely fabricated.”

Texas Republicans have been accused of trying to whitewash history with the 1836 Project, but they note that the bill specifically cites the state’s multiethnic heritage as well as the “heritage of keeping and bearing firearms.”

State Rep. Tan Parker, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said the measure creates a nine-person advisory commission to “promote Texas history broadly and advises state agencies with regard to civics education available for Texans of all ages.”

“It informs our broad citizenry about key events and aspects of Texas’ history, including the indigenous peoples of this state, our Spanish and Mexican heritage, Tejanos, the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas, and Juneteenth,” Mr. Parker said in a statement this month.

Chance Layton, communications director of the conservative National Association of Scholars, said Texas schools already teach a lot of the history, and he should know: He spent his K-12 years in the state’s Hereford Independent School District.

“All of those are included pretty heavily, at least when I went to public school,” said Mr. Layton, who is 25. “I learned quite a bit about the Native American history in Texas, studied their culture, the varied traditions of the tribe. These things are already taught.”

He said he supported efforts to include more lessons on the early Tejanos who fought at the Alamo and San Jacinto. “I think a lot of that gets left out, and it’s good to bring that forward,” but he disagreed with the effort to create a race-based “alternate history.”

“To say that the whole thing is wrapped in this White supremacist narrative is a load of crap,” Mr. Layton said.

Mr. Patrick and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush feuded initially over the Alamo restoration, but Mr. Bush, a grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, said this month that “the lieutenant governor and I have kissed and made up, and we’re designing a much brighter future at the Alamo.”

“The 1836 plan would bring back the battlefield to the way that it looked back in 1836. And that’s what this whole discussion has been about,” Mr. Bush said on Fox News. “So we are well on our way to some great days ahead on the grounds of the Alamo.”

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The Battle of the Alamo comes to an end - HISTORY

elprez00
Houston Astros Fan
Hammond, LA
Member since Sep 2011
25812 posts

re: March 6, 1836 :: Battle of the Alamo comes to an end Posted by elprez00 on 3/5/21 at 9:58 am to EKG

I remind people every time I quote this letter that Travis was 26 years old at the time of his command and death at the Alamo.

7 0 2 0

So the Mexicans fricked up by saying "Y'all come on in" and then too many of "y'all came in and took over.

Now we are doing the same God damned thing.

I was born on the 125th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo almost to the minute (around 8 AM give or take).

3 0

I have always wondered how things would have gone, if Santa Anna had been a competent general officer.

There was no good MILITARY reason to stop pursuing the bulk of the Texians to "take" the Alamo. It would have made more sense to simply besiege the Alamo with a thousand troops and to keep the pressure on Sam Houston with the bulk of his forces.

Had he done that, Houston would not have had time to consolidate and prepare, and likely would have been destroyed long before he ever reached the field of San Jacinto.

Personally, I am GLAD that Santa Anna was more politician than competent general officer.

0 0

quote:
I have always wondered how things would have gone, if Santa Anna had been a competent general officer.

There was no good MILITARY reason to stop pursuing the bulk of the Texians to "take" the Alamo. It would have made more sense to simply besiege the Alamo with a thousand troops and to keep the pressure on Sam Houston with the bulk of his forces.

Had he done that, Houston would not have had time to consolidate and prepare, and likely would have been destroyed long before he ever reached the field of San Jacinto.

Personally, I am GLAD that Santa Anna was more politician than competent general officer.

That is what Castrillon advised, but he was ignored. In spite of all the "strategic importance" that San Antonio and Goliad held, Santa Anna would have been much better off had he just ignored them to pursue Houston.


Don Yena: An Alamo Painting to Remember

Yena's gritty, realistic and monumental 36-by-60-inch oil "First Light, Gunsmoke, Bayonets and Texas History" was painted from the attacking Mexicans' perspective.

Don Yena photos by John Goodspeed

Johnny D. Boggs
February 2021

Yena poses with a six-shooter and knife from the artist’s impressive Western collection.

Scores of artists have depicted the Battle of the Alamo, but present-day historians and art patrons agree that none has rendered the legendary clash in San Antonio, Texas, with the historical accuracy Don Yena brings to First Light, Gunsmoke, Bayonets and Texas History, a 36-by-60-inch oil on canvas he completed in 2019. Painted from the attackers’ perspective, it depicts the northwest corner of the compound around dawn on March 6, 1836, just before Mexican forces under General Antonio López de Santa Anna breached the walls and put all of the 200-odd Texian defenders—including William Travis, Jim Bowie and David Crockett—to death.

Yena has rendered larger works, such as The Outfit, a 4-by-6-foot chuck wagon scene displayed in the lobby of the Texas Community Bank in Laredo, as well as some 4-by-8-foot canvases he painted while in the Navy. But he concedes this one consumed his time and thoughts.

“I don’t paint every minute of every day, but I think that painting took about four months,” he says. “But I thought about that painting for about eight years.”

‘It really brought to my mind the size of the compound that so few were trying to defend. It was a lost cause before the first shot was fired’

The project finally got off the ground when Yena met Bruce Winders, longtime historian and curator of Alamo. “I had it between my ears,” the artist explains. “The thing was getting it down on canvas.” A breakthrough came when Winders and staff opened their archives to the artist. “I knew quite a bit [of Alamo history],” Yena says, “but when I got into it with Dr. Winders and his staff, it really brought to my mind the size of the compound that so few were trying to defend. It was a lost cause before the first shot was fired.”

Born in 1933 and raised in Texas from age 3, Yena started drawing as a schoolkid. “I got in trouble in grade school, drawing on stuff instead of learning how to read and write good,” he quips. “My mother had some artistic ability. I saw her sketch a ruin on the place we lived on in Medina County. I saw her sketch that old building, and I was really intrigued. And I still remember her doing that. I could actually sketch that ruin by memory, even though it’s gone.”

After graduating from high school in San Antonio and serving in the Navy, Yena studied under watercolorist Warren Hunter and then worked as an illustrator and freelance artist. Western history has long been his passion.

“I think the actual story of the American West is so fascinating,” he says. “I think it’s more exciting than fiction.”

Which is why so many paintings depicting the Alamo annoy him.

In this detail Mexican soldiers carrying scaling ladders siege the northwest corner of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

“There were a lot of drawings made of the Alamo at that time, and a lot of them were amateurish, but you can get a lot out of them. But all of those crazy images about Davy Crockett wearing a coonskin cap and swinging “Ol’ Betsy”—that drove me crazy for a long time, because I know what the Alamo church looked like at that time. Or like William Barrett Travis walking on the wall—everything’s on fire all around him, he’s carrying this little pistol, and here comes a dirty, dastardly Mexican, sneaking up on him with a bayonet.

“How does this keep happening?” the artist asks. “And it keeps happening. But some of the worst [paintings] are hanging in our state Capitol. It looks like Red Ryder and Little Beaver did them.”

No one says that about the works of Yena, who enjoys the challenges of doing large oil paintings.

Attacking Mexican troops pour over the fortress wall in this detail from the right side of Yena’s masterwork.

“You have to be so careful with proportions, and I mean inches, with what you’re working on,” he explains. “You do little sketches ahead of time to make sure it’s right, and then you back off across the room and look at it and say, ‘Something’s not quite right here.’ So you go back and, sure enough, you find that your proportions are off, like say a man in proportion to a horse, for instance. Whereas you got something 16-by-20, that makes that problem go away pretty fast.”

Of late Yena has been working on a series of paintings depicting Spanish colonial Texas, and he has no plans of slowing down. “I’ve got good eyes,” he says, “I’m 87 years old and painting much better than I ever have.”

Would he ever attempt another large work on the Alamo?

“Yeah,” he says. “But I’d think about it a hell of a long time.” WW


This article was published in the February 2021 issue of
Wild West.


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That story, the context in which the Battle of the Alamo occurred – a context virtually untouched in the 1960 movie version – has been the subject of scholars for decades. But a new book written for the rest of us tells that and much more. Provocatively titled Forget the Alamo, it covers not only the period and pressures that led up to the Texas war of independence. It takes the story through the battle, into the decades after when the Alamo myth grew as the Alamo grounds degraded, and onto the more recent political battle in which the proposal to move the Alamo Cenotaph 500 feet south provoked threats of armed conflict.

Forget the Alamo by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford. Credit: Courtesy / Penguin Books

The book is by three journalist friends who have breakfast every Saturday. Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News business columnist Chris Tomlinson is a former war correspondent. He is brave enough to take on the oil industry from the bowels of Houston. His previous book, Tomlinson Hill, unflinchingly told the story of how his ancestors brought slaves to East Texas and the fate of those slaves. His family was not amused.

Bryan Burrough, a former Wall Street Journal Reporter, is the author and co-author of numerous books, including Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, and The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes.

Jason Stanford is a former Moscow-based reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He has worked for politicians such as Gov. Ann Richards and Austin Mayor Steve Adler. He co-authored Adios, Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush. (OK, it should have been about Donald Trump.)

Their book is due out June 8, tossing the incendiary bomb mentioned above into the middle of the Alamo project. In order to preview the book I agreed not to discuss some particulars, but it is guaranteed to make news.

The book is loaded with facts that many have heard mentioned, but not with much detail. Perhaps the most important is the role of the issue of slavery in the run-up to the Texas War of Independence.

School children are taught that Texas sought its independence because President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna had shifted power from the Mexican states to the central government and had become dictatorial – very much along the lines of our Civil War being about states rights versus federal power.

The book documents the importance of slavery to a large segment of immigrants. “[Stephen] Austin would say it over and over and over,” the authors write. “The only reason Americans would come to Texas was to farm cotton, and they would not do that without slaves. They really didn’t know any other way.”

Austin and his Tejano friend Juan Seguín (who owned slaves) would make repeated trips to Mexico City and later to state capital Saltillo to lobby on the slave issue. They would sometimes win compromises. The reason: Mexican officials “faced a conundrum: Either allow slavery or surrender an empty Texas to the Comanche and, down the line, the seemingly inevitable onrush of American squatters, who were erecting little farms all over East Texas’s empty expanses.”

That conundrum had Mexican authorities, who were constantly changing, issuing compromises that allowed slaves with restrictions, then abandoning those compromises.

The authors quote myriad sources and leaders on the importance of slavery, including San Antonio’s José Antonio Navarro, who “argued that without slavery, Texas would wither and die.”

While the book gives a detailed account of the actual battle, it also documents that the battle was not important to the military success of the rebels, other than using the slaughter of its fighters and those at Goliad as a battle cry. It neither strategically delayed the march of Santa Anna’s army nor materially reduced its numbers. Gen. Sam Houston had sought the abandonment of the Alamo before Santa Anna’s attack. Houston’s decisive victory at San Jacinto, which ended the war, was not a result of the Alamo.

The book, like many scholars, witheringly ridicules John Wayne’s movie, which establishes the virtue and heroism of the Holy Trinity of Travis, Bowie, and Crockett. The authors detail what they say is “the truth about Bowie, Travis, and Crockett. Bowie was a murderer, slaver, and con man Travis was a pompous, racist agitator and syphilitic lech and Crockett was a self-promoting old fool who was a captive to his own myth.”

The book goes on to detail the rise from the ashes of the Alamo the myth of its glory and much more. In the end it also presents the most insightful and comprehensive account of the current battle over the Alamo, the effort to upgrade the site, and to build a museum to house former rock star Phil Collins’ Alamo memorabilia collection and tell the story.

The design of the Alamo site and Alamo Plaza is half the fight. The City recently won a victory by overruling a plan to largely close off San Antonio’s most historic and vibrant civic plaza, making it a tourist-only zone.

The other half of the fight is over the story. The authors of Forget the Alamo want it to be the whole story. They argue that the broader context is more interesting, if less profitable, than the myth.

Tomlinson says they will be accused of “judging people from another time by your own values.” But he argues that when we make a monument about another moment in history, we are making a statement not only about the history but also about ourselves. He is right.

The Battle of the Alamo will continue, last week’s kumbaya moment not withstanding. If I had to bet on who will win, I’d bet on Dan Patrick. His Disneyesque approach has pushed out many potential major donors, and he is promising to make up for the loss with state funds. That, and the state’s ownership of the Alamo grounds, gives him great power.

Here, however, is a prediction: Patrick will attack Forget the Alamo, but he will not read it.

There is a generational aspect to the current battle. Many who are old enough to have seen Fess Parker and John Wayne play a mythical Davy Crockett are on one side. Many who have come of age during or are otherwise open to the racial awakening of Black Lives Matter are on the other. Whose side is history on?


The Battle of the Alamo

In 1836, the Battle of the Alamo lasted 13 days. My personal
battle of the Alamo was a 26-year saga beginning in 1975 and
culminating in 2001. As with the overwhelming odds in the original
San Antonio battle – 189 defenders to 4,000 attackers – the
probability of successfully completing my highly cannibalized Alamo
engine seemed as remote. However, through a series of unique
coincidences and chance encounters with my own forms of Davy
Crocketts and Jim Bowies, not only was I able to stage a moral and
strategic victory but a restoration victory as well.

In the early 1970s I discovered the fun of finding and restoring
old one-lunger engines and I was always looking for them. In the
summer of 1975 my wife, Pat, and I traveled to southern Utah with
my parents. I maintained my vigilance and inquired, when
convenient, about interesting old iron. We were staying in St.
George, Utah, where my dad had grown up, and one day Dad and I were
driving near some corrals on the south side of town when he stopped
to visit with Ray Schmutz, his lifelong friend.

At one point in our conversation with Ray, I asked him if he
knew of any old engines around. He said there was one on a ranch he
owned out on ‘The Strip’ and I could have it if I wanted
it. But, he cautioned me, I probably would not want it because the
flywheels and other parts were missing. I asked him if he had any
idea where the flywheels might be, and he said an old pump that was
with the engine and some other ‘scrap iron’ had been taken
to another ranch about 25 miles from there, but he never saw the
flywheels. Thanking him for the offer, I told him I would plan to
retrieve the engine.

‘The Strip’ is what people in southern Utah call the
northern part of Arizona that is cut off from the rest of the state
by the Colorado River. Only a handful of people live in this part
of Arizona, and the few roads that exist were little more than
ribbons of sand in 1975. I took the camper off our pickup, and
Dad’s brother, Tom, led our reconnaissance mission for some 80
dusty miles across the desert to an abandoned ranch house.

Filled with intrigue and excitement we neared the dilapidated
place heat waves radiating from the iron monolith created a
mirage-like image. Approaching on foot as the dust drifted away we
made a closer examination that revealed the obvious missing parts
flywheels, crankshaft, connecting rod, piston, bearing caps, and a
few small pieces.

Even so, I knew this was a unique engine as I noticed the
three-flyball governor, the unusual head with both a spark plug and
igniter, and an elaborate air pre-heater attached to a dual-fuel
carburetor. My dad and uncle both asked if I really wanted to haul
the hulk back and I enthusiastically voiced my affirmation.

Since what was left of the engine probably weighed a ton, and
there was no way we could lift it, we decided to dig a ramp a
couple of feet deep into the sand so we could back the truck down
and have the rear of the truck bed about even with the bottom of
the engine. Then, finding some old fence posts and boards, and even
an appropriate rock for a fulcrum, we pried and pushed until we
finally had the treasure in the back of the truck (See Photo
1).

After an equally dusty return from this sun-baked realm, we
unloaded the engine in my grandmother’s backyard in St. George
(See Photo 2), and I had to leave it there since we needed to bring
our camper home. When my parents traveled to St. George about a
year later they drove their pickup, and upon their return hauled
the engine to me here in Issaquah, Wash. The only identification I
could interpret on the engine was a brass tag which read:
‘EVERYTHING IN MACHINERY,’ F.C. Richmond Machinery Company,
117-119 West Second St., Salt Lake City, Utah,’ and the serial
number 13418 stamped on the top, front of the cylinder. I wrote to
the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce inquiring about this company
and received a reply that no evidence of the company remained.
Next, I sent a picture to Gas Engine Magazine, January-February,
1977 (See Photo 3), seeking the engine’s identity, and one
person sent me some information suggesting it was an Alamo.

In the spring of 1977 I loaded the engine into my pickup and
drove about a hundred miles to an EDGE&TA Branch 20 meeting
near Toledo, Wash. I enquired about any possible parts, but
considered flywheels my primary need. Bob Herren, host of the
gathering, told me of a pair of flywheels attached to a crankshaft
that had been sitting for years in the front yard of a house in
Winlock, 10 miles west.

Photo 2:The Alamo engine as it looked in 1975,
unloaded from Mike’s truck and sitting in his grandmother’s
backyard.

I drove over there on the way home, and sure enough, there were
two large flywheels that looked like they would be an appropriate
size for my engine. I pulled into the yard and knocked on the door.
No one answered, so I left. About a year later I stopped again, and
this time I talked with the man who lived there, a Mr. Raybuck. He
said he did not want to part with the flywheels at that time, so I
thanked him for his time and asked if I could check with him in a
year or so. He said that would be fine.

At least a year had passed when I stopped again. The flywheels
were still chained and padlocked to the apple tree in the front
yard, but now Mr. Raybuck said he had given the flywheels to his
daughter who had the house next door. He told me that she was not
home and would be gone until evening, so I thanked him again for
his time and returned home. Several months later I stopped again.
This time Mr. Raybuck informed me that his daughter was in Saudi
Arabia with her husband and would be there for several months.

I suppose it was at least a year later when I stopped the next
time. His daughter was home! I explained the reason for my interest
in the flywheels, which she understood, and that her father had
told me he had given them to her. I offered to buy them or trade
for them. She was not interested in selling them, but would be
willing to trade for another pair. I told her all I could offer was
a pair about 30 inches in diameter, considerably smaller than the
ones she had in her yard. She said that would be fine. Needless to
say, I was back the next day to make the trade.

Although she was gone for the day, her husband knew I would be
there and he was prepared to help. He looked at the flywheels I
brought and told me to unload them while he went for a hacksaw to
cut the chain that secured the large ones to the apple tree.
Shortly, he returned and parted the chain. Just as we were about to
roll the wheels into my truck Mr. Raybuck came out of his house and
announced that the flywheels were not leaving the place! No
explaining by his son-in-law would change his mind. I was dismayed,
but could only load my smaller flywheels and leave. I gave up on
these.

I continued to search for some large flywheels: I found some
that were much too large, some that were cracked, a single one here
and there, but never any that seemed right. Years passed and many
projects were completed as the Alamo sat behind numerous other
engines in the back corner of my shop.

Then, about 1993 I was telling Greg Spranger, a friend of mine
in Issaquah, about the Alamo and that I really would like to
restore it someday if I could find some flywheels for it. I
proceeded to tell him of the flywheels I had nearly acquired many
years earlier. He listened and then informed me that his neighbor
was Don Raybuck and that Don had grown up in Winlock. Greg said he
would inquire of Don about the flywheels. Come to find out, Mr.
Raybuck’s daughter, with whom I had dealt years earlier, is Don
Raybuck’s sister! Greg got her phone number from Don and I
called her that evening. I will never forget that as I introduced
myself she said, ‘Oh, you again?’ After a short
conversation she informed me she did not want to part with the
flywheels at that time, but she said she would keep my number and
let me know if she changed her mind. I doubted I would ever hear
from her again, but I still was not ready to give up on the
Alamo.

About two years later, in the fall of 1995, on a Thursday, at
about 10:30 p.m., the phone rang. I was sound asleep but answered
with a groggy ‘Hello.’ A woman’s voice on the other end
said, ‘Do you still want those flywheels?’ I knew
immediately who she was and what she was talking about and said,
‘Absolutely!’ I made her an offer, which she accepted. We
agreed that I would pick them up Saturday morning and that her
husband would load them into my truck with a tractor. I was there
Saturday and picked up the flywheels. It seemed so easy! Many
thoughts, mostly of disbelief, darted through my mind as I drove
home. I began to wonder how the flywheels would really look on the
Alamo, and I was beginning to think about the next step, building a
crankshaft.

Photo 3:A picture of the Alamo in 1977. Mike sent this photo to
GEM looking for anyone who might identify it. He received one
response that helped lead him to its finish.

The flywheels sat outside my shop for several weeks. I guess I
enjoyed just looking at them, and besides, the Alamo was buried in
the back corner of the shop. One day I took the wheels off the
crank and leaned them against the wall. For the first time I
actually considered the crankshaft. I decided to measure it and see
if it was close to the right size and if it could, perhaps, be
modified and used in the restoration. It did have the
counterweights like the Alamo pictures show. After jotting down a
few measurements I climbed over other inventory and into the back
corner and began to do some measuring on the engine. Experiencing
disbelief, I kept remeasuring. Then I went back outside and
verified the crank might fit without modification! By the next day
I had moved the Alamo out to a more accessible area, set the
crankshaft on the bearings and discovered that it fit
perfectly!

Earnestly, I began to finish other projects. Then in February
1996, my dad called me from St. George to tell me he had seen some
large flywheels in somebody’s yard in Kanab, Utah, about 80
miles from St. George and about 70 miles from where I had retrieved
the engine. I still had fantasies about finding the original
flywheels for my engine, even though the ones I had seemed perfect.
So, he and I planned to stop in Kanab and check these out in the
summer when we would be in southern Utah for a family reunion. In
the meantime I had decided to have a friend, Cliff Matteson,
fabricate some bearing caps. At some point I also ran an ad in GEM
to try to find a 7-3/4-inch diameter piston, but received no
responses.

While in Utah that summer we went to Kanab and checked out the
flywheels. They turned out to be too large, but when my dad and I
went to the owner’s door I had with me some pictures of the
Alamo, including some of the day we got the engine in 1975 (See
Photo 1). We were greeted by Theo McAllister and his son, Wesley.
As I showed them the pictures, Wesley said, ‘That’s the
Tuweep Valley. We heard about that engine!’ Apparently, they
had started collecting a year or two after I had gotten it. They
had been told about it and had been out to look for it and had
always wondered what happened to it. Well, I explained to them my
needs and they said they would try to help me out. We enjoyed a
great tour of their collection.

Spring of 1997 arrived and Dave Myers of Arizona had something
about an Alamo engine in GEM and I called him. He was very helpful
as he sent me some pictures of his smaller, tray-cooled Alamo and
suggested I contact John Rex, which I did. John said that Clark
Colby in Pennsylvania had an engine like I described and suggested
I contact him. Of course I did, and Clark has been most helpful!
During the past three years Clark has taken parts off his engine
and photographed them, he has sent me dozens of photographs and
covered every detail. He had parts cast for me. He has sent precise
descriptions and measurements. I can never thank him enough. But I
am getting ahead of myself.

Also in the spring of 1997 Theo McAllister called me from Kanab
and told me he had found a 7-1/4-inch diameter piston that might
work in my engine. Gene Mitchell, the man who had it, was looking
for a 6-inch diameter piston and would trade. I sent him a 6-inch
piston within a few months and Theo sent me the 7-1/4-inch one. I
put it in the bore and it fit nicely. In fact, I wondered if, by
some chance, it was the one out of my engine.

In September 1997, Dad died. Mom asked my wife, Pat, my son,
Marshall, and me if we would go to St. George with her for a week
in February 1998, which we did. Friday, the day before we came
home, I drove out to see Theo McAllister and thank him for the
piston. As we were speculating about whether that piston he sent
might have been out of my Alamo, he said he thought Gene had picked
it up from a scrap pile on that other ranch, the one to which Ray
Schmutz had referred almost 23 years earlier. Wow! This really
peaked my interest. Could there be other original parts in those
scrap piles? It was too late to go look – we were flying home the
next day.

Well, I was back in Issaquah by Saturday evening, and one of the
first things I did was call Gene Mitchell. I asked him if he
thought there might be more parts in those scrap piles. He was not
optimistic, but I asked him if he would take me out there if I came
back down in three weeks, and he said he would.

After a 26-year saga, Mike McArthur’s 10-HP Alamo finally
sees the light of day. Read about his amazing trial to restore this
rare engine in this issue of Gas Engine Magazine

Those three weeks were a long wait. I called Gene as soon as I
arrived in St. George so we could meet. Gene lives in Fredonia,
Ariz., which is about five miles or so from Kanah, Utah. Two days
later I drove my Mom’s car out to Glendale where I borrowed my
dad’s brother’s truck. From there I drove the few miles to
Kanab and picked up Theo and we drove on down to Gene’s. I had
never been to Gene’s place, and before we got out of the truck
I could see interesting artifacts all over the yard and on the side
of his shop. I also noticed another man there. I stepped out and
was looking around at Gene as I walked toward him, and Theo said,
‘You had better look down and watch your step, Mike, or you
might trip over some junk.’ I did look down and could not
believe what was lying there! It was the connecting rod out of my
Alamo!

The other man there was Marion Kirbey. Apparently he and Gene
had been hunting deer together about 15 years earlier and had come
upon those scrap piles. Gene had decided to carry the piston back
to their vehicle, at least a quarter mile, and Marion had carried
the rod. Then each took his find home with him. Well, after I had
called Gene from Issaquah and he realized what I was looking for,
he had called Marion and arranged to have him surprise me with the
rod. And surprise me he did! Marion had driven some 80 miles that
morning from Page, Ariz., where he lives, just to bring me that
rod. I offered to pay him or find something he was looking for but
he would not hear of it – he was pleased that it ended up where it
belonged. Are these good guys or what?

The four of us squeezed into the truck and headed out across the
desert. When we finally parked and began walking, it was a least a
quarter mile before we found the scrap piles. Unbelievably, as I
approached the first scrap pile, there, sitting very visibly on the
pile, was a main bearing cap that I knew was from my Alamo!
Ecstatic and exceptionally motivated, I moved every piece in that
pile. Then I meticulously examined other piles and random scrap
metal scattered over a few hundred square feet, but found nothing I
could identify as being in anyway related to my restoration. What
an eventful day! We returned to town and parted, but I knew I would
maintain contact with these men.

Not too long after returning to Issaquah, I called Clark Colby
to share my progress, and in our discussion he told me that the two
bolts on the back of my engine were supposed to hold the magneto
bracket. He also explained that the mag was driven by a chain. That
chain drive seemed unusual – at least I had never seen such an
arrangement. So when I called Gene a few days later and was telling
him about the chain-driven mag, he informed me that he had a mag
with a chain sprocket on it and that he had no plans for it. I
asked him to keep it for me and told him I would come and look at
it some time when I was in St. George again.

‘Again’ turned out to be around Christmas 1999, and I
went out to see Gene, Theo and Wesley. We had a fun visit, and the
mag I got from Gene that day looked like an appropriate vintage so
I brought it back with me. It is an Eisemann Type GS 1, Edit. 1,
s/n 637546 with 719 stamped on the side of the magnet and
appropriate counter-clockwise rotation for being chain driven on
the opposite side of the engine. In addition, while the housing is
pot metal like on many magnetos, this one is also copper plated and
older looking. I wonder if it might have been on my Alamo
originally? I would like to believe it was, of course, but will
probably never know. Well, that winter I did not make much progress
on the Alamo project.

During the winter of 2000-2001, however, I committed all the
time I could to finishing this restoration. This is where Clark
Colby’s help has been exceptionally valuable since, so far as I
have discovered, he has the only other engine like mine. As I
mentioned earlier, he has provided photographs, drawings with
precise specifications, castings from his original parts and many
answers and insights in phone conversations. I would never have
been able to restore my engine with such accuracy of detail without
Clark’s help.

I finished restoring the original Detroit Lubricator, thanks to
my friend Buck Charles, who provided me with all the needed parts
that were missing or broken on mine. The cooling system is
finished, thanks to Dave Myers who sent me pictures of the original
tray-cooling for his Alamo engine. Thanks also to my friend Dan
Grinstead who provided me with an old brass piston pump.

For portability I’ve mounted the engine on a wagon. The
engine starts and runs great, and as with any of the several old
one-lungers that I’ve revived, the satisfaction of observing
this one run again is rewarding. However, each time I start this
engine and watch the synchronization of parts at work, I begin to
think again about the fragmented and abandoned condition it was in
for decades, and I marvel at the combination of people far and near
who are responsible for this engine’s present status.

As this 26-year saga comes to a close, my ‘Battle of the
Alamo’ victory is secure. Why? Mostly because of friends – new
and old – who share an interest in this hobby. Although I have
found priceless answers to critical questions, at least one nagging
question remains. So many coincidences contributed to my successful
restoration of this 10 HP Alamo s/n 13418 that I wonder about the
possibility of another existing. This is a very rare engine, and
yet the crankshaft, balanced with the properly shaped Alamo-style
counterweights, fits perfectly. Could these flywheels and
crankshaft for some reason have been removed from this engine as it
sat on that remote ranch in Arizona? Were they, perhaps, even taken
to other places but eventually brought to Washington state where,
at some point, they were chained to an apple tree to decorate a
front yard in Winlock? Too bad a DNA test on cast iron isn’t
readily available.


As a former student of Texas public schools, much of what I remember from Texas history class boils down to this: General López de Santa Anna, of Mexico, was evil incarnate—my old friends and I still marvel at how much this was hammered into our heads—and the Texas Revolution was a fight for liberty against the tyrannical Mexican government. The Battle of the Alamo, where Texian fighters held out for 13 days and then were slaughtered by Mexican forces, has long been a central part of that story. Every Texan has been told to “remember the Alamo.”

It doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill creating “ The 1836 Project ,” designed to “promote patriotic education” about the year Texas seceded from Mexico. In other words, the law will create a committee to ensure that educational materials centering “Texas values” are provided at state landmarks and encouraged in schools. This comes on the heels of the “critical race theory” bill that has passed through the Legislature, which would restrict how teachers can discuss current events and teach history. The American Historical Association has described the bill as “ whitewashing American history ,” stating: “Its apparent purposes are to intimidate teachers and stifle independent inquiry and critical thought among students.”

Nevertheless, a new book co-authored by three Texas writers, Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford, urges us to reconsider the Alamo, a symbol we’ve been taught to fiercely and uncritically remember. The authors are aware that their book sounds like a desecration. Starting with the cover of Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of An American Myth, out this week from Penguin Press, the authors lean into associations of defacement with the title scrawled in what looks like red spray paint across an image of the old mission.

Written for popular audiences, the book challenges what the authors refer to as the “Heroic Anglo Narrative.” The traditional telling, which Texas public schools are still required to teach, glorifies the nearly 200 men who came to fight in an insurrection against Mexico in 1836. The devastation at the Alamo turned those men into martyrs leaving behind the prevailing story that they died for liberty and justice. Yet the authors of Forget the Alamo argue that the entire Texas Revolt—“which wasn’t really a revolt at all”—had more to do with protecting slavery from Mexico’s abolitionist government. As they explain it, and as Chicano writers, activists, and communities have long agreed, the events that occurred at the Alamo have been mythologized and used to demonize Mexicans in Texas history and obscure the role of slavery.

Taking a comprehensive look at how the mythos of the Alamo has been molded, Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford paint a picture of American slaveholders’ racism as it made its way into Texas. In their stories of these early days, they peel back the facade of the holy trinity of Alamo figures: Jim Bowie, William Barret Travis, and Davy Crockett. All three died at the Alamo and their surnames are memorialized on schools, streets, buildings, and even entire counties. They pull no punches describing Bowie as a “murderer, slaver, and con man” Travis as “a pompous, racist agitator” and Crockett as a “self-promoting old fool.”

In the nearly 200 years that followed the battle, we learn about the mechanics of how false histories were reinforced by patriotic white scholars and zealous legislators, including the “Second Battle of the Alamo,” when a Tejana schoolteacher fought to preserve a significant area of the compound. Ultimately she was silenced by the moneyed white elite in San Antonio who sought to transform it into a flashy park instead, and the authors suggest that this moment “represented the victory of mythmaking over historical accuracy.”

Well into the 20th century, it was rare that critical studies of the Alamo were taken seriously, although Latinx writers in the 1920s and Chicano activists in the 1960s wrote their own accounts of Tejano history. Starting in the middle of the century, Hollywood further cemented the profoundly conservative folklore through mass entertainment: In 1948, Walt Disney, fed up with left-leaning labor unions, made a television series on Davy Crockett to encourage “traditional” American values like patriotism, courage, self-sufficiency, and individual liberty, the authors write. John Wayne, a rabid anti-Communist, had similar motivations behind his vision for the film The Alamo , in 1960. Meant to draw parallels with the Soviet Union, Wayne’s characterization of Santa Anna was intended to portray “a bloodthirsty dictator trying to crush good men fighting for self-determination.”

Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford are all white male writers, which raises questions. Will this book be afforded the attention and legitimacy that related works by non-white authors haven’t been? Probably, but it shouldn’t. The authors are transparent about the fact that they are far from the first to present an alternative to the “Heroic Anglo Narrative,” and cite Latinx scholarship and perspectives throughout. “We trace its roots to the oral traditions of the Mexican American community, elements of which have long viewed the Alamo as a symbol of Anglo oppression,” they write early on. They dedicate multiple sections to the Mexican American experience of the Alamo myth, highlighting how widespread it is in the Latino community to experience shame and harassment within their school classrooms for being associated with the “bloody dictator” Santa Anna and being “the bad guys.”

The book is aimed at white readers and toward people who haven’t heard these alternative tellings before, which leads to a slightly more moderated tone, and despite their robust critiques, the authors seem conflicted about how strongly to indict Texas history overall. There’s still so much more to unravel about early Texas, especially for Native Americans, whose histories they rarely delve into: The story of the Alamo before 1800—it was built in 1718 by Spanish missionaries to convert Indigenous people to Christianity—is reduced to about a page. If Forget the Alamo becomes a definitive text of revisionist Texas history, there’s a serious question of whether non-white writers, activists, and scholars will ever get their due. There’s also a question of whether the truth they’ve voiced for generations will prevail: When will it finally be normal within Texas history scholarship to call the whole foundation rotten?

Still, the book provides strong, provocative critiques of U.S. imperialism and colonialism. The writers make clear that even before Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, U.S. presidents and Washington insiders were invested in—and had a hand in—destabilizing the region in the hopes of eventually annexing Texas. Forget the Alamo also turns to LBJ, who once said, “Hell, Vietnam is just like the Alamo,” and suggests that the patriotic, pioneering myth of the Alamo has been used to buttress justifications for war across the globe and to the present.

The myth of the Alamo, as we know it, is a lie. It’s been a part of the lie students have learned in school, and animates the lies peddled by legislation like the 1836 Project and the critical race theory bill. But if you want to truly remember the past, you first have to forget it.


The Battle of The Alamo: a View into The Beginning and End of The War

The Texas Revolution and the Alamo are the some of the biggest points in Texas history. The Texas Revolution was a war between the American colonists and the Mexican Army during 1835-1836. It was a battle over the Americans freedom from the Mexican state or government. One of the many battles during this war was, the battle of the Alamo. This one battle was a large point in the war and what happened during the war. The battle of the Alamo is portrayed in the movie “The Alamo”. The Movie brings together the battle and what happened before and after. It gives us an understanding of what happened in general during the battle, the outcome and the end of the war, yet many of the details were of from what really happened historically.

The War was the Texans lead by Same Houston fighting against the Mexican government and their leader Santa Anna. The war started soon after Santa Anna was made ruler of Mexico the year before. It began in Gonzales October 1835, and the first battle started when the Texans started a siege at Bexar. This was an important spot to take due to the military garrison, crossroads and it was a center of commerce. The Texans won this battle against the small garrison stationed there. Once they won this battle they gained control of San Antonio, The Alamo and the surrounding area by the general in charge. Soon after this in 1836, Santa Anna began his winter march to San Antonio to end the revolution at the front of it.

After the Siege of Bexar, the Texan fighters retreated to the nearby mission known as the Alamo. The Mexican army arrived at San Antonio February 23, 1836 and soon surrounded the Alamo. Once He had control of the city he raise the red flag, signaling to the Texan fighters that “no quarter would be given to the traitors inside the mission” (http://www.thealamo.org/history/chronology/texas-revolution.html). The next day Travis sends out his famed letters, asking for aid from the newly found Texan government. The most famed latter out of them was known as the“Victory or Death” letter. Soon the siege of the Alamo began.

Back at the newly found Texan government organized in Washington-on-the-Brazos. On March 2, the government and other congressmen there, declared them as independent and the Republic of Texas was formed. The Alamo showed its support of this by sending their own congressmen. The 200 Texans defended the Alamo waiting for their reinforcement from the Republic. Almost none of these freedom fighters were fighters at all, many were simple workers and never done anything like this before. There was also women and children in the company one of these being 16 mouth old Angelina Dickinson. Also among the defender was the famed Frontiersmen Davy Crockett. The ages of the men differed from 16-56, yet they stood to defend. They were led by Jim Bowie and William B. Travis, but Travis was put to bed due to his illness, and Travis was put fully in command.

Soon in early dawn on March 6, 1836 the final battle of the Alamo begun. All of the defender we killed, Travis was shot in the head at the beginning of the battle, Bowie was killed in bed. Davy Crockett’s death is unknown to us, but many believed that he survived the battle and was executed soon after. The battle in all last around 90 mins once the Mexicans breached the north wall. The only survivors of the Alamo were the women and children. After the battle Santa Anna recalled it as a “Small Affair” and continued his march toward Sam Houston and his army. Soon Sam Houston came across Santa Anna Army and in a surprise attack that last 18 mins, the Texan army won taking many prisoners. One of the Prisoner was none other than Santa Anna himself. Soon the Treaty of Velasco was signed May 14, 1836. The war was over and Texas was independent republic.

The 2004 Movie “The Alamo”, follows closely to the event that really happened at the Alamo and thing afterwards. Even though the general events of the Movie and actual events of the Alamo follow closely, there are still details that are off from what really happened. One of these details was a report over the first battle at the Alamo that “13 were killed” (The Alamo). Instead no Texan defender was killed until the final battle of the Alamo on March 6.

Another detail that was wrong in the Movie was actually during the beginning, in the opening scene. It gives many small false details setting the stage of the battle. One of these details was the fact that Travis was promoted by Sam Houston, but in fact it was Governor Henry Smith. Other of these facts were dealing with the characters and their life before and during the battle.

The movie itself brings a message ofindependence and what we should fight for. To fight for what we believe in and never to stand down no matter the odds or situation. The message speaks to the youth and young adults watching it. Showing them what people did in the past for their freedom and their beliefs. Showing them unity and loyalty in the strongest form. The movie give us a clear understanding of what the Defenders of the Alamo were trying to do there.

The movie held true to the actual events of the Alamo, but the film writers and directors put in some creative imagination, giving us a greater feel of the characters and who they were. They built the characters so that we, the audience, would become attached to them and have a greater feel for them and what they stood for as people. The Audience begins to feel and understand who these people were in real life. They begin to admire who they were and what they did. They gain a greater love of the people of the Alamo.

The movie was a great representation of what the battle of the Alamo was. It held true to the events in it and even if there were same details that were wrong, the general theme held true. The movie was an all-around decant movie, showing us what happened at The Battle of the Alamo. Showing us the sides of the people who fought and died there. Giving us a greater understanding of The Alamo


‘Forget the Alamo’ unravels a Texas history made of myths, or rather, lies

As a former student of Texas public schools, much of what I remember from Texas history class boils down to this: General López de Santa Anna, of Mexico, was evil incarnate—my old friends and I still marvel at how much this was hammered into our heads—and the Texas Revolution was a fight for liberty against the tyrannical Mexican government. The Battle of the Alamo, where Texian fighters held out for 13 days and then were slaughtered by Mexican forces, has long been a central part of that story. Every Texan has been told to “remember the Alamo.”

It doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill creating “The 1836 Project,” designed to “promote patriotic education” about the year Texas seceded from Mexico. In other words, the law will create a committee to ensure that educational materials centering “Texas values” are provided at state landmarks and encouraged in schools. This comes on the heels of the “critical race theory” bill that has passed through the Legislature, which would restrict how teachers can discuss current events and teach history. The American Historical Association has described the bill as “whitewashing American history,” stating:

Its apparent purposes are to intimidate teachers and stifle independent inquiry and critical thought among students.

Nevertheless, a new book co-authored by three Texas writers, Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford, urges us to reconsider the Alamo, a symbol we’ve been taught to fiercely and uncritically remember. The authors are aware that their book sounds like a desecration. Starting with the cover of Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of An American Myth, out this week from Penguin Press, the authors lean into associations of defacement with the title scrawled in what looks like red spray paint across an image of the old mission.

Written for popular audiences, the book challenges what the authors refer to as the “Heroic Anglo Narrative.” The traditional telling, which Texas public schools are still required to teach, glorifies the nearly 200 men who came to fight in an insurrection against Mexico in 1836. The devastation at the Alamo turned those men into martyrs leaving behind the prevailing story that they died for liberty and justice. Yet the authors of Forget the Alamo argue that the entire Texas Revolt—“which wasn’t really a revolt at all”—had more to do with protecting slavery from Mexico’s abolitionist government. As they explain it, and as Chicano writers, activists, and communities have long agreed, the events that occurred at the Alamo have been mythologized and used to demonize Mexicans in Texas history and obscure the role of slavery.

Taking a comprehensive look at how the mythos of the Alamo has been molded, Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford paint a picture of American slaveholders’ racism as it made its way into Texas. In their stories of these early days, they peel back the facade of the holy trinity of Alamo figures: Jim Bowie, William Barret Travis, and Davy Crockett. All three died at the Alamo and their surnames are memorialized on schools, streets, buildings, and even entire counties. They pull no punches describing Bowie as a “murderer, slaver, and con man” Travis as “a pompous, racist agitator” and Crockett as a “self-promoting old fool.”

In the nearly 200 years that followed the battle, we learn about the mechanics of how false histories were reinforced by patriotic white scholars and zealous legislators, including the “Second Battle of the Alamo,” when a Tejana schoolteacher fought to preserve a significant area of the compound. Ultimately she was silenced by the moneyed white elite in San Antonio who sought to transform it into a flashy park instead, and the authors suggest that this moment “represented the victory of mythmaking over historical accuracy.”

Well into the 20th century, it was rare that critical studies of the Alamo were taken seriously, although Latinx writers in the 1920s and Chicano activists in the 1960s wrote their own accounts of Tejano history. Starting in the middle of the century, Hollywood further cemented the profoundly conservative folklore through mass entertainment: In 1948, Walt Disney, fed up with left-leaning labor unions, made a television series on Davy Crockett to encourage “traditional” American values like patriotism, courage, self-sufficiency, and individual liberty, the authors write. John Wayne, a rabid anti-Communist, had similar motivations behind his vision for the film The Alamo, in 1960. Meant to draw parallels with the Soviet Union, Wayne’s characterization of Santa Anna was intended to portray “a bloodthirsty dictator trying to crush good men fighting for self-determination.”

Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford are all white male writers, which raises questions. Will this book be afforded the attention and legitimacy that related works by non-white authors haven’t been? Probably, but it shouldn’t. The authors are transparent about the fact that they are far from the first to present an alternative to the “Heroic Anglo Narrative,” and cite Latinx scholarship and perspectives throughout. “We trace its roots to the oral traditions of the Mexican American community, elements of which have long viewed the Alamo as a symbol of Anglo oppression,” they write early on. They dedicate multiple sections to the Mexican American experience of the Alamo myth, highlighting how widespread it is in the Latino community to experience shame and harassment within their school classrooms for being associated with the “bloody dictator” Santa Anna and being “the bad guys.”

The book is aimed at white readers and toward people who haven’t heard these alternative tellings before, which leads to a slightly more moderated tone, and despite their robust critiques, the authors seem conflicted about how strongly to indict Texas history overall. There’s still so much more to unravel about early Texas, especially for Native Americans, whose histories they rarely delve into: The story of the Alamo before 1800—it was built in 1718 by Spanish missionaries to convert Indigenous people to Christianity—is reduced to about a page. If Forget the Alamo becomes a definitive text of revisionist Texas history, there’s a serious question of whether non-white writers, activists, and scholars will ever get their due. There’s also a question of whether the truth they’ve voiced for generations will prevail: When will it finally be normal within Texas history scholarship to call the whole foundation rotten?

Still, the book provides strong, provocative critiques of U.S. imperialism and colonialism. The writers make clear that even before Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, U.S. presidents and Washington insiders were invested in—and had a hand in—destabilizing the region in the hopes of eventually annexing Texas. Forget the Alamo also turns to LBJ, who once said, “Hell, Vietnam is just like the Alamo,” and suggests that the patriotic, pioneering myth of the Alamo has been used to buttress justifications for war across the globe and to the present.

The myth of the Alamo, as we know it, is a lie. It’s been a part of the lie students have learned in school, and animates the lies peddled by legislation like the 1836 Project and the critical race theory bill. But if you want to truly remember the past, you first have to forget it.


Watch the video: The Battle of Coleto Creek, the Follow-up Battle to The Alamo


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