Monday, March 7, 2011

Remembering the Alamo

Texas author & blogger Celia Hayes has posted some great photos of the Alamo reenactment held this weekend, marking the 175th anniversary of the battle for the "Shrine of Texas Liberty". Hosted by the San Antonio Living History Association (of which I was a member more years back than I'd like to admit). They seem to have come quite a long way since then, in those days we were not so numerous. The first time I participated there were a fair number of Texians but only about seven Mexicans!


  1. Thanks, MM - the pictures really came out great! Did you recognize anyone? I'd guess there were about 200, all told, with even numbers of Texians and Mexicans, to include women and even some children. Great fun - and at the end of the month, I'll be at the Goliad, where another local writer friend will be the speaker at the reenactor event there.

  2. I did, but not many -it's been more than ten years since I was among the ranks. Btw, the soldado with the apron is a pioneer. There were none when I was there but, in armies of that period, pioneers always wore aprons and usually long beards (and usually carried tools & axes etc). I would like to see the Goliad events again but getting me off the ranch is worse than pulling teeth these days. You might have run into a cousin of mine (she wrote a book about the Alamo defenders many years ago) she's involved with the defenders descendants group, the DRT and all that. She is in over-drive this time of year.

  3. Ah - he wasn't carrying tools or an ax, so I had no clue.
    I might very well run into your cousin; I am doing a talk next Saturday for one of the DRT chapters in New Braunfels, and hope to do some with other groups of historical-oriented clubs and societies.

  4. MM, where is the reproduction of the New Orleans Greys Flag from? I have only seen poor quality black-and-white photos of the original, (Walter Lord's is the most famous) when it was still rotting in the Mexican state archives.

  5. The flag is mine, not too hard to come by around here though it is rather more expensive than other historical flags that are more simple in design. Dixie flag store in SA is my go-to flag business.

  6. Thank you for the tip. I am in Houston.

    Not to toot my own horn (much) but last year I posted on the Battle of San Jacinto and the campaign leading up to it. I do apologize for the formatting, For a variety of reasons, I recently changed templates, and it made rather a hash of things.

  7. Gave it a read, it all looks good to me. Few people seem to realize that a) in the campaign to re-take Texas the Mexicans won every single battle up until San Jacinto and that was lost, to a very large extent, because of Santa Anna's overconfidence rather than any great brilliance on the part of Houston (though of course he did take advantage of the opportunities presented).

    Santa Anna divided his forces, camped on very bad ground with no clear view of the enemy and where he could be easily bottled up and then failed to post so much as a single sentry. All mistakes born out of gross over-confidence (because, up till then, his record had been perfect after all) but if he had not done any one of those three things the whole war could have been lost for the Texans.

    The contempt many had (and for the U.S. continued to have after) for the soldierly qualities of the Mexicans was totally unjustified. Like the "Iron Duke" said of Waterloo, that war was a damned near run thing.

  8. It is interesting to note that that is one thing John Wayne got right in his movie (which was filled with plenty of inaccuracies). When the Mexican army shows up and encircles the Alamo, one of the "privates" remarks, "They sure look pretty. But can they fight?"

    Another Texan remarks, "They just got through putting down a 3-year insurrection in the Yucatan. Yeah, they can fight."

    Or something along those lines anyway.

  9. I remember the scene well.

    -"That's the best dressed army I ever saw"
    -"Fancy clothes don't make a fightin' man"
    -"They're just off two years puttin' down revolts. They're fightin' men".

    I'm quite fond of the John Wayne movie, not perfectly accurate but moreso than it often gets credit for. What I absolutely object to is the accusation that it was bigoted. One of the things I liked about it was that there were clearly good guys and bad guys yet both sides were shown in a respectful way. The Mexicans were shown as courageous, they gave the Texans a chance to surrender, allowed the civilians to evacuate and (as no one surrendered) they did not execute anyone. If anything, they erred in leaving out things that would give a negative impression.


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