The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo--and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation
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On February 23, 1836, a large Mexican army led by dictator Santa Anna reached San Antonio and laid siege to about 175 Texas rebels holed up in the Alamo. The Texans refused to surrender for nearly two weeks until almost 2,000 Mexican troops unleashed a final assault. The defenders fought valiantly-for their lives and for a free and independent Texas-but in the end, they were all slaughtered. Their ultimate sacrifice inspired the rallying cry "Remember the Alamo!" and eventual triumph.
Exhaustively researched, and drawing upon fresh primary sources in U.S. and Mexican archives, THE BLOOD OF HEROES is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters--including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, William Barret Travis--this is a stirring story of audacity, valor, and redemption.
Heroes of the Alamo,” James Hatch Papers, BCAH. The May 1820 letter from Jefferson to Monroe is quoted in Walraven, The Magnificent Barbarians, p. 25. Washington Davis describes the “fine rich land” of Texas in a March 12, 1831, letter to his wife, Rebecca, in Southwestern Historical Quarterly 44, no. 4 (April 1961), p. 508. The letter discussing “every poor man” was written on August 14, 1836, and found in Court of Claims file 1281, GLO. “A vast howling wilderness” is part of the Hatch
Katherine Elliott, and Winnie Adams, eds. The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar. 6 vols. Austin: Texas Library and Historical Commission State Library, 1921–27. Smithwick, Noah. The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days. 1900. Reprint, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983. Sowell, A. J. Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas. 1900. Reprint, New York: Argosy-Antiquarian, 1964. ———. Rangers and Pioneers of Texas. San Antonio: Shepard Bros., 1884.
with another report of a thousand Mexican soldiers on the Rio Grande poised to invade Texas—a serious schism had erupted. Travis wrote Smith again begging to be relieved of command: “If I did not feel my honor & that of my country compromised I would leave here instantly for some other point with the troops under my command as I am unwilling to be responsible for the drunken irregularities of any man…. I do not solicit the command of this Post,” he continued. “I will do it if it be your orders
special trip to spend some time with his son, then six, at the home of David Ayres, a friend of Travis’s upriver in Montville. Charles had only recently begun boarding there; he would soon begin attending the school that was scheduled to open on February 1. Before Travis had to leave, the boy whispered in his father’s ear, asking for fifty cents to buy a bottle of molasses to make candy. Travis handed him the four bits, so Charles and the other children would have their candy that evening—a
Sam Houston. The group’s stay was a grim reminder of the increasing hostilities and the mounting threat of all-out war. Four weeks later, on Sunday, February 21, Andrew Kent rode into Gonzales intending to stay a day or two and return with supplies—his wife needed material to make clothes. After recovering from his wound, Davy, the oldest boy, had followed Patton’s company, and was now with the garrison at Béxar, commanded jointly by William Barret Travis and James Bowie. He would turn nineteen