A few years back we meandered back to my old and last U.S. Army stomping ground at Fort Hood, Texas. On the trip, we stopped in San Antonio and were counted among the 4.5 million visitors to the Alamo that year.
No one really knows how many brave men defended and died at the famous mission. Accounts, as do certain songs by Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash and even Donovan, range from 170 to 250. Today, I am settling on 178 defenders because Thursday, March 6, marked the 178th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.
If you are having your morning coffee, Thursday marked the time, after the battle and the burning of the bodies of the valiant defenders, when Santa Ana’s forces had finished collecting their dead and wounded and were preparing to march off to find Sam Houston and the rest of the Texians (as they were known then).
Most people recognize any photo of the Alamo chapel. Unfortunately, that iconic image and a little of what was known as the Long Barracks (now a museum) is all that remains of the storied battle place. In 1836, the longest wall was over 400 feet long and the compound was 160 feet wide. In reality, even 500 men (except possibly armed with a few machine-guns from Ft. Hood) stood little chance of defending the spot they chose to make a last stand...