Skip to comments.Alamo : Davy Crockett's defiant stand at the Alamo 'lasted just 20 minutes', claim historians
Posted on 08/16/2011 6:00:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The legend of Davy Crockett, the buckskin-clad 'King of the Wild Frontier,' has been cast into doubt by new claims that his fabled last stand at the Alamo may have only lasted 20 minutes.
For 175 years, the Battle of the Alamo has been one of America's most cherished historical events. Celebrated in song, story and cinema, the story of heroism against all the odds helped define the young nation's pursuit of liberty.
But, according to a new book, the brave last stand depicted by Hollywood stars like John Wayne was a myth. In reality, author Phillip Thomas Tucker claimed many of the Americans who died at the Alamo were cut down as they tried to escape from the besieged garrison after a surprise pre-dawn attack.
The 'last stand' at the Alamo on March 6, 1836 came after a small band of Americans held out for 13 days against the army of Mexican dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
The leaders of the group included Crockett, already famous as a frontiersman, storyteller and crack shot, and James Bowie, known for his distinctive knife.
It has long been part of the Alamo legend that Crockett died fighting.
The legend was firmly established by the 1955 Disney TV show in which the hero was seen swinging an empty rifle as the hordes of Mexican soldiers closed in for the kill. But in his book, 'Exodus from the Alamo,' Dr Tucker painted a much less glamorous ending.
Using recently discovered Mexican accounts of the battle, the historian wrote that the defenders of the Alamo in the war for Texan independence did not die defending their garrison under brilliant sunlight.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Wow we should just embrace what the victors had to say over anything else I suppose. No way they would have lied to make themselves look better eh?
This is a really stupid, pointless article. Is there some move on to denigrate Texas by vague, silly stories, and thereby denigrate Rick Perry?
Slaughtered to the last man. . It makes little difference how they were slaughtered.
Perhaps they did die in their beds as the result of Mexican perfidy . That doesn’t make the Americans look bad. More shame to the Mexicans.
Because another Cowboy Texan jumped in to the Presidential race, the MSM just had to add this story to bring the Pride of Texas down.
I read about this more than 10 years ago, no one gave it much credence back then....
I think I remember most accounts had Bowie bayonetted in bed, Disney had him using 2 pistols and 2 knives first.
Yes, we’re going to start reading about any crazy crime that happens in Texas again.
Wonder would it have been different if he had the technology of a *flash mob*?
Well, he told US. Now ask him about the Charge of the Light
Brigade. And the American Revolution. And the War of 1812. And Lend-Lease. And on and on and on . . .
well then, that settles that, the author will now discuss how the US should "give CA back to Mexico" in his next book because recently he met Jose Luis Rodriguez O'Leary and his virgin mother in downtown LA while purchasing money orders to send back to his other mother in Guadalajara and he said so.
KIng of the Hill trashed these people fifteen years ago. Why is this in the news AGAIN?
>This is a really stupid, pointless article. Is there some move on to denigrate Texas by vague, silly stories, and thereby denigrate Rick Perry?<
Nah. Unless you’re not an FR addict, The Daily Mail leans to the right, just like the Telegraph. You can count this to one of the many historical controversies bunched with the Chinese discovering America, Bigfoots ambushed a group of miners in their log cabin for an entire night and Obama really graduating from a university.
Just wondering? It appears that Texas history is being rewritten. I was wondering how the new version ended??
I found this version a little more real-world believable than Fess Parker going down swinging Betsy (but not “Old Betsy”) butt-end into the Mexicans.
I wonder how much of this is new in the book? Seriously, this news has been out for quite some time. I see there’s another book from 2003, “Alamo Traces: New Evidence and New Conclusions.”
Dead is dead.
What a Crock-et.
Ummm..they held Santa Ana at bay for 13 days. Ok...so Davy was not swingin a rifle at their heads...Instead he was murdered after being captured. Oh..ok...that changes history as we know it.
I am not sure what the big revelations in this book are supposed to be,why this was written about at all and what this person’s point is. Crocket died at the Alamo. Thats what the history says. And it was 13 DAYS and 20 minutes. To pic a nit.
Ahh revisionism. What a jerk.
There was an eye-witness account by a woman who survived who said that she saw Crockett’s body surrounded by several dead Mexican soldiers.
The “historians” have an agenda and are almost certainly aware that their account is politically motivated.
Maybe I missed it, but in the article I did not see the literary, historical credentials or background of this Phillip Thomas Tucker. He wrote this book, based on one “discovered” Mexican diary? Where is the research?
It is convenient to throw every other bit of evidence out of the window, and say all that was so much myth, because here is another bit of evidence that contradicts it. Are we to believe that Mexican officers were not into any myth making of their own? The problem, always, is sorting through all this. For example, when was Santa Ana’s army first reported as entering the disputed territory, and how do you account for the days between then and some other event about which we have pretty strong information?
The following are some notes I jotted down when reading the papers of Franklin Perry, Stephan Samuel Perry and James F. Perry of Brazoria County, Texas. While the letters preserved in those papers do not speak directly to the Alamo, they do speak to the desperateness of the situation from the Texian point of view. More directly, these are letters written in absolute candor, as, for example, men preparing to meet their maker give instructions to their friend or their wife on what they should do. The letter written from Cincinnati, of a man seeking to discover the dreaded truth about his son who volunteered for the Texas cause is especially poignant. There can be no suspicion that these were puff pieces written for political purposes or for historical glory.
1836 a letter from camp at Burnhams on Colorado dated March 16 We have retired to this place from as we suppose by a large Mexican force. We have every reason to believe that Santa Ana at the head of a large army will make a descent upon the lower country and sweep the coast I would most earnestly recommend to you to abandon your place and move with all the property you can toward Sabine No doubt an asylum will be offered in the United States to all those who may be driven from this country Take to the field for we all have to fight and desperately too or our all will be lost Show this to our immediate friends. Do not cause any excitement. Your friend, A. Somervell.
Reply: I cannot think Santa Ana can take Texas with the force he now has. I will be up in the morning as early as I can get my horse. Yours, J.F. Perry.
1836 a letter from New Orleans dated April 13 With deep regret we have seen the late disastrous news from your colony and cannot but hope that much has been exaggerated and that the gloomy anticipations which were entertained by many of your neighbors will prove premature. Your obedient servants, John A. Merle & Co.
1836 a letter to his wife from Galveston dated April 15 I leave this morning for the mouth of the river with Capt. Fuller to procure some tools which we want here I dont know we will be gone. You will hear the news from the army and must do as you think best. If necessary retreat further back. Capt. Scott told me if necessary he would move his family with you Adieu, James F. Perry.
1836 a letter to his wife from aboard ship dated April 26 While at Valesco, I returned to our plantation and found everything undisturbed I have left all our things in charge of Wm. B. Aldredge and directed him to ship most of our things to New Orleans and in case any accident should happen to me to send the Negroes to you or let you know where they are J.F. Perry.
1836 a letter from Cincinnati dated June 2 I regret sir my not having met you an had a personal introduction to you as I feel intensely anxious to ascertain the fate of a brave and chivalrous brother, Richard Disney, Esq., a young man whose clear and classical education fitted him for almost any situation in life, but who unfortunately as I fear left us in spite of our wishes and joined the Texian army as a private and a volunteer. Knowing our opposition, he never even took a formal farewell of us, but left my fathers house leaving nearly all his clothes behind him in order to avoid suspicion. My father pursued him to Louisville, but in vain. Accident last winter through a man in the way of another brother who happened to be at New Orleans who said that Richard was in the Texian army, a first lieutenant, and stationed at Goliad. A few days subsequently to that brought us a letter from my brother Richard data 22 February 1836 at Goliad, in which he said he held the office of first lieutenant in the Texian army. He stated that he had joined them as a private All this was corroborated by the man at New Orleans who remarked that Richards bravery at Tampico was such as to win the respect and confidence of his associates and that at Goliad he had been made a first lieutenant All this detail, my dear sir, may appear tiresome to you, but you will recollect that it relates to a beloved brother. And, I mention them to you for the purpose of aiding you in the inquiry which I beg of you to make in regard to his fate Your most obedient servant, D.T. Disney.
I thought the same thing. I always wondered how the mexicans would have known or cared who the heck Davy Crockett was in the first place.
The gist seems to be that around a dozen or so including Crockett surrendered.... fairly believable.
Other than that I haven’t seen any real dispute.
The article doesn’t point out that Travis and Bowie sent out regularly for help with messages and news.
Also, there were a couple of survivors plus kids, Mrs. Dickinson, and Bowie’s slave Joe.
Of course the Mexican version will be “Enhanced” I really do not think that the Mexican Army was going to sneak up on the Alamo,I prefer our version of the American’s going down Fighting. Screw them it is like our Liberals trying to be factual!
I have been to the Alamo.
Despite the towering presence of the Crockett Motel, it’s an impressive landmark/shrine, an integral part of American history, conveniently politically under attack now rather than 10 years ago when this news first came out.
“The line in the sand” is prominently displayed. Alas, the inner battleground is a gift shop, but it’s worth the trip if you’re within an hour of San Antonio.
And go to the the Riverwalk.
Davy Crocket was a Tennessean
of course the Mexicans knew and cared..
Only lasted 20 minutes?
What were the previous 13 days?
What a miserable POS revisionist.
Did he change his name from Lopez?
no, it has lasted almost 180 years.
20 minutes? I think they mean 13 days and 20 minutes.
It would not surprise me that many were shot at they were retreating off the front line. They could have sneaked out the previous night but they didn’t.
And to Anglicize a popular FR tagline;
Come And Take It.
Davy Crockett died like the hero he was, with his head up and nothing but bravery in his heart.
And we believe the Mexicans why? This is the same Mexican army who hid their General in a private’s uniform under a dress, as I remember, when Sam Houston captured him at the battle of San Jacinto.
Even in the movie the final action didn’t last more than twenty minutes.
There is and always will be conflicting accounts of what occurs in the heat of battle so one person’s account is really no more than a small slice of the whole.
Any historian would recognize that and not put too much trust in a very limited source.
Interesting stuff. There were probably many parents like that whose sons could not resist the adventure and excitement of the Texas Revolution. How does and office or a farm compete with a war?
Interesting stuff. There were probably many parents like that whose sons could not resist the adventure and excitement of the Texas Revolution. How does an office or a farm compete with a war?
The Mexicans massacred the wounded, they have no credibility, even in this day and time.
Being that I’m IN Texas right now on the final days of my vacation, I took special note of this thread.
Most citizens of this state would take what the author says to be treasonous blasphemy of the most despicable kind.
Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo! And the Mexicans damn well better NEVER forget San Jacinto!
Davy Crockett died like the hero he was, with his head up and nothing but bravery in his heart.
“I thought the same thing. I always wondered how the mexicans would have known or cared who the heck Davy Crockett was in the first place.”
FWIW, he was well known at the time, an accomplished author, even if his autobiography was ghost-written, had been on a book tour back east and arrived in Little Rock Arkansas a few months earlier and the newspapers reported hundreds of people turning out to see him.
At least one of the soldiers was related to one of the defenders and asked for and received the body to give it a burial rather than a bonfire.
Certainly the Mexican soldiers might have heard who they had killed and written about it.
A small group of men with limited ammo lasted 20 minutes against a huge army? I’d say that’s pretty darn good! Coulda been over in 5 minutes.
The reviews on Amazon.com pretty much condemn this book....
A little hard to believe that everyone would get caught sound asleep in their beds with the Mexican army at their doorstep.
I just have a hard time believing some Oaxachan conscript had ever heard of Crockett, or could attach the name to a face even if he had heard of him.