Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
Near the front of Rockefeller Center in New York City. This year's Christmas Tree is being set up at the right!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"The Alamo Remembered- Tejano Accounts and Perspectives" by Timothy M. Matovina

Its funny to me how easy (and often enjoyable) it is when you get caught up in researching a historic event.  You visit a site, or read a book about something, and before you know it, you are chasing bits of information "down the rabbit hole".

I feel that way about the Alamo.  After our first (of 2) visits to the shrine in the last year, I found myself reading various books about the place, the battle, and its participants.

Which somehow brought me to Timothy M. Matovina's book, "The Alamo Remembered- Tejano Accounts and Perspectives".  I wanted to pick this one up as it is a great source for material linking pretty much directly to the battle, AND from an interesting perspective, the Tejanos.  As Matovina notes in his conclusion, the Tejano Alamo stories represent a very difficult, middle ground area. 

That conflict affected neighbors, and families.  Mentioned extensively in this book is the Esparza family. Gregorio Esparza fought defending the Alamo, while his brought fought with Santa Anna's army.  Luckily for historians, Gregorio's family survived the battle, and their accounts of the battle are in the book.

Most of the accounts in this book are from people who were at the battle, witnessed it from a distance, or rubbed elbows with people directly involved.  At least one witness mentioned in the book is doubted by others about being inside the Alamo.  Many accounts contradict other accounts (especially relating to the deaths of some of the notable defenders).

One very interesting account is from the diary of a person who spoke to a prominent politician at the time.  The diarist tells how the politician believed that Santa Anna left part of the fort free, hoping the Texans would leave.

Many of the accounts involve specific moments of Santa Anna, the Alamo leaders, and the ways that the dead (on both sides) were dealt with after the fighting.

A huge part of the appeal of this book comes from the fact that there are really few first hand accounts from the battle.  AND, since every defender who fought on March 6th died, those direct accounts of the battle will always be lost..... which makes these accounts even more interesting.  I want to hear from the surviving spouses and children......but the diary account from 1846 where a man talks to a San Antonio resident who wasn't even in town at the time of the battle has value.

"The Alamo Remembered" is a great easy to read volume full of first hand (and close to first hand)accounts.

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