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By Walter Lord

At the morning of March 6, 1836, in an previous deserted undertaking referred to as the Alamo, a small Texas garrison fought to the loss of life instead of yield to an overpowering military of Mexicans. over the years the garrison’s heroic stand has turn into so clothed in folklore and romance that the reality has approximately been misplaced. In A Time to face Walter Lord rediscovers and recreates the complete interesting tale. From modern files, diaries, and letters, he has mined a wealth of unpolluted details that throws fascinating sidelights at the epic of the Alamo. What have been the defenders like? Why did they take their stand? Did any break out? Did Davy Crockett surrender?

The solid of characters contains not just recognized figures like Jim Bowie yet unknown, unsung males: John Purdy Reynolds, the wandering Pennsylvania general practitioner; George Kimball, the industrious long island hatter, Micajah Autry of Tennessee, who was once a better poet than a businessman. after which there are the Mexicans: the very good Santa Anna; the graceful Colonel Almonte; the forlorn inner most Juan Basquez, who in simple terms desired to remain domestic and make footwear.

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The frigate was moored less than 600 yards from shore – a long, but not impossible swim. Most of the 84 men aboard Intrepid hid behind the bulwarks or crowded below deck where they could not be seen during the approach. Only a small party of sailors was visible on the decks, consistent with the crew of a merchant vessel. Among those on deck were Stephen Decatur and Salvatore Catalano. Like the rest of the men aboard Intrepid both those visible to observers and those concealed from sight, Decatur and Catalano were dressed like Maltese sailors.

As with bees, the boarding party had a sting in the form of cold steel – cutlasses and boarding axes for the men and swords for the officers. The midshipmen, officially armed with dirks, almost certainly discarded these for cutlasses. Those that did keep them used their dirks as secondary weapons. The officers, midshipmen, and possibly the petty officers, also carried pistols. If these were used during this battle, their wielders applied them as clubs, rather than firearms. Considering the accuracy of Sea Service pistols, they were probably more effective when used that way.

Decatur – showing the qualities of personal example and magnetism that made him as great a leader as he was a fighter – roused the men’s spirits by speaking with them. He restored their belief in the success of the attack. As the weather eased, Decatur, Stewart, and their subordinate officers held a council of war aboard Intrepid. The two leaders agreed to return to Tripoli to try again. Stewart reinforced Intrepid, sending Decatur nine men under Midshipman Thomas Anderson in one of Syren’s boats.

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