Friday, July 13, 2018

Visiting the Alamo

By Miralee Ferrell

I only set one book (so far) in Texas, a novella called Love's Sweet Storm, in The Cowboy's Bride collection, written in conjunction with 8 other fabulous Old West authors. It's not set at the Alamo, but since Texas is synonymous with the Alamo, I thought it would be interesting to dig a little deeper and share a bit about my trip there this year, as well as a smattering of history.

Old Mission Church at the Alamo
I had the privilege of visiting San Antonio this past February, as my son and his family are serving in the Air Force and stationed there. Of course, one of the top places I wanted to visit in the city was the Alamo. I'll be honest when I say I was a little awed and a little disappointed, all at the same time. Awed at knowing so many had sacrificed their lives there, and disappointed that so much of the fort and surrounding buildings were gone. Oh, to own a time-travel machine and go back before the last battle, and see what it was like in all its glory. There are only two building still standing, this and the barracks where the troops stayed.

A little history that most of us probably know from Wikipedia: February 23 –
The old barracks where troops stayed
March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing all of the Texian defenders. Santa Anna's cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.

The old barracks and all the grounds have changed a lot. The large wall surrounding the entire compound is no longer there. The area covers 5 acres, but very few original structures remain. The barracks interior was very interesting, as it had pictures and artifacts from that time period, as well as wall murals. Parts of the barracks building used to be two story, but only the bottom story remains. 

This is my five-year-old granddaughter peeking out of one of the tents on the Alamo grounds. We enjoyed exploring, but the line was so long at the Mission we couldn't go in. 

Davy Crockett portrait in 1834-
-2 years before he died
I've always been fascinated by one of the heroes of the Alamo, Davy Crockett, since I was a little kid and saw shows about him. He died there, defending the fort. Famed as a frontiersman, folk hero, and congressman Davy Crockett was one of the most celebrated and mythologized figures in American history. He grew up in East Tennessee, where he gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. He was made a colonel in the militia of Lawrence County, Tennessee and was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1827, he was elected to the U.S. Congress where he vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, especially the Indian Removal Act. Crockett's opposition to Jackson's policies led to his defeat in the 1831 elections. He was re-elected in 1833, then narrowly lost in 1835, prompting his angry departure to Texas (then the Mexican state of Tejas) shortly thereafter. In early 1836, he took part in the Texas Revolution and was killed at the Battle of the Alamo in March.

There is so much history in San Antonio and Texas in general. It has such a rich heritage! The people who run the Alamo have music in the park nearby, tents set up you where you can see what the troops stayed in, old rifle displays and more. It was fun wandering around and seeing a small piece of the history of Texas come to life. I was fascinated to find an ancient tree within the compound that dates back to prior to the Alamo. I'm not sure what kind it is...maybe an oak or mesquite? Anyone know?

Have any of you visited the Alamo or any other famous historical sites where it made you proud to be an American? What did you think of the Alamo if you've been there?

Miralee Ferrell is a best-selling, award winning writer. Most of her books are set
in the Old West in the 1800s, but she also has a few contemporary romance novels and 5 middle-grade horse novels. She lives in the Pacific NW, where she also works as the publisher at Mountain Brook Ink (publishing). She had the privilege of having one of her books released as a movie in January, 2018, on UP TV and it's since been shown on Hallmark online and Hallmark on Demand. The book title is Runaway Romance and it's available wherever books are sold. You can find out more about Miralee on her website HERE.

The book I mentioned as a novella is Love's Sweet Storm--set in The Cowboy's Bride Collection

When traveling to meet her intended groom, mail-order-bride Allie Patrick becomes stranded in a norther Texas shack during a snowstorm. She's all alone--until a local rancher stumbles in half frozen. Will a few nights alone with a man ruin Addie's dreams of wedded bliss with Sam Tolliver, or is this a divinely inspired detour to bring her and Grant Hollister together?


  1. I've never been to the Alamo or to Texas. In so many ways, this blog is my ticket to travel!

    1. I know what you mean, Connie. My husband has never been there, either, and we're hoping to go someday together.

  2. I have been to the Alamo a few times. San Antonio is about 5 hours from where I live (Texas is a big state). I have loved it every time.

    1. Very cool, Susan! You live in a state with a lot of history!

  3. Miralee, thank you for sharing your visit to the Alamo with us. I have not been there, or even to Texas, but your post and pictures helped "take" me there.
    Blessings, Tina

    1. Pictures are always so helpful on blogs...I love seeing other people's pics to be able to really visualize things!

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  5. I'm a native Texan and been to the Alamo a number of times. When I taught Middle School, we took our 7th grade history students on a Tour of Texas every spring. It was fun to watch them react to places they'd been studying about in class. A major restoration is being planned and the historical group wants to preserve the dignity of The Alamo in honor of the men who died there. It has begun to deteriorate so badly, and they want to preserve and restore it. A lot of controversy has surrounded the plans, but they hope to have it completed in 3 years or so. We were in San Antonio for our grandson's wedding last October, but didn't visit because of all the construction around the area. It should be grand once it's finished.