Forget the Alamo is a novel in which Travis and his men successfully defend
Concepci6n mission instead of the Alamo. James Fannin and Edward Burleson
then join a successful counterattack on the Mexican army in San Antonio and
capture Santa Anna. Chariton seeks historical accuracy by patterning the attack
and defense of Concepci6n after the Battle for the Alamo, while the Texan
counterattack is patterned on the Battle of San Jacinto.
As a fictional account it is interesting, but the author also offers this volume
as a speculation on what could have happened if a different tactical decision
had been made. That concept raises several possible problems. Concepci6n,
though more compact than the Alamo, had few windows and most defenders
still would have fought from an exposed roof that might not have sustained the
weight of men and artillery. It also provided little room for horses and cattle.
In October 1835 Bowie drove off a Mexican attack near the mission but never
placed his men inside, which implies it had limitations as a fort. Although the
author suggests the Alamo was a weak fort, which the Texans had seized in
December 1835, they actually avoided an attack on the mission, which they
probably viewed as a strong position. In the novel the Texans make improve-
ments at Concepci6n and Fannin becomes decisive, unlikely actions, while the
Mexican army makes no adjustments to the changed situations. Thus this sce-
nario falls short of fully testing an alternate battle concept.
The trilogy is by turns useful and lively but controversial.
Texas Tech Unzverszty ALWYN BARR
Texas Dizvded: Loyalty & Dissent in the Lone Star State, 1856-1874. By James Mar-
ten. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1990o. Pp. 246. Acknowl-
edgments, introduction, notes, bibliography, index. $25.)
This blessedly unromantic book depicts the disintegration of Confederate
morale during the Civil War in Texas. James Marten capably demonstrates for
one state the lack of nationalist concensus that was the root cause of the South-
ern defeat, according to the authors of the influential recent synthesis, Why the
South Lost the Civil War (1986).
Disunion presented a crisis of conscience to many Texans. Many joined in
the prewar hysteria following John Brown's raid and the election of Abraham
Lincoln, and shifted their loyalties to the emerging Confederacy. Many others
remained Unionists; some of these nevertheless followed their state and peer
pressure into the Confederacy, while others never could change citizenship.
Still more, perhaps even the majority, remained ambivalent, a stance that led to
lukewarm service to the great cause. Although they may not have returned to
Unionism, many of those who lost faith in the Southern cause later deserted
the army when the going got rough. Some even took to the hills as brutal if
apolitical bandits. Marten explores these shades of loyalty and dissent with con-
Other Texans-Germans, Mexican Americans, and of course blacks-never
"fit" into the dominant Anglo culture. They were excluded rather than being
dissenters, and though Marten portrays their treatment and their responses
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed March 13, 2014.