The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 17
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A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo
prior to this he had been seriously injured by a fall from a scaffold
while helping to mount a gun.48 Other writers state that Bowie
had been suffering from tuberculosis for several months." At any
rate, after February 24, he was too ill for active service, and from
that date until the end Travis had sole command at the Alamo.
d. A Brief Description of Fortress Alamo
At this point in the narrative a brief description of the Alamo
seems to be necessary.45 It must be remembered that these old
buildings had been constructed for a mission, not for a fortress,
and while strong enough for defense except against siege guns, the
thick walls were without redoubts or bastions. Fronting westward
toward the city, which was about a half mile away, stood the old
chapel, a ruin filled with the debris from its two towers, its dome,
and its arched roof which had fallen in 1762. The walls of the
chapel were 75 feet long, 62, wide, 22J, high, and four feet thick.
From the northwest corner of this structure a wall, 12 feet high,
extended fifty feet westward to join the south wall of the main
building, or "long barracks." This was a two-story building 186
feet long, 18 feet wide and 18 feet high. Its walls were thick and
strong. At the time of the siege, the entire upper story was used
as a hospital; the lower floor served as an armory and for soldiers'
quarters. From the northeast corner of the chapel a wall extended
186 feet toward the north, thence 102 feet west to join the north
malady was typhoid-pneumonia; ten different authorities have been
found who make the statement. "Mrs. Alsbury's Account of the Alamo
Siege," to be found in Ford's Journal (MS.), University of Texas
Archives, says that when Bowie realized that he had typhoid fever, he
had his cot carried to a "small room of the low barracks on the south
side," hoping to prevent the spread of the disease among the soldiers
of the Alamo; but she also states that at "lucid moments when the
fever was somewhat abated, his soldiers would bring his cot to the main
building, where he would talk with them and urge that they remember
that Travis was now their commander." This same story was told to
me by Mrs. Susan Sterling who had it from her grandmother, Mrs.
"John J. Linn, Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas, 134; H. H.
Bancroft, North Mexican States and Texas, II, 212; Cyrus T. Brady,
The Conquest of the Southwest, 102.
"W. P. Zuber, "Escape of Rose from the Alamo," Texas Historical
Quarterly, V, 5; Homer Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas, 242.
"Appendix II of the thesis from which these chapters have been taken,
presents six plats of .the Alamo; there, too, as explanation of the vari-
ous plats, will be found detailed descriptions of the fortress, and let-
ters, explaining particular circumstances at the time of the siege.
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/25/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.