The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 130
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
refuses to take himself too seriously, who actually on occasion
un-stuffs his shirt, enjoys a joke at his own expense, and who,
the battle ended or the court adjourned, retails anecdotes that
"roll 'em on the ground," or like a knight of old, chooses to
charm his comrades with sentimental songs of the period to the
accompaniment of his banjo. "To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven." A judicious assort-
ment of anecdotal material in this book proves that Williamson
understood the wisdom of The Preacher.
This reviewer was nourished on an early school-history of
Texas. We should rather say "gorged upon it," for we could repeat
it from one end to the other; the accounts of battles, verbatim.
On history's canvas Texas appeared as a vivid and expansive
centerpiece surrounded by a fringe of tiresome and trivial details
concerned with what had happened in other parts of the world.
Its stage was vast; its characters, all heroes and demigods.
Something of these early impressions lingers, and even now it
shocks us to be brought face to face in the course of this biography
with the indisputable tininess of the Battle of San Jacinto. We
read of a "six-pound cannon," of an "improvised four-piece
band," of "arranging the army for attack by extending the line
of infantry for about one thousand yards," of "placing on each
wing one of the Twin Sisters!" We find that this "battle" lasted
less than thirty minutes, and that Texas casualties were thirty-
"six killed and twenty-four wounded." Moreover, the fact that
630 Mexicans were killed and only 2o8 wounded, thus exactly
reversing the proportion of killed to wounded in any proper
battle, arouses the uncomfortable suspicion that these early
Texians were terribly quick on the trigger when a wounded
Mexican showed signs of having a little life left in him.
Thus the amplitude of the stage is sadly reduced and the
gleaming chivalry of boyhood's epic warriors becomes a bit tar-
nished. This is one of the penalties for reading modern, docu-
mented, not to say, debunked, biography; but Duncan Robinson
has provided compensations, as we have tried to indicate.
The University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/138/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.