The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 404
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the mission shrine in San Antonio have ever paused to meditate
on the problem of why 182 men chose to die in defense of the
place. Undoubtedly, economic motives pressed forward in early
decisions to remain at the post. But what of the later reluctance
to leave when the cause was admittedly hopeless and there was yet
time to withdraw? Truly, here was the moment of sublime de-
Consideration of the spirit of the Alamo, the forces of fate that
lured the martyrs to their "rendezvous with destiny," is inherent
in any contemplation of the story. To capture this spirit, read, for
example, the letter written by Daniel William Cloud to his family
from Natchitoches, Louisiana, in December, 1835, while en route
to Texas to fight for her freedom. After pages of discussion of his
chronological itinerary in the Ohio Valley, Missouri, and Ar-
kansas, he turns with obvious emotion to an explanation of why
he is bound for Texas. The acknowledged prospect of danger
and death in the cause has increased his determination. Like
Crockett and the others, he has clearly been caught up in the
Tinkle gratefully acknowledges his obligation to the mon-
umental works of Ruby Mixon (William Barret Travis, a Mas-
ter's thesis accepted at the University of Texas in 1929) and
Amelia W. Williams (A Critical Study of the Siege of the Alamo,
written in 1931 as a doctoral dissertation under the supervision
of Eugene C. Barker and printed in part in Volumes XXXVI
and XXXVII of the Quarterly). Miss Williams once told the
reviewer that she was sure she had sifted through over one hun-
dred thousand pieces of manuscript during her research. Espe-
cially vexing to her, and to all students of the Alamo drama, was
the preparation of an exact muster roll of the defenders.
Not only the roll call but the whole narrative of the defense
is troublesome to the objective historian. The maze of conflicting
testimony, for example, dismayed the most recent biographer of
David Crockett (James Atkins Shackford, David Crockett, 1956) :
I suppose no event in recent historical times with a basis in fact,
has been more conducive to the creation of legend, fiction, gossip,
error and falsehood than the destruction of "the fortress at San An-
tonio de Bexar. ... " Except for the date and the fact of its fall, there
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/473/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.