San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History Page: 24
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SAN ANTONIO DE BEXAR.
member very well that the dead of the Alamo fight were burnt. The Texans
separately from the Mexican dead. It was the Mexican custom to thus burn
their dead after battle. I remember the fight well. I don't know what the Tex-
ans defended in the Alamo, but thought it was the whole Mission walls. I don't
know. I knew Sefiora Candelaria formerly. She is old, may be a hundred.
She might have been in the Alamo during the fight. Quien Sabe."
HERE ENDETH THE FOURTH MISSION.
These open spaces which are characteristic of Latin America, and to a great
extent of Texas are as follows, beginning in the east and traveling westward :
Alamo Plaza.-Is the outcome of an original space around the Alamo,
added to by the destruction of its outworks the " Muralla del Alamo." It has
recently been converted into a beautiful garden and surrounding it are the follow-
ing buildings of interest : The Church of the Alamo, the Opera House and Club,
the Federal Building, and the Menger Hotel. This ground was the scene of
Santa Anna's bloody assaults on the Alamo in March, 1836.
Main Plaza.-Is situated on the west side of the business heart of the
city and is connected with Alamo Plaza by Commerce and North Alamo street.
This Plaza was anciently named La Plaza de las Yslas, and fronting on it and
running back to the Military Plaza is the Cathedral of San Fernando, formerly
the old Parish Church and yard. This square is also laid out as a handsome
Military Plaza,-Or, La Plaza de Armas, lies a block to the west of
Main Plaza and, previous to the erection of the new Municipal Building, which
occupies a site in its centre, was from time immemorial the heart of Mexican life.
The small vendors, the freighters, the pastores, peones and vaqueros, all congre-
gated here. Here, too, still stand the old Court House and Jail, commonly called
the " Bat Cave."
At night, in the olden time, and in a modified form up to within a few
months, was to be seen a unique spectacle of open air life belonging rather to the
tropics than to any part of the realm of Uncle Sam.
Imagine a large square at that time badly lighted as to municipal illumina-
tion, but ablaze with small camp fires and flaming lamps swinging above rows
of improvised and shaky tables. All night long one might be served here with
viands hot from the Mexican cuisine-Chili con care, Tamales, Enchiladas, Chili
verde, frjoles and the leather-like tortillas. The more fastidious American
might enjoy delicately fried eggs and chicken with a cup of fair coffee, followed,
perchance, by a corn-shuck "czgarro," rolled by the hand of the dark-eyed
" muchacha " in charge.
These al fresco restaurateurs have been hunted by electric lights and city im-
provements from Plaza to Plaza, until now a poor remnant of them may be found
still further west on Milam Square near the grave of the hero, whilst a few others
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Corner, William. San Antonio de Bexar: A Guide and History, book, 1890; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143549/m1/60/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.