Remember the Alamo
There are several military history spots in the United States and abroad that are so essential to the soul of America and Americans that the name alone evokes powerful feelings. Normandy, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Lexington and Concord, and the Alamo are a few examples. These important battles highlight American resistance, bravery, and determination.
What is interesting about the Alamo is not only does it hold special importance for all Americans, but it is especially sacred for Texans, and for the city of San Antonio. The southwest Texas city named its sports arena after the location and countless other businesses have done the same.
The Alamo is not an overrated tourist sight
Some when they travel think places like the Alamo might be “cheesy” or an overly tourist spot just because so much has been written and detailed about the place in various media outlets. I was told before visiting not to expect much from the location. This is probably from someone who had such incredible expectations of the place that reality was bound to be deflating.
I am interested in history, and I am also fascinated with people. Therefore, the Alamo was one of the first places I wanted to see in Texas outside of Big Bend National Park. I wanted to learn more about the history, and I wanted to understand people from Texas better since I know that it holds such importance to this proud state. I knew if I learned even a little bit about both aspects that the trip would not be a disappointment.
This feeling was vindicated a couple days later in Big Bend National Park. I was talking to Scott from Houston at Emory Peak who attended Sam Houston State University. He said I should visit San Jacinto to see the battlefield where Sam Houston gave Santa Anna hell for what he did at the Alamo. Scott beamed when he talked about the greatness of Sam Houston.
Running for cover
I was not disappointed by my Alamo experience at all. The only problem I had was it rained, and I did not bring my slicker. I felt rather inadequate for hiding in the inside portions of the exhibit, which is noted for the extreme bravery of its defenders.
Price is right
The first pleasant surprise was the price. There is no charge to visit the Alamo. For a tourist place so touted as the Alamo, this is fantastic. I felt compelled to buy the $7.00 audio tour just because I felt like I should contribute in some way. The guided tour is $15.00.
Two hours later after my audio tour was over, I left with a better understanding of the Alamo, the Texas War of Independence, and Texas in general. Here are some tidbits I found especially interesting that I did not know beforehand.
Historical notes of interest
- The battle of the Alamo was actually the second battle that took place there. The Texas army previously approached the city and General Santa Anna’s brother-in-law, Martín Perfecto de Cos surrendered without a fight. The Texans allowed all captured Mexican soldiers to leave peacefully.
- My name is Ted Nelson, but my given name is Edward. There was an Edward Nelson from South Carolina who was one of the 150 soldiers killed on the Texas side at the Alamo.
- 150 people were killed on the American/Texas side. Those that surrendered were killed instead of being taken prisoner. The Alamo was on March 6, 1836. Two weeks later, a bigger massacre took place in Goliad when under Colonel James Fannin a Texas force surrendered to Mexican forces thinking they would receive clemency. They were treated as pirates and executed: 342 men were killed. Colonel Fannin had to endure seeing his troops killed. He requested his belongings be sent to his family, shot in the heart and not in the face, and receive a Christian burial. He was shot in the face.
- The roots of the Texas War of Independence began with an immigration problem. The Mexican government invited Americans/Texans to colonize the area and gave special treatment. Many more Americans took up the offer and flooded the country and the Mexican government feared they could not control this new contingent.
- I recommend the audio tour. It is only $7.00 and that is the only fee you have to pay. The money goes to the upkeep of the facility, so it goes to a good cause.
- I parked on the street only two blocks away. I paid 30 cents an hour for the meter parking near the intersection of Bonham and Bowie on 4th street. It is just down from the Days Inn. There is also a lot that charges $5.00 a block away on third.
- Unfortunately, no photography inside the exhibit.
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Great article! I love exhibits too. And I totally agree with you that it sucks travelling or visiting places when it’s raining. It is a hassle! The feeling especially when your clothes are wet from the rain is just so uncomfortable!
John Burch recently posted..20 Hotels in the World That Will Blow Your Mind
Good thing there was an indoor section at the Alamo.
I love the Alamo. Visited about 15 years ago when I lived in Dallas. My childhood was spent in Arkansas and I’ll always remember learning about Arkansas’ Jim Bowie, his Bowie knife and being one of the heroes of the Alamo. And of course now living in Tennessee, so many of the Texans fighting in the Alamo were from Tennessee.
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The Alamo definitely resonates with many Americans for many different reasons. I had no idea another Edward Nelson fought and died there.
you know how we feel about traditional tourist attractions, but this is actually one i do want to visit, and i LOVE that its free!
also, do you think that edward nelson may be your great-great-great something or other? i would imagine you’d call him “uncle tedward?”
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It is possible that Uncle Tedward was a distant relation. I wonder if he wore a fanny pack into battle?
Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! These are two battle cries known by any good Texan. I also that Texans can turn a defeat into a positive and motivation to do better. God blessed Texas.
I’m happy that you enjoyed my home state.
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Interesting that not many people have heard of Goliad outside of Texas. I am sure I learned about it before, since I have a history background, but it has been awhile since I studied this part of our history. I really loved Texas. My only regret is I needed another week or two to see more.
Hi TED! I just popped over to your website after the @TourGuyGuide tweeted your site and thought I’d check it out. The first post that caught my eye was this one on the Alamo because I’ve been there before and wanted to see what you thought of it. It is a very interesting exhibit and I actually loved the trees and courtyard out front as well. San Antonio itself is a great city with lots to see and do there so anyone who is in town should the time to go to The Alamo. Too bad it rained but it looks like that kept the crowds down to see it well. When we were there it was quite crowded. Now i’ll have to check out some of your other destinations. ~Kathy
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Thanks Kathy for checking this post out. I enjoyed the Alamo. I love history, and I have not studied this part of our history since college or high school. It was interesting to learn or re-learn about Goliad, Santa Ana, and how the siege fit into the war for Texas Independence.
I thought they have done a good job of preservation. It is cool to see such an old historic building in the middle of a metropolitan city like San Antonio.