The Alamo legend

Thirteen Days to Glory, originally published in 1958, is one of the better myth books of the Alamo. But having only recently read it, at A.C. Greene’s recommendation, I see that it’s shot through with questionable stuff. None is sillier than the "line in the dust" notion foisted on the legend in the late Nineteenth Century by W.P. Zuber. He was a Revolutionary war veteran who was apparently trying to make up for having sat out the battle of San Jacinto as a baggage guard.

So hardy is Zuber’s fable that the D.R.T. now has a brass rod affixed to the flagstones in front of the chapel shrine to commemorate the line. That it is a fraud is logically demonstrated in 2003’s Alamo Traces, New Evidence and New Conclusions. My other favorite Alamo books are the 2000 novel The Gates of the Alamo, with its portrayal of David–rather than Davy–Crockett and ignoring of Zuber’s line altogether, and the 1994 revolutionary military history Texian Iliad, which dismisses the line as without foundation.

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