Monday, July 6, 2015

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 223: Visit the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas is one of the most iconic, historic locations in all of America and over 2.5 million people visit this famous battle site every year. I’ve heard about the Alamo all of my life and have always wanted to see it for myself, which is why I added a trip to this location to my bucket list several years ago. I finally got to scratch it off Monday of last week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Alamo, it was built in 1718 by Spanish priests and Indians and is located in present-day downtown San Antonio, Texas. It’s best known for being the site of a pivotal siege and battle during the Texas Revolution in early 1836. All the fort’s defenders were killed in the battle against Mexican troops under Santa Ann and led to the Mexican defeat later in 1836 at the Battle of San Jacinto.

I’ve always been somewhat fascinated in the Alamo because the commander of the ill-fated for was William Barrett Travis. Travis was born in South Carolina, but grew up in Alabama, living most of his time there at Sparta in Conecuh County and in Claiborne in Monroe County. Travis left Claiborne in 1831 and ended up at the Alamo five years later as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army. The rest, as they say, is history.

I found myself in San Antonio for the first time Monday of last week and wasted no time in checking out the Alamo with my family. (We actually went there twice, visiting it for a second time on Wednesday of last week). Those of you who have been there know that the iconic mission front that most people think of when they think of the Alamo is only just a small portion of what is known as “Alamo Plaza Historic District,” which covers several acres.

During our visit, I was interested to learn that, in addition to Travis, more than a few of the Alamo’s defenders were from Alabama. Those “Heroes of the Alamo” from Alabama included 16-year-old Pvt. Galba Fuqua, 18-year-old William T. Malone, Pvt. James Buchanan, Pvt. William Fishbaugh, Pvt. William DePriest Sutherland and Sgt. Isaac White. Of course, it’s possible that there were others, but their origins have been lost to history.

I was also interested to learn that, according to a plaque at the Alamo, there were five Masons killed in the Battle of the Alamo. Those Freemasons included Travis, James “Jim” Bowie, David “Davy” Crockett, James Bonham and Almaron Dickenson. In fact, the Alamo, according to another plaque at the site, is considered the “Birthplace of Freemasonry in West Texas.”

If you’d like to visit the Alamo yourself, I encourage you to do so because it’s well worth the trip. The site is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Alamo’s official Web site at

In the end, how many of you have ever visited the Alamo? What did you think about it? What did you think was the most interesting part of the Alamo? Let us know in the comments section below.

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