Exodus from the Alamo by Phillip T. Tucker
The Anatomy of the Last Stand Myth

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A startling new analysis of one of America’s most glorious battles . . . Contrary to movie and legend, we now know that the defenders of the Alamo in the war for Texan independence—including Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William B. Travis—did not die under brilliant sunlight, defending their positions against hordes of Mexican infantry. Instead the Mexicans launched a predawn attack, surmounting the walls in darkness, forcing a wild melee inside the fort before many of its defenders had even awoken. In this book, Dr. Tucker, after deep research into recently discovered Mexican accounts and the forensic evidence, informs us that the traditional myth of the Alamo is even more off-base: most of the Alamo’s defenders died in breakouts from the fort, cut down by Santa Anna’s cavalry that had been pre-positioned to intercept the escapees. To be clear, a number of the Alamo’s defenders hung on inside the fort, fighting back every way they could. Captain Dickinson, with cannon atop the chapel (in which his wife hid), fired repeatedly into the Mexican throng of enemy cavalry until he was finally cut down. The controversy on Crockett still remains, though the recently authenticated diary of the Mexican de la Pena offers evidence that he surrendered. The most startling aspect of this book is that most of the Texans, in two gallantly led groups, broke out of the fort after the enemy had broken in, and the primary fights took place on the plain outside. Still fighting desperately, the Texans’ retreat was halted by cavalry, and afterward Mexican lancers plied their trade with bloodcurdling charges into the midst of the remaining resisters. Notoriously, Santa Anna burned the bodies of the Texans who had dared stand against him. As this book proves in thorough detail, the funeral pyres were well outside the fort—that is, where the two separate groups of escapers fell on the plain, rather than in the Alamo itself. PHILLIP THOMAS TUCKER earned his Ph.D. in American History from St. Louis University in 1990. The author or editor of more than 20 books on military history, several of which have won national and state awards for scholarship, he has worked as a U.S. Air Force Historian for nearly two decades in Washington, DC.

About Phillip T. Tucker

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Phillip Thomas Tucker, Ph.D., has authored or edited more than 20 books on various aspects of the American experience, especially in the fields of Civil War, Irish, African-American, Revolutionary, and Southern history. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he has earned three degrees in American history, including a Ph.D. from St. Louis University in 1990. In 1993 his biography of Father John B. Bannon won the Douglas Southall Freeman Award for the best book in Southern history. For more than two decades, Dr. Tucker has been a military historian for the U.S. Air Force. He currently lives in the Washington, DC area.
Published March 15, 2010 by Casemate Publishing. 437 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Exodus from the Alamo

The Bookbag

I'd like to see Tucker go back to his notes and write the two books that he has here tried to cram into one: a social and biographical history of the people who died at the Alamo, and a clear chronological synopsis of what actually happened.

Jan 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Exodus from the Alamo: The An...

Open Letters Monthly

Instead, after the walls had been breached, Santa Anna’s army took about twenty-five minutes (eerily similar to how long it would take Custer’s 7th Cavalry to die at Little Bighorn, and Tucker examines how interchangeable 19th century Americans found their indigenous enemies) to snuff out a minor...

| Read Full Review of Exodus from the Alamo: The An...

City Book Review

In exposing the underbelly of our historical tendency to absolve “America of guilt from the ugliest legacies of Manifest Destiny, slavery, and Indian removal,” Tucker describes such inglorious events as Colonel Neill, the man most responsible for setting the stage for the Alamo disaster, mounting...

Jan 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Exodus from the Alamo: The An...

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