New Alamo tour in downtown San Antonio highlights 1836 weapons, cannons


The Alamo has a brand new characteristic amongst its paid tour choices, this one spotlighting weapons and cannons used within the 1836 siege and battle, from British-made muskets that had been a mainstay of the period to a big cannon that famously fired an 18-pound ball in response to Santa Anna’s flag of “no quarter” in the beginning of the 13-day standoff.

Staged every day at 10 a.m. and three p.m., the brand new hour-long “Weapons of the Alamo” tour that begins Monday enhances its customary, youth and self-guided audio excursions. It locations a give attention to artillery, tradition and lifetime of the 1830s.

Katie Dillard, a full-time Alamo residing historian, defined why so many individuals got here to Texas to develop into residents of Mexico after 1821.

“You may purchase an acre of land for 12½ cents, and it was not topic to taxation for six years,” she stated, dressed as an European settler in a frontier costume throughout a rehearsal tour final week.

Her narration, beginning on the web site of the fort’s principal gate, then circling across the plaza, highlights the lengthy rifles utilized by David Crockett and different defenders; William Barret Travis’ double-barrel shotgun; and the Baker rifles and Brown Bess muskets issued to Mexican troops, usually left behind within the fingers of Texans and Tejanos.

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Standing close to the positioning of the Alamo’s north wall, the place Travis, the garrison commander, was among the many first to fall through the early morning battle in 1836, Dillard held up a lead ball just like the one fired from a Mexican soldier’s weapon that struck Travis within the head.

“It can kill you if it hits you in the appropriate place,” she stated.

Alamo CEO Douglass W. McDonald stated the brand new tour, which prices $15 for adults, $13 for navy personnel and veterans, and is free for kids eight and youthful, gives a brand new approach to educate guests eager to pay for a fascinating expertise on the mission and battle web site.

“We all know that individuals who come and truly are part of the educational course of retain extra data,” he stated. “That is simply one other method we’re enhancing, and constructing packages for the Alamo.”

Angela Wolfgram, director of residing historical past on the Alamo, stated the tour gives particulars on weapons in maybe the precise locations they had been used, whereas explaining how the positioning, not constructed as a fort, was undermanned and inadequately designed and geared up for battle. The tour affords scholarly data within the type of an in-depth narrative, she stated.

“We even have fired these weapons. So each tidbit, all concerning the mechanization, the use and the historical past of those weapons, is coming from a perspective of historians who discuss this day-after-day, however often not on this format,” Wolfgram stated.

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The tour winds down with a close-up demonstration of a four-pounder cannon and instruments wanted to fireside and reload it — usually at nice danger of an explosion to the troopers and volunteers. Dillard stated the three-acre fort wanted about 900 combatants to defend it, however doubtless had not more than 250.

Information of the demise of all of the Alamo defenders, adopted three weeks later by the execution of 342 males at Goliad, galvanized American assist for Texas independence.

“The irony of the Alamo is regardless of all odds, they stayed right here and fought,” Dillard stated.

Extra data and a hyperlink to buy tickets can be found on the Alamo web site,

Scott Huddleston covers Bexar County authorities and the Alamo for the San Antonio Specific-Information. Learn him on our free web site,, and on our subscriber web site, | shuddleston@express-news.internet | Twitter: @shuddlestonSA


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