Saturday, August 17, 2013

“Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier…” by Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo

Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo      “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier…”  This always pops into my head when I think of Davy Crockett.  It is the beginning of the theme song from the Davy Crockett movie by Disney starring Fess Parker.  It is funny because after that first line, my mind goes to the lyrics to the Daniel Boone show also starring Fess Parker.  There is a minor bit of confusion there, but it is harmless.  In no way does it harm the reputation of either Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone. They were both great men by their own rights.                        
     This brings to mind the confusion surrounding the death of the actual Davy Crockett.  This was first brought to my attention at a workshop I attended dealing with Texas History.  The presenter got up there and started their lecture off with “Everything you know about the battle of the Alamo, is incorrect”.  They also went on to state that everyone that fought at the Alamo was a coward, especially Davy Crockett.
      Since I am a 7th generation Texan and raised on the tales of the Alamo, that was a little hard for me to swallow.  The presenter continued with Santa Anna was the real hero.  He was a perfect gentleman that stomped the cowards at the Alamo in record time.  They also stated that Crockett and his men were captured and taken to Santa Anna who laughed hysterically as they begged and pleaded for their lives. After having enough of the pleading, he ordered them decapitated, which he watched with glee. It was at that point I left.
     I never gave it another thought until this blog topic showed up. It got me to thinking about that fateful day so long ago when my Alamo innocence was shattered.   It was time to see what I could find out. I went to several book stores and checked their Texas History books on the Alamo. They all said there were no survivors.  I then went to the school and checked the history books, same thing no survivors.  So what is going on here?
      I updated my search and went to the internet and there I found some discrepancies. One account was that a servant identified the bodies of Travis, Bowie and Crockett after the battle.  Another account said a member of Santa Anna’s unit kept a diary that was found later that said seven men were captured and later killed in Santa Anna’s presence. It went on to say they died bravely as they were stabbed and beaten to death.  Yet another account was from a woman that was at the Alamo, and she said Bowie, Travis, and Crockett’s bodies were all identified at the Alamo.
      I was raised that the Alamo was a significant part of Texas History and all the men who died there should be respected as heroes. Despite the confusion I found on the internet, I will continue to believe their heroism is a true thing, They came from all parts of the country to help fight for something they believed in, even though it wasn’t their fight.  Whether or not Crockett died in the actual battle or afterwards really makes no difference to me.  He and his men faced odds beyond what could be fathomed by the likes of us today and died for what they believed in. Good luck finding that kind of heroism today when we can’t even get someone to let us change lanes without road rage.
     History can be found to be wrong, or an interpretation of it could be incorrect, but many times it is just the small details that were remembered differently, unless there was cover up involved. It is a well-known fact that eye witness testimony is unreliable at best.  Seems to me that unless a professional is recording the information, it is best to take personal accounts as just that, personal. Everyone sees everything differently because of our different backgrounds and experiences.
        I’m sure that there are people who would not see this discrepancy in Crockett’s death as a big deal, I however, found it very important since this is part of my personal history. I’m quite happy with myself that I left the workshop without saying anything. Obviously that person had their own opinions, it is sad that some would take what they said at face value. I can only hope that if it happens again, whoever hears such stuff will do what I did and check it out before they draw their own conclusions.
      History is a fascinating subject, but is it is also a tricky one. There are many sides to every situation and the history recorded is going to be biased to the side the recorder is on.  So be very careful what you believe.  If you chose to believe that Davy Crockett was not a hero that is your choice. I will continue to keep and all those that died in the battle of Alamo in hero status. That being said, I will leave you with Davy Crockett’s most famous quote.  “You can all go to hell, I’m going to Texas.”  


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  2. Hi Kandy, this is Ben Su's husband. I am a History buff and I specialize in Military and American History and I certainly understand your frustration. Right now there is a movement from some Pro-Latino Groups that seek to rewrite the History of Texas and the American South-west. I have seen several articles that portray the Defenders of the Alamo as you described. Cowards and thieves one and all if these people are to be believed. While we will never know about what really transpired within the walls of the Alamo after the Battle we do know about the Character of the men involved. Bowie, Crockett and Travis were anything but cowards. These men knew when they were surrounded that there was little hope of living through this ordeal and they were resolved to give Sam Houston the time that he needed to whip some sort of Army into shape. They stayed and fought knowing that their deaths were certain. In fact, they bought 13 days for Texas. Now if we really want to discuss Cowardly acts then one only needs to look at Santa Anna. When his Army was routed by Sam Houston and his rag-tag Army, he donned a private's uniform in the hope that he might escape capture. It didn't work. So rest assured that facts are on your side. These other individuals who seek to rewrite our History have a political agenda. I hope that his helps put your mind at ease.

  3. Hi Kandy, this is Su's husband Ben. I am Su's go to guy whenever she needs an historical reference for her research. I am an expert on American Military History and I certainly understand your frustration. I come across people who seek to rewrite history on occasion too. Right now there are some Latino political groups who are trying to rewrite the History of Texas and the American SouthWest. While we will never know for sure about the final events of the Battle of the Alamo we do know that Bowie, Crockett and Travis were men of character. These men and the 180 souls that were with them knew the risks involved in defending a dilapidated Adobe Church from 7,000 Mexican troops. They bought 13 precious days for Sam Houston so that he could whip his men into something resembling an Army. The Defenders of the Alamo knew that they were going to die and the casualties suffered by the Mexican Army attest to their resolve to die well. If we want to discuss cowards one only need look at Santa Anna. When his army was defeated by Sam Houston, the brave General put on a private's uniform in order to avoid capture and possibly death. It didn't work. You can be proud knowing that the Defenders of the Alamo were brave men and deserve the respect of free men everywhere. The speaker you heard has a political agenda and he should be challenged at every opportunity. By the way, I have been trying to get Su to move to Texas but she won't go. Can you help?

    1. Hello Ben, I really enjoyed your comment, I am originally from Mexico and I won't even begin to tell you how it was taught there! Imagine as a child the confusion from Mexican history books at school and Daniel Boone on TV? Loved your data thanks for dropping by. I hope you get your wife to move!

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