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Author & our host, Richard Curilla.

Yes, I have a Kentucky Long Rifle in hand.  The flintlock muskets were manufactured in Pennsylvania, but were called Kentucky Rifles because they were the weapon of choice of the Kentucky Volunteers who fired them with amazing accuracy for their time.


We will not mention the coonskin cap on my head, although it was quite comfortable on my balding head during the cool, breezy March day.


In early 1836, the only way into the Alamo compound was through the south gate.  Missing, outside the gate, is a dirt breastwork with 2 cannons as the first line of defense, designed to slow cavalry and infantry.


The south picket wall and Alamo Church as it may have looked in early 1836.  John Wayne went to a lot of effort and expense to insure the visual authenticity of the set for the 1960 movie The Alamo which he starred and directed.  Note the rubble in the foreground.  This is where an adobe building containing the cookhouse would have been, but was left out due to camera shooting angles.


This is a view to the north from the gate.  The 188 Alamo Defenders had a lot of area to cover.  This movie set is about 25% smaller than the actual Alamo, making the defense even more daunting.


Looking Northwest.  This is where Colonel Travis and Colonel Bowie had their headquarters.  Most of the garrison officers would have been housed in this area.  Bowie was suffering from a disease "of a peculiar nature".  When his illness was diagnosed as contagious, he was reputed to have been moved to an isolation room next to the south gate.


Mr. Curilla is standing on the southwest corner of the Alamo compound where the largest cannon, an 18 pounder, would have been positioned.  The wall is low because the cannon had to fire over it.  It provided poor protection for the defenders who had to stand to muzzle load their muskets.  Many of the firing positions were like this.

The Alamo compound was not designed as a fortress, but as a church.  The compound provided a light defensive position against raiding Indians and bandits.


Part of the disrepair in the west wall which has fallen down on the right.  Note the wooden scaffolding on the left.  This is one of the 'better' musket firing positions as it provided chest high protection.


Clean water was a problem during the defense of the Alamo.  The reputed position of the primary well is in the courtyard outside the barracks was running dry (within 20 feet of the latrines and animal corrals).  This is one of 3 reputed positions where a second well was being dug during the siege.  The Convent (also known as the long barrack) begins in the background, with the hospital on the second floor.  The Alamo Church is on the right.  Note the low rubble wall in the background.  In 1836, this wall would have been built almost as high as the second floor windows. It would extend and attach to the kitchen with an open walkway on the left.  These details were left out of the movie set due to camera shooting angles.