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kets, and thrusting at them with lance and bayonet, while the Americans, after firing their long rifles, clubbed them, and fought desperately, one against many; and they also used their bowie-knives and revolvers with deadly effect. The fight reeled to and fro between the shattered walls, each American the center of a group of foes; but, for all their strength and their wild fighting courage, the defenders were too few, and the struggle could have but one end. One by one the tall riflemen succumbed, after repeated thrusts with bayonet and lance, until but three or four were left. Colonel Travis, the commander, was among them; and so was Bowie, who was sick and weak from a wasting disease, but who rallied all his strength to die fighting, and who, in the final struggle, slew several Mexicans with his revolver, and with his big knife, of the kind to which he had given his name. Then these fell too, and the last man stood at bay. It was old Davy Crockett. Wounded in a dozen places, he faced his foes with his back to the wall, ringed around by the bodies of the men he had slain. So desperate was the fight he waged, that the Mexicans who thronged round about him were beaten back for the moment, and no one dared to run in upon him. Accordingly, while the lancers held him where he was, for, weakened by wounds and loss of blood, he could not break through them, the musketeers loaded their carbines and shot him down. Santa Anna declined to give him mercy. Some say that when Crockett fell from his wounds, he was taken alive, and was then shot by Santa Anna's order; but his fate cannot be told with certainty, for not a single American was left alive. At any rate, after Crockett fell the fight was over. Every
one of the hardy men who had held the Alamo lay still in death. Yet they died well avenged, for four times their number fell at their hands in the battle.
Santa Anna had but a short while in which to exult over his bloody and hard-won victory. Already a rider from the rolling Texas plains, going north through the Indian Territory, had told Houston that the Texans were up and were striving for their liberty. At once in Houston's mind there kindled a longing to return to the men of his race at the time of their need. Mounting his horse, he rode south by night and day, and was hailed by the Texans as a heaven-sent leader. He took command of their forces, eleven hundred stark riflemen, and at the battle of San Jacinto, he and his men charged the Mexican hosts with the cry of “Remember the Alamo.” Almost immediately, the Mexicans were overthrown with terrible slaughter; Santa Anna himself was captured, and the freedom of Texas was won at a blow. ,
V. THE DEATH OF STONEWALL JACKSON 1
It is often said that the Civil War was in one sense a repetition of the old struggle between the Puritan and the Cavalier; but Puritan and Cavalier types were common to the two armies. In dash and light-hearted daring, Custer and Kearny stood as conspicuous as Stuart and Morgan; and, on the other hand, no Northern general approached the Roundhead type — the type of the stern, religious warriors who fought under Cromwell — so closely as Stonewall Jackson. He was a man of intense religious conviction, who carried into every thought and deed of his daily life the precepts of the faith he cherished. He was a tender and loving husband and father, kind-hearted and gentle to all with whom he was brought in contact, yet in the times that tried men's souls, he proved not only a commander of genius, but a fighter of iron will and temper, who joyed in the battle, and always showed at his best when the danger was greatest. The vein of fanaticism that ran through his character helped to render him a terrible opponent. He knew no such word as falter, and when he had once put his hand to a piece of work, he did it thoroughly and with all his heart. It was quite in keeping with his character that this gentle, high-minded, and religious man should, early in the contest, have proposed to hoist the black flag, neither take nor give quarter, and make the war one of extermination. No such policy was practical in
1 From Hero Tales from American History. Copyright, 1895. The Century Company, publishers.
the nineteenth century and in the American Republic; but it would have seemed quite natural and proper to Jackson's ancestors, the grim Scotch-Irish, who defended Londonderry against the forces of the Stuart king, or to their forefathers, the Covenanters of Scotland, and the Puritans who in England rejoiced at the beheading of King Charles I. In the first battle in which Jackson took part, the confused struggle' at Bull Run, he gained his name of Stonewall from the firmness with which he kept his men to their work and repulsed the attack of the Union troops. From that time until his death, less than two years afterward, his career was one of brilliant and almost uninterrupted success; whether serving with an independent command in the Valley, or acting under Lee as his right arm in the pitched battles with McClellan, Pope, and Burnside. Few generals as great as Lee have ever had as great a lieutenant as Jackson. He was a master of strategy and tactics, fearless of responsibility, able to instill into his men his own intense ardor in battle, and so quick in his movements, so ready to march as well as fight, that his troops were known to the rest of the army as the "foot cavalry."
In the spring of 1863 Hooker had command of the Army of the Potomac. Like McClellan, he was able to perfect the discipline of his forces and to organize them, and as a division commander he was better than McClellan, but he failed even more signally when given a great independent command. He had under him 120,000 men when, toward the end of April, he prepared to attack Lee's army, which was but half as strong.
The Union army lay opposite Fredericksburg, looking at the fortified heights where they had received so bloody a repulse at the beginning of the winter. Hooker decided to distract the attention of the Confederates by letting a small portion of his force, under General Sedgwick, attack Fredericksburg, while he himself took the bulk of the army across the river to the right hand so as to crush Lee by an assault on his flank. All went well at the beginning, and on the first of May Hooker found himself at Chancellorsville, face to face with the bulk of Lee's forces; and Sedgwick, crossing the river and charging with the utmost determination, had driven out of Fredericksburg the Confederate division of Early; but when Hooker found himself in front of Lee he hesitated, faltered instead of pushing on, and allowed the consummate general to whom he was opposed to take the initiative.
Lee fully realized his danger, and saw that his only chance was, first to beat back Hooker, and then to turn and overwhelm Sedgwick, who was in his rear. He consulted with Jackson, and Jackson begged to be allowed to make one of his favorite flank attacks upon the Union army; attacks which could have been successfully delivered only by a skilled and resolute general, and by troops equally able to march and to fight. Lee consented, and Jackson at once made off. The country was thickly covered with a forest of rather small growth, for it was a wild region, in which there was still plenty of game. Shielded by the forest, Jackson marched his gray columns rapidly to the left along the narrow country roads until he was square on the flank of the Union right wing, which was held by the Eleventh Corps, under Howard. The Union scouts got track of the movement and reported it at headquarters, but the Union generals