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Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History

Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History

by Brian Kilmeade


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The New York Times bestseller now in paperback with a new epilogue.

In March 1836, the Mexican army led by General Santa Anna massacred more than two hundred Texians who had been trapped in the Alamo. After thirteen days of fighting, American legends Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett died there, along with other Americans who had moved to Texas looking for a fresh start. It was a crushing blow to Texas’s fight for freedom.
But the story doesn’t end there. The defeat galvanized the Texian settlers, and under General Sam Houston’s leadership they rallied. Six weeks after the Alamo, Houston and his band of settlers defeated Santa Anna’s army in a shocking victory, winning the independence for which so many had died.
Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers recaptures this pivotal war that changed America forever, and sheds light on the tightrope all war heroes walk between courage and calculation. Thanks to Kilmeade’s storytelling, a new generation of readers will remember the Alamo—and recognize the lesser known heroes who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525540540
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 48,132
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Brian Kilmeade is the coauthor of George Washington's Secret Six, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, and Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans, all New York Times bestsellers. Kilmeade cohosts Fox News Channel's morning show "Fox & Friends" and hosts the daily national radio show The Brian Kilmeade Show. He lives on Long Island. This is his sixth book.

Read an Excerpt

The Lessons of Battle
“Experience is the teacher of all things.” —Julius Caesar
No small target at six-foot-two, young Sam Houston wasn’t thinking about getting hit. He was thinking about getting even. Running through a hail of musket balls, spears, and ar­rows, he and his fellow soldiers sprinted toward an eight-foot-tall bar­ricade. Behind it was an army of Red Stick Creek American Indians who had massacred three hundred men, women, and children at a Missis­sippi Territory stockade town called Fort Mims seven months earlier. For months Houston and his fellow soldiers serving under General An­drew Jackson had been attempting to retaliate, only to have the Red Sticks escape them time and time again. But now Jackson and his men had discovered their main camp, here at Horseshoe Bend, and they were not leaving without revenge.
The first man over the barricade took a bullet to the skull and fell back lifeless. Just behind him, Sam Houston never wavered.
On enlisting a year earlier as a private, Houston had immediately attracted notice. Tall and strong, his eyes a piercing blue, he looked every inch a leader. Promoted to drill sergeant, Houston’s deep voice rang with authority; in a matter of months, he was promoted twice more. His superiors saw him as “soldierly [and] ready to do, or to suffer, whatever the obligation of . . . military duty imposed.” Now that reso­lution would be tested.
As the second man to top the wall, Houston did not hesitate. Wav­ing his sword, he called for his men to follow. He immediately drew enemy fire, and he leapt to the ground inside the Red Stick fort, an arrow plunged deep into his upper thigh.
Houston refused to be turned aside. Despite the pain, he remained standing, fighting on with the shaft of the arrow protruding from his leg. His platoon, joined by reinforcements, soon drove the Red Sticks back. Only then did Houston look to his wound.
At Sam Houston’s order, another lieutenant tried—but failed—to pull the arrow from his thigh. At Houston’s insistence, the officer yanked a second time, but still the arrow refused to budge. Houston, sword in hand, demanded a third attempt, saying, “Try again and, if you fail this time, I will smite you to the earth.” This time the barbed arrowhead tore free, releasing a gush of blood and opening a deep gash.
Most men would have been done for the day and, after a surgeon field dressed his gaping wound, Houston rested. When General Jack­son came to check the wounded, he recognized the young man who had helped lead the charge and honored him for his bravery—but he also ordered Houston out of the fight. Houston objected, but Jackson was firm.
Houston admired Jackson as the sort of father he’d always wanted, but he wasn’t about to be kept out of the battle by anyone or anything. A short time later, when Jackson called for volunteers to storm a last Red Stick stronghold built into a ravine, Houston got to his feet and grabbed a musket. Limping and bloodied, he charged. When he stopped to level his gun, musket balls smashed into his right shoulder and upper arm, and his shattered limb fell to his side. Houston barely managed to make his way out of the range of fire before collapsing to the earth.
In the hours that followed, the Red Sticks were finally routed; hun­dreds of fighters lay dead. Fort Mims had been avenged, and the British deprived of a key ally in their attempt to destroy the young United States.
But Houston had paid a high price for his part in this victory, and he was about to learn that perhaps his drive to be in the action at any cost was not the best way to serve his country.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Lessons of Battle 1

Chapter 1 General Jackson's Protégé 5

Chapter 2 Gone to Texas 18

Chapter 3 "Come and Take It" 26

Chapter 4 Concepcion 46

Chapter 5 A Slow Siege at the Alamo 63

Chapter 6 The Defenders 86

Chapter 7 Twelve Days of Uncertainty 104

Chapter 8 The Massacre 123

Chapter 9 Bring Out the Dead 134

Chapter 10 Houston Hears the News 140

Chapter 11 Fort Defiance 145

Chapter 12 The Texian Exodus 160

Chapter 13 An Army Assembles 167

Chapter 14 The Battle at San Jacinto 185

Chapter 15 "Remember the Alamo!" 200

Chapter 16 Old San Jacinto 211

Chapter 17 President Sam Houston 216

Epilogue: The Founding and the Founders of Texas 224

Afterword: Old Sam and Honest Abe 233

Acknowledgments 240

For Further Reading 242

Notes 252

Image Credits 268

Index 269

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