The McArdle Notebooks > Dawn at the Alamo

Dawn at the Alamo

Reuben M. Potter to McArdle, September 10, 1875

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Handbook of Texas article on Reuben M. Potter

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Potter to McArdle, September 1875

Brooklyn N.Y. 282 Franklin Ave. Sept 10th 1875.


H.A. McArdle Esq Independence, Texas

My Dear Sir:

I received a few days ago yr letter of the 26th of August and the

Galveston News of the 22nd, for both of which please accept my thanks.

The paragraph in the aforesaid newspaper, which introduces the Hymn

of the Alamo, is so brief & vague and of tone which implied so little pretention

of exactness, that I think its historical errors hardly demand a formal

contradiction, especially as they are free from the worst extravagance

of popular legend. It does not exaggerate but rather underrates the number

of the enemy, it does not pile them up in fabulous heaps of slaughter, assuming per-

haps that the hymn had done that sufficiently. Its greatest blunder perhaps

is that of awarding, as it apparently does, the brightest course of martyrdom and

heroism to the only six men who skulked while the rest died fighting.

What the writer says about me is correct, except that he puts me into the Pay De-

partment instead of the qutr master's and makes my residence in Galveston longer

than it was, as I lived there steadily but eight or nine months.

I sent on the letter to Judge Duval at Austin for the Historical So-

ciety of Texas, a revision and enlargement of the tract entitled "the fall of the

Alamo," which I published in 1860. Should the Society some day choose to

publish it, it will be the best corrective I can offer for the current popular illusions

touching the event it relates to. My letter to you of the 13th of August 1874 would

not do this so fully, and would exhibit some of my crude ideas on the artist's han-

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Reuben M. Potter to McArdle, September 10, 1875, The McArdle Notebooks, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: May 4, 2016