Monday, March 2. 2015 | Comments (0)
Intelligent observers may have noticed that we are now one day off, as 1836 was a leap year. So, while in 2015 we're celebrating Texas Independence Day, in 1836 that won't happen until tomorrow.
Sunday, March 1. 2015 | Comments (0)
There were three groups of rebels in Texas, and all were represented at the Alamo. Mexican citizens were fighting against Santa Anna's tyranny, and to restore Tejas's status as a semi-independent territory of Mexico under the abolished constitution of 1824. This group also counted some people who considered themselves "Tejanos" first, and Mexican second. Most Tejanos and self-proclaimed Texians were Mexican citizens in favor of complete independence from Mexico and the establishment of Texas as a separate country. There were also American citizens, most of which were recruited by Texians with the promise of land in return for military aid, who split between supporting U.S. statehood and an independent Texas. While a majority of long-time residents favored independence, Santa Anna's abandonment of the treaty he signed to end the Tejas Revolution pushed Tejanos and Texians to embrace U.S. statehood.
Saturday, February 28. 2015 | Comments (0)
Saturday, February 28. 2015 | Comments (0)
In preparation for understanding what happened to the reinforcements from Goliad, it is worth studying James Fannin. The official record of his attempt to relieve the Alamo is summarized thusly:
"The following day Colonel Fannin left Captain Westover's regulars and Captain Guerra's company in garrison at Goliad and sent word for Captain King's company on outpost duty to join Westover and Guerra at Goliad and dispatched Captain Chenoweth with all the mounted men to cover his crossing of the Cibolo. Fannin then departed with all his other forces of 350 men and marched along the San Antonio Road. He had advanced only about 200 yards when one of his wagons broke down, creating a delay. A few hundred yards further two more wagons broke down just as the approached the ford at the San Antonio River The river was swollen and his men had great difficulty getting their artillery across, leaving them exhausted. By early afternoon Fannin established a camp on the far side of the river and took stock of their situation. They had advanced only about a half of a mile. They still had all their equipment, but had to leave their ammunition on the opposite bank for fear of losing it in the swollen river. During the night his oxen strayed off and his men had to round them up the next morning which took all day to accomplish. Fannin had been on the march for two days and was still less than a mile from Goliad. He conducted a council of war and after learning that a shipment of his supplies had just landed at Matagorda Bay. He decided it was best to return to Goliad where he could secure his supplies and continue rebuilding his fortification at Presidio Bahia." --from MilitaryHistoryOnline.com
However, this record, and the entirety of Fannin's service, has been repeatedly called into question by accounts of his fecklessness and indecision as a commander, as well as his largely successful ascension through the ranks via brown-nosing.
from Texas State Historical Association: "In the months leading up to the Goliad Massacre, Fannin had shown defects as a commander. Accustomed to the discipline of a regular army, he adapted poorly to his situation as head of volunteers. He scorned the idea of electing officers and was disturbed by the lack of a clearly established hierarchy among his forces. His arrogance and ambition earned him the contempt of many of the men under his command. One private, J. G. Ferguson, wrote in a letter to his brother: "I am sorry to say that the majority of the soldiers don't like [Fannin]. For what cause I don't know whether it is because they think he has not the interest of the country at heart or that he wishes to become great without taking the proper steps to attain greatness." In his final weeks, Fannin wrote repeatedly asking to be relieved of his command..."
Friday, February 27. 2015 | Comments (0)
The reason the Alamo siege didn't last longer, or wasn't over immediately, can be exemplified by this day's activities. In his haste to reach Bexar, Santa Anna had rushed his infantry ahead of his supply chain and artillery. By the fifth day of the siege, the Mexican Army was out of food and had to ransack Bexar. The supplies thus gained only lasted a short time, after which Santa Anna sent men to acquire food from nearby ranches and farms. Santa Anna also sent a letter requesting more men, and by some accounts, assuming that the artillery attached to the units requested would be sent along as well. The recipient of the request; however, fearing Santa Anna's reprisals, complied with the exact letter of the request and sent only men, no heavy artillery. The walls of the Alamo mission were mostly decrepit and failing, barely able to withstand the light artillery that Santa Anna had already. Heavy artillery would have reduced the fort to rubble and likely saved the lives of hundreds of men.
Meanwhile, the Alamo defenders were making mistakes of their own. They largely wasted ammunition by keeping Mexican work crews under ineffective fire and attempted to dig a trench between the cattle pen parapet and the wall. This ultimately failed, both weakening the wall in places and removing the walkway between t he parapet and wall.
Thursday, February 26. 2015 | Comments (0)
Thursday, February 26. 2015 | Comments (0)
Most people I know take the oft-repeated stories of Santa Anna "arranging hasty marriages" in order to have sex without "damaging" his reputation as an exaggeration for effect of common infidelity or even a fabrication meant to demean the man's reputation further in the eyes of Americans. However, there are multiple accounts of Santa Anna engaging in this practice, as well as the fact that he preferred young teens to "be his bride". Upon his death, he acknowledged several of his illegitimate children through his will, and several others have been identified since. Although he has been looked at recently as a "hero" for fighting the Catholic church's power (when he wasn't allying with it) and for instituting a ban on slavery when he abolished the constitution of 1824; he was thoroughly a monster professionally and personally.
Tuesday, February 24. 2015 | Comments (0)
Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World
Fellow citizens & compatriots
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.
William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.
Monday, February 23. 2015 | Comments (0)
Friday, February 20. 2015 | Comments (0)
UPDATE: I'm going to put this here so that someone experiencing the same problem will maybe find the solution. Classic, Vanilla World of Warcraft does support widescreen resolutions, if your monitor supports it. However, a lot of people have the problem of WoW not even making the widescreen resolutions available, and changing the config.wtf file doesn't help. One notable sign for many is if the refresh rate box is empty. Solutions: 1) If you're playing on a laptop or a computer that has an "on-board" or "built-in" video graphics card *that you are NOT using*, then your secondary or add-on card is considered by windows to be a secondary monitor, and classic WoW will not read that connection properly. You need to figure out how to disable your built-in card; this is usually done through device manager. 2) If you have two monitors connected to your video card, playing on whichever monitor is designated as the second monitor will produce the same results. The monitor you use must be designated the primary or first monitor. 3) If you have TWO or MORE video cards in a Crossfire or SLI configuration, or you have multiple monitors on multiple cards, then classic WoW will ONLY read the primary card/first card properly. LATER versions of WoW do not have this problem.
I have been preoccupied, ever since I started playing World of Warcraft, with finding some way to play through the game's entire storyline. Of course, as I was told repeatedly, and as I ultimately proved conclusively to myself: it is an impossible achievement. World of Warcraft, in it's original state, no longer exists; and hasn't for a number of years. I linked a Joystiq story several months ago that touched on this issue, but the issue, briefly, is this: In the beginning, you played World of Warcraft through 60 character levels and resolved one of a handful of plots. The single big story, although it was easy to miss, was stopping the resurrection of an old god. Of course, you would only know the ends to any of the stories if you played dungeon or raid content. A couple of years later, the Burning Crusade expansion added ten more character levels, and all of the action occurred in a new area. Wrath of the Lich King did the same. THEN, however, came the Cataclysm. Cataclysm rebuilt the entire world, including redoing all almost all 1 - 60 quests. They were updated to reflect current events, which meant that the 1 - 60 "area" of Azeroth took place AFTER the Cataclysm. Cataclysm high-level content became available at something like level 78. It may have been restricted to level 80's at the time; I don't know (yet). Now, if you can do math, you might notice there's a "gap". The Cataclysm storyline runs from character creation to level 60, then skips to level 80. In between, you went, literally, back in time to the Burning Crusade, and then on to Wrath. If you were a new player, as I was...this was very, very confusing. The expansions that followed Cataclysm didn't do as much damage to the storyline, but they did add some eccentricities; you'll find references to Mists of Panderia and Warlords of Draenor early in the game, despite neither having their precipitating events occurring yet.
In addition to the story problems, there are also the long-lived complaints about how hard the game was in "vanilla" WoW, or how Cataclysm changed everything. In the interest of trying to verify the history of WoW myself, I recently signed up for a private, "vanilla" WoW server. The one I'm on runs a version of World of Warcraft that existed just prior to the release of the first expansion, Burning Crusade. Once I'm done with that, there are servers available to run Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King versions of WoW. Now, I can see for myself how the story originated and existed prior to the Cataclysm rewrite. Although I still won't be able to finish any storylines; I think solo raids weren't possible until Cataclysm. I'll try, though.
I have one character at level 13 in the starting area, and a couple of things really jump out. One; the playing experience is almost EXACTLY like I remember from when I first started in Cataclysm. The leveling curve is the same; how long it takes to down a mob is the same, the talents are the same...the bottom line is that playing original WoW is almost exactly like playing during Cataclysm was. The BIG change in gameplay actually occurred with Mists of Panderia; that's when talents and specializations were streamlined and you could start feeling like a Big Damn Hero from the very beginning. Two, Cataclysm WAS World of Warcraft 2. For being the same world, the maps are so different it's insane. Tirisfal Glades is MASSIVE compared to the Cataclysm version. The graphics system is almost completely different. The difference between WoW Cataclysm and "vanilla" WoW is generational. And Mists of Panderia is where Blizzard finally started upping the pixel counts and probably doubled or tripled the number of vertices being drawn.
One other thing I've learned is that I don't like leveling a character in pre-MoP fashion. It's a chore. And I'm using advanced leveling. Of course, that's not much of a solution; WoW is so gear-based that without appropriate level gear my level-ups are almost meaningless. Also, I need to go ahead and get the Burning Crusade and Wrath servers going; if neither of those expansions changed the original storyline, then I can just level that way. Probably have at least a bit more fun.
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