Weapons used at the Alamo

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:14 am

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Image
Do you think they could post a photo of their rifle in the same position as in this image above? I need to draw the bottom of the barrel but can't make out the detail. The rifle in the photo above looks like it has (3) three barrels. I'm not sure I'm seeing this correctly, and I don't know what those are. Any (close up) shots of the long barrel would also be very useful for my artwork. Thank you very much !!!

My next question: Do you think that "James Bowie" used a knife like the one that was posted in this thread? I kind of like the Bowie knife in the 2004 movie, with the "S" shaped guard and a more fancy looking handle. But I understand that's just Hollywood's image. Do you think his knife was probably very plain looking, like the one posted by Cole_blooded?
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:03 pm

Mark, the rifle in the hands of Billy bob shows the barrel, the stock and the ramrod viewed from the right side. There's only one barrel. The knife in the 2004 movie is a replica of the famous Musso Bowie knife owned by Joe Musso. It isn't just a hollywood version but is an actual fighting knife from that era. It's purpose was entirely as a tool to use against men in a fight. complete with the softer brass backing to the blade to catch the edge of the opponents knife so that it wouldn't slip down the blade and cut off the thumb of the man holding it. In combative knife fighting,this knife was designed to be held with the main cutting edge up to allow the use of the brass backing to parry the blows of the other man. The short, upper top edge of the blade was also sharp and was meant to cut at the opponents hand, while looking for an opportunity to thrust the blade into the opponents body, then with feet braced, ripping up and out with the main edge and disembowelling the man. The other knife was meant to be used as a multiple tool for every day use as well as for a possible weapon if need be and a sheath was made for it to be carried at the ready. Oh, yea, the bottom of the rifle held by Mr. Thorton will look just like the right side of the rifle in the close up picture above. ;)
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:17 pm

Thanks for that info, Fred. Lets make sure I have this right. The wood stock is on the bottom middle, and goes all the way up until it meets a gold colored tip? Then the barrel is the gray area to the left? Then the ramrod is to the right? Wow, don't I look stupid....Don't answer that. :roll:
Last edited by mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby NefariousNed on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:19 pm

Thanks for the description, Fred. Below are the Bart Moore Bowie knife, a blade that the Moore family says was given to an ancestor of theirs by an ex-Mexican soldier and the IRON MISTRESS film knife, designed for the film of the same name and used in THE LAST COMMAND, THE ADVENTURES OF JIM BOWIE TV series and THE ALAMO (1960). The Musso Bowie, shown at the bottom of the photo, has been scientifically dated back to the year 1830.

Image

Joseph Musso talks about Bowie Knives seen in THE ALAMO (2004) From thealamofiolm site, October 28, 2004

MESSAGE FROM JOE MUSSO:

As you know, I was contacted several times from the Alamo 2004 film company
regarding bowie knives and the Mexican Army, first by Thel Reed when Ron Howard
was helming it and then by Don Miloyevich when John Lee Hancock took over.
Don eventually commissioned Tony Swatton of the Sword and Stone in Burbank CA
to make Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett's knife used in the film based on knives
in my collection. Bowie's knife as used by Jason Patric was based on the
original brass-backed knife, termed the Musso Bowie by others. The Crockett knife
that Billy Bob Thorton used was based on two other originals in my collection
The blade is from one previously owned by the American officer, Elisha Kent
Kane, and was made by the Philadelphia cutler, Henry Schively, who also made a
knife that Jim Bowie's brother, Rezin, presented to Jesse Perkins in 1831.
Kane's knife is in the same blade shape as Rezin's, except that it's 12" long,
compared to Rezin's 10 1/4" long blade. During the Mexican War, Kane captured
and later befriended the Mexican General Antonio Gaona, whose 1st Infantry
brigade and de La Pena stormed the north wall at the Alamo. Kane later went on
two arctic expeditions in search of the British explorer, Sir John Franklin,
and had the handle replaced with a reindeer antler found at the gravesite of
Frankilin's crew. He then presented it to the first president of the American
Geographic Society, Henry Grinnell, for financing the Expeditions. Since we
know that Crockett received a knife from the Whig Party in Philadelphia in 1834,
it's quite logical that this knife was made by the Phiadelphia cutler
Schively. Rather than go with a handle like Schively made for Rezin, however, John
Lee preferred to match the half-horse, half-alligator handle on another knife
from my collection that was also on display at the Texas State History Museum
Crockett Exhibition in Austin. Even though this handle design was not
incorporated on the bowie knife until 9 years after the Alamo fell, John Lee
obviously felt that it befitted Crockett's brag that he was "half-horse,
half-alligator and a little touched with snapping turtle."

Tony Swatton, also made versions of the Musso Bowie, which has a 13 3/4" long
blade, for the now defunct Texas Adventure Theater. His website is
http://www.swordandstone.com/knifes/alamobowie.html
Other custom knifemakers who specialize
in exact replicas include Joseph Kesslar in Almo, Ky, phone: 270-753-7919, and
Gil Hibben in La Grange, KY, phone: 502-222-1397. This style is also offered
in slightly smaller and cheaper versions by Atlanta Cutlery of Conyers, GA,
phone; 800-883-0300, as "Primitive Bowie" with a 13" long blade for $89.95 and
Dixie Gun Works of Union City, TN, phone: 800-238-6785, as "Alamo Bowie" with a
12 1/2" long blade for 99.95.

Since you can't copyright historic designs, anyone can make up versions of
these historic knives without anyone's permission. Hence, contrary to the
belief of some, I get absolutely no royalties from any of these makers or firms.
So those interested, can choose what they like depending on their interest for
accuracy and finances.

On a sad note, Fred Landesman, whose book, "John Wayne Filmography," just
came out and helped me on The Alamo Journal-Waynamo boxoffice article, died
suddenly on October 22 of a sudden heart attack. He was 54.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby NefariousNed on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:28 pm

Image
Here is Joseph Musso, serving up some snacks with his big 'Cheese Cutter'.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:52 pm

I'm sorry in advance for being so uneducated about this subject, but does anyone have an opinion as to what happened to Bowie's original knife? Or is it the "Cheese Cutter"?
Last edited by mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Seguin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:59 pm

I think the Musso Bowie is the best looking Bowie knife ever, and it´s from the 1830s. That´s the one I would choose if I ever made a drawing or a painting where a Bowie knife should be part of the art...
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:17 pm

mark33 wrote:I'm sorry in advance for being so uneducated about this subject, but does anyone have an opinion as to what happened to Bowie's original knife?

A Mexican got it, that's for sure! Many think that the knife Joe Musso obtained (The Musso Bowie)is the original knife Jim Bowie used while at the Alamo. Spirited away by a Mexican after the fight, and ended up somewhere in the Southwest over a century later. Everything that was taken away by the Mexican soldiers and civilians after the fall of the Alamo went somewhere. It's recorded that the rifles and pistols of the rebels (Alamo defenders) were ordered to be given to the troops. These were probably actually auctioned off for the most part with the other items to those who had the money to buy them. Maybe some were hidden away in wagons or such before the auction. Everything that the defenders had, including their clothing was taken away by someone.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:23 pm

mark33 wrote:Thanks for that info, Fred. Lets make sure I have this right. The wood stock is on the bottom middle, and goes all the way up until it meets a gold colored tip? Then the barrel is the gray area to the left? Then the ramrod is to the right? Wow, don't I look stupid....Don't answer that. :roll:

No you certainly do NOT look stupid. We're all here to learn and share. Nobody here is an expert at everything. Hey, ya know what an Expert is? An ex is a has been and a Spert is a drip under pressure! :lol:
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mrbassbone on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:37 pm

mark33 wrote:I'm sorry in advance for being so uneducated about this subject, but does anyone have an opinion as to what happened to Bowie's original knife? Or is it the "Cheese Cutter"?


Something like this perhaps?
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"Tenacity, Dick! Stay with the B*****DS until they are on the bottom!"

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:47 pm

Fred wrote: Hey, ya know what an Expert is? An ex is a has been and a Spert is a drip under pressure! :lol:


That's funny. :lol:

I kind of feel like a little kid learning about history in school all over again. Thanks for putting up with me and teaching me stuff that I did not know. I think it will help me to become a better Alamo artist in the future. Thanks to everyone here.

Yeah, the image above says it all. I understand now.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Davy on Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:09 pm

Heres an interesting article about the Crockett rifles .. old and new! :shock:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... _110470560

Image

Heres a picture of the muzzle of a black powder arm! :D


Image

The Musso Bowie and the Iron mistress from the Alan Ladd film of the same name from when I visited Joe last year at this time!


Image

Picture of the authentic rifle that Fess Parker used in the Davy Crockett series & film! Courtesy of Joe Musso again! :mrgreen:

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Seguin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:44 pm

Davy, why don´t you make a thread with all those great pics of Bowie knives you have? - Inc. the Musso´s collection of course..
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:51 pm

Those are some great photos. Lots of cool stuff in that house to look at.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Seguin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:10 pm

Thanks for the link to the Crockett rifle article, Davy! It´s a very detailed and long article. Great stuff...
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Davy on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:24 pm

mark33 wrote:Those are some great photos. Lots of cool stuff in that house to look at.


You have no idea Mark ... Joe is a great guy and very generous with showing his collection!


Image

Here is Joe with one of Wayne's original lever guns which he used in Stagecoach! :shock:

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:25 pm

Hey, ya know what an Expert is? An ex is a has been and a Spert is a drip under pressure! :lol:

Why Fred your a comodian :o, er i mean a comedian! :mrgreen:

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:42 pm

Tell me, how did Joe get all that stuff? Is he in the movie business or something?
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby NefariousNed on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:15 pm

mark33 wrote:Tell me, how did Joe get all that stuff? Is he in the movie business or something?



LOOKY HERE: http://es.geocities.com/chominart/Musso.html

AND HERE: www.imdb.com/name/nm0615895
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby mark33 on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:37 pm

Nefarious wrote:
mark33 wrote:Tell me, how did Joe get all that stuff? Is he in the movie business or something?



LOOKY HERE: http://es.geocities.com/chominart/Musso.html

AND HERE: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615895


WOW !!! That is totally amazing !!! I saw a lot of those movies back when they first came out. Wow, is all I can say. Man, I'm learning a lot in one day. That's really cool.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Seguin on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:51 pm

It says at the IMDB that the Huberman documentary is from 1992, and that the laser disc version is 68 min. long and the DVD version 42 min. long. I found that out by following your Musso link, Nef, because Musso had something to do with the documentary. Maybe he was in it? I don´t remember...

So Musso is a colonel! - Colonel Musso, it has a nice ring to it. :)
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Reb_Al on Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:00 pm

Nefarious wrote:
mark33 wrote:Tell me, how did Joe get all that stuff? Is he in the movie business or something?



LOOKY HERE: http://es.geocities.com/chominart/Musso.html

AND HERE: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615895


A very splendid collection and also a very talented man must have been a pleasure meeting him and been able to hold some of those weapons.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:42 pm

You must've been like a kid in a candy store Davy!I haven't got anything like Wayne's rifle. I see he has an 1866 Winchester on the wall next to a fine looking 1873 Winchester rifle too. Also, that's a long wrist 45/70 1873 carbine leaning against the wall with an 1879 Buckhorn sight. I wonder what the background of those are? I'm jealous of you! :( However, I'm going outside soon with my gal to shoot the old Bexar rifle off so that she can see how a flintlock works. We're living in the country out in the middle of nowhere with the nearest house a mile off. Hope we don't scare the horses. Anyway, I promised John and Sue that I'd send them a rifle ball fired from the old rifle. I'll have to fire it through three plastic milk jugs full of water to retrieve the ball with no damage to it. Hope the rifle doesn't let go! :shock: I doubt it though. I've been shooting black powder since 1973 and I'm only going to use 40 grains of FFG........ Well, I used 50 grains and it shot GREAT! I hit a plastic Milk jug full of water at over 150 feet away. The ball entered the left edge 3/4" in (I was moving the muzzle around), but the plastic jug exploded and opened up from the emitted force of the 40 caliber ball. It would've inflicted a mortal wound on a Mexican soldado at long range. ;) It is a flat shooter and I believe the rifle's potential accuracy is far greater than I have the ability to bring out. I retrieved the rifle ball from the ground and am sending it to John & Sue as per their request. It has the impression of the rifling through the pillow ticking patch upon it identical to those that would've been fired from it on March 6th 1836 (Seven lands & Seven grooves). A neat little conversation piece indeed!
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 am

Cole_blooded wrote:Image
More images mid day Saturday and the letter!

Well where's the other pictures and the letter? ;)
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:59 pm

Translated letter from Fred!
...........................................................................................................................................................................................................
Dear Mr. Gaarde,

Thank you for your recent letter. Here is a little information that I was able to get for you concerning the old gun that Frank and Gail bought from our family many years ago.

The gun had been kept outside for many years and was, by the time Gail and Frank found it, just something to hold the door of the building open. My uncle and father remembered being told that the gun had been brought with the family when they came here in the late 1830's. The exact date is unknown to me, but I can certainly find out for you if you wish to have this information.

The ancestor of ours who owned the gun had obtained it during his time as a soldier in the army. The story of how the gun was found was handed down in our family as tradition and should be an accurate account of it's history. Our ancestor, who's name I do not currently have, was part of the military occupation of the town of Bexar when he obtained it. That is why we have allways called the rifle "The Bexar Rifle".

This ancestor had a rank that was beneath the rank of an officer, but higher than a common soldier. He was part of a group of soldiers who were tasked with attacking the side of the fort where the main gate was. This was of course a fort that was being occupied and defended at that time by a group of men who were opposed to the Mexican authority in that region.

During this fight, my ancestor was able to get over the wall at a place where two walls met at a corner. This location had a large cannon on top of it that was causing a great deal of destruction upon the soldiers who were attacking at that location. The fighting at this place was fierce and bloody.

Two of the defenders of that area retreated down into the fort. It is said that they fought like cornered wolves. Both of the men were wounded in many places. At this time, the Mexican soldiers were able to open the gate from inside the walls. Soldiers ran into the fort then at this location and the two men who were still fighting, were overcome and killed. It was said to have been a terrible and bloody fight that seemed to last for some time inside of the fort.

When it was all over, the Mexican soldiers were victorious. My ancestor went back to where the two men who had defended the area of the cannon had been fighting on the ground. They were both found together. The tallest of the two men had a gun that was still held in his hands. This is the gun that my ancestor picked up, not wanting anyone else to have it. He was allowed to take the gun with him after paying some money for it. It was a good gun that he had seen used effectively in the hands of the tallest man. This is why he wanted it.

The cuts on the barrel that you described were from a sword. Other items were taken by the soldiers and by my ancestor. Two of these are here still. There might be other items but I do not know of them. My family feels that it would be better if these items were kept with the gun because they were originaly from the tall man too.

The items are a small leather pouch within which was found a little peice of sewing. It belonged to the man and was from a little girl who loved him. Maybe it was from his daughter. Maybe the tears of the child whose father never returned will be quieted when the bag with it's sewing are once again united with the gun that belonged to the man.

We do not want any money for these items. They are yours to have and to keep with the gun if you would do so. Please tell me if you want these items and would be willing to keep them. The sewing is from a little girl named Rebecca. It is sad that she never again saw her father.

These events that happened so long ago are sad things to remember. Being in a business that involves good relations with our many buyers from the United States, I am a little concerned about any possible anger that these items and the gun might provoke from those in your country who still have deep feelings concerning this famous battle in history. These events happened over 170 years ago and they are regretable.

I'm telling you this so that you might understand our concerns about possibly losing any business over these issues from our United States customers. If you would, please try to avoid using our family name for awhile when speaking of the rifle and the other two items. My fear is that others would react to these events with negative emotions that would be bad for our business. My hope is that you will understand this.

Please tell Gail hello for us won't you? We would be happy to hear from her again and I will write to her soon to the address you gave me. Again please let me know if you are interested in having the leather bag and the sewing.

Thank you again, and we hope to do business with you if you are interested in our onyx products. They are very nice and I'm sure you will agree.

Thank you,

Alondra
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Seguin on Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:25 pm

That´s a very interesting letter! It seems like the Mexican Soldier was part of Morales Group that attacked the South wall.
Did you get the pouch with the sewing, Fred?
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Fred on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:15 pm

Sorry for not answering right away but I was out mending a corral for the horses. Yes it is a VERY interesting letter indeed! Yes I did receive the two items as well as one other that had been kept by Alondra's uncle. Her father, who is dead now, kept the buckskin pouch but his younger brother kept the item that was within the bag along with the bit of sewing. It's an old pipe made from one piece of wood. The stem was a small branch that grew out of the main sapling. It's quite old and the style is very early. There must have been a mouth piece that originally attached to the stem, but it is missing. Ted had the photo's of these things if anyone would like to see them. I offered to pay the woman a little for the items but aside from accepting some shipping money for the pipe, I paid nothing. The pipe was very dry and of a bleached brown color when it arrived, but I carefully washed it with furniture cleaner which had an acetone base and then wiped it clean and applied a little linseed oil to the wood. The pipe turned it's original dark color that is almost black. It has a metal insert that runs down 3/4 of the way down the bowl to protect the wood from excessive heat. It fits into the pouch perfectly. I've been offered a lot of money for these items from some people but have not taken anything for them. Having them to hold and study is just too incredible of an opportunity to just take for granted. It ain't about money it's about Texas history that I'm holding in my hands.

Oh, two weeks ago I put back on the rifle the original copper band that had been wrapped around the broken wrist. It looks quite nice and completes the restoration and cleaning. As I told ted, the rifle, when I first saw it in 1984 was rusty and the wood was dried and ashen gray in color.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:35 pm

Images part 2 courtesy of Fred!
Image
"Down stroke cut inflicted with powerful force"
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:39 pm

Image
"Second downstroke cut also inflicted with powerful force. The displaced metal on one side of these cuts was carefully peened
back into place long before I found out their historical segnificance. But, they are NOT welded closed and still show the angle of
each stroke."
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:40 pm

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:41 pm

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:43 pm

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:54 pm

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" Weaker back stroke cut "
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:59 pm

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:03 pm

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:06 pm

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" This cut is shallow and was apparantly inflicted with a weaker back stroke along with one other notch. Both radiating from a
position about a foot from the barrel."

Thanks Fred ;)

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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:07 pm

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" The riflles muzzel was apparantly thrust downward from a height as on a wall into the faces of someone who was lightly off to one
side and who was possibly on a ladder who had a sword that he used to strike at the rifle barrel.Two powerful cuts in a downstroke
and two less powerfull in back handed parrys."
Last edited by Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:09 pm

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" Bit of sewing that came with the pouch and was said my the Mexican family to have also come from the body of the dead man
with the rifle in his hands."
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Re: Weapons used at the Alamo

Postby Cole_blooded on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:18 pm

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" Buckskin pouch with stains (blood?) that were hidden when the pouch arived to me turned inside out.'
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