An Altar for Their Sons
The Alamo and the Texas Revolution in Contemporary Newspaper Accounts
6 x 9, 480 pp.
35 B&W pen and ink drawings; 13 color drawings; 8 B&W photographs
Pub Date: 11/08/2011
Price:        $79.95


Published by State House Press

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2011 winner of The Summerfield G. Roberts Award

An Altar for Their Sons

The Alamo and the Texas Revolution in Contemporary Newspaper Accounts

Gary S. Zaboly


 An Altar For Their Sons: The Alamo and the Texas Revolution in Contemporary Newspaper Accounts is a collection of rare documentary materials, the great majority of them not seen or referenced since their dates of original publication. 
     This book has been designed to serve several audiences, among them the scholar, serious student, casual buff, and general reader, all of whom will find much that is "new" here in terms of the history of the Alamo siege and battle, of the Texas Revolution in general, and of the lives of the people involved, not to mention the events that both preceded and followed that conflict. 
         Aside from the book's primary focus, the battle of the Alamo, this collection includes on-the-spot accounts of most of the other engagements, skirmishes and massacres, descriptions of the forts, towns, and geography, and information concerning the armies, weapons and clothing involved. There are also word sketches of the appearances of such important figures as David Crockett, James Bowie, and Santa Anna that have apparently eluded modern biographers. Included, too, are many anecdotes of their lives, both in and out of Texas, and descriptions of pieces of their personal property handed down in the postwar years. Newspaper accounts from later decades present interviews with survivors, or their obituaries, and descriptions of the Alamo itself as it evolved from a weed-choked ruin into an iconic shrine.
     The book contains several dozen original illustrations by the author, each one explained in-depth with a footnoted, essay-long "caption". There is also a newly created pictorial representation of the entire Alamo compound as it looked in February and March 1836, accompanied by a lengthy analysis of the fortifications based on a re-examination of the old evidence and a dissection of newly found information. 
   Included photographs of selected Alamo- and Texas Revolution-related relics from the extraordinary collection of singer Phil Collins.

GARY S. ZABOLY is a historical illustrator and writer. He is the author of A True Ranger; The American Colonial Ranger;  co-author and illustrator of The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers; illustration and written contributions to Blood of Noble Men; and is the author of numerous articles on various aspects of American military history.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Gary Zaboly has earned his reputation as one of the foremost graphic artists of Texas history. Now he’s turned author as well. His book will shed new light on how the Alamo looked in 1836, and his collection of newspaper articles from the period, not seen since their first publication, will entertain and enlighten. It will prove to be an important book shedding new light on the Alamo siege and its heroes." -Phil Collins


"If journalism is the 'first draft of history,' Gary S. Zaboly’s brilliant new book reminds us that the operative word is draft. Some of the articles he has uncovered are speculative and confusing. Yet many are the only documentary accounts we have for many important episodes in the Alamo story. They were the means through which most Americans first learned of the Alamo and Texas Revolution. Thus, An Altar for Their Sons: The Alamo and the Texas Revolution in Contemporary Newspaper Accounts fills a void in the literature."
Stephen L. Hardin, author of Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution and The Alamo 1836: Santa Anna's Texas Campaign

"Gary Zaboly's painstaking efforts to amass so many newspaper accounts about the Alamo is nothing short of breathtaking. Clearly a labor of love, An Altar for Their Sons is a great gift to anyone who remembers those fateful days that did so much to shape this nation." —Donald S. Frazier, editor of The U.S. and Mexico at War: Nineteenth Century Expansionism and Conflict and coauthor of Frontier Texas: History of a Borderland in 1880


"The book is a wonderful source of information for anyone interest in early Texas. This book is outstanding in writing and artist descriptions." -Jerry Turner, The Mexia News

"The story of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution is presented here in contemporary newspaper accounts, making this 480-page book an absolute jewel for the Texana buff's collection." - Marie Beth Jones, Brazos Living Book Beat, The Facts

"It's compelling stuff and...a worthy investment for a Texana library." - Donnis Baggett, Waco Tribune-Herald

"This luxurious book is a collector's item for anyone steeped in the military history of Texas, particularly the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Zaboly has prodigiously researched primary sources..." - Steve Goddard, History Wire


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