Line of Glory

Written by Thomas D. Clagett
Review by Thomas j. Howley

It’s the final 13 hours at the Alamo back in 1836. Texan Colonel Travis draws his famous and dramatic “line in the sand.” Surrounded and vastly outnumbered by General Santa Anna’s Mexican army, all the defenders willingly cross the line knowing they’re fighting to the death— except for one man, “Moses” Rose.  The Texans come from diverse backgrounds; backwoodsmen from Tennessee, Irish, Scots, French and numerous Tejanos, of Mexican heritage. There are also women and children inside the walls. As they diligently prepare for the inevitable onslaught, some hold out hope of reinforcements from Sam Houston. The final battle is incredibly violent with a grisly but realistic climax.

Ironically Rose, a former French grenadier and wizened veteran, comes across as a tragic but likeable figure. Equally admirable is Mexican Army Colonel Juan Morales, who despises Santa Anna. For anyone who has seen any of the 12 Alamo films, this short novel superbly fills in the details on the fascinating personalities involved. The author’s end note provides genuine historic context. The reader is guaranteed to learn something new in this well-crafted book. Easily recommended.