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The Alamo as it stands today.

A few days ago my mom was watching The Alamo (1960)[/URL] starring John
Wayne as Davie Crockett and Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie. For those
who may not remember the Alamo (LOL), it was a famous siege of a mission
in then Mexico now Texas that came under attack by the Mexican General
Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1836. The siege lasted until March 6,
1836, at which point all defenders at the Alamo were killed with the
exception of a slave, a woman, and her daughter (sources vary on the
survivor aspect).

During the course of the movie they mentioned that some men from
Tennessee had come to help fight and defend the fort, all considered
crack shots with a rifle and very respected. Well that got me to wondering
about what you might call the regional demographics of the Alamo at
the time of the siege.

Here's the breakdown:

AMERICANS

Alabama – 3
Maryland – 1
Pennsylvania – 14
Arkansas – 2
Missouri – 6
Rhode Island – 1
Connecticut – 1
Mississippi – 3
South Carolina – 7
Georgia – 5
North Carolina – 7
Tennessee – 30
Illinois – 1
New Hampshire – 1
Texas – 11
Kentucky – 15
New Jersey – 1
Virginia – 12
Louisiana – 4
New York – 6
Vermont – 1
Massachusetts – 4
Ohio – 4
Unknown – 20

EUROPEANS

Denmark – 1
Germany – 2
Scotland – 4
England – 12
Ireland – 9
Wales – 1

The inclusion of a Dane surprised me. Not that it would have been all
that strange considering the significant immigrant population that
came to America in the 19th century; but simply because I never heard
the fact mentioned in any history class I sat in or even mentioned in
passing by people into history. The inclusion of other Europeans I also
found interesting, but given my interest in Scandinavian culture it
was the Dane who stood out.

The Dane who fought at the Alamo was Lt. Charles Zanco. Here's a bit
about him:

"ZANCO, CHARLES (1808-1836). Charles Zanco, defender of the Alamo,
son of Frederick Zanco, was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco
and his father emigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles's
mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers,
and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined
the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution.
He helped design the company's flag, which featured a painted star and
the controversial legend, "Independence." Zanco may have been the first
person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the
siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar
as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted
to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison's ordnance
chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of
the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836."

And here's some information in Danish about him.

Note that besides giving his life for the soon-to-be Republic of Texas,
Zanco also designed its first flag — the famous Lone Star but with the
inclusion of the word "Independence" along the bottom.

"Learn something new every day" goes the old saying. Well at least I did
the other day.

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