For the second time in the storied history of Gonzales, the Alamo has asked our community for our help. And each time, Gonzales answered the call.
The latest request started a few weeks ago, when the Alamo asked the city if Gonzales could find 32 men who would recreate the arrival of the Immortal 32 at the Alamo on Friday, March 1, 2019. It would mark the 183rd anniversary of the Immortal 32 arriving to assist the besieged defenders of the Alamo on March 1, 1836. In five more days, all of the Immortal 32 and over 150 other men would be dead after trying to defend the Alamo.
This past Friday, over 32 men, women and children arrived in San Antonio early in the morning in preparation for the big event. There were many different reasons why people showed up or volunteered, but here are some of their reasons.
“I had two ancestors who died there,” said Hugh Shelton who showed up with his grandson. “I think I we need to show a little respect for what happened there.”
“Well, it’s important for the city of Gonzales,” said former Sheriff Glen Sachtleben. “I think it’s important for us to be here and pay tribute to what they did here.”
“It’s a part of our history and our heritage, and we have to be a part of that here today,” said City Councilman Dan Blakemore. “I believe in what we are doing here today and wanted to be a part of it.”
One family sent three generations of men to represent their family.
James Damon is a 9th generation Texan, his son Bubba is a 10th generation Texan, and grandson James is an 11th generation Texan. All three were proud to participate in the event.
“My ancestor was one of the Immortal 32,” said the elder James Damon. “We had to be here to honor him by being here.”
“It’s a good learning experience for me,” said his grandson. “I’m learning a lot more about Texas history, plus being here with my dad and his dad is a thrill for all of us.”
James “Bimbo” Dreyer was more succinct on why he was there. “Because Travis needed our help.”
Ricky Walker, whose ancestor James George was a member of the Immortal 32 said: “One of my folk was a member of the Immortal 32. I am a direct descendant, and I feel a connection to my past and our families’ proud heritage. I am honored to represent him today.’’
Bart Priest of Nixon, Texas offered up the following: “This was a moving event for the Gonzales Chapter 21 of the Sons of the Texas Republic to be able to participate in. I will always be honored for having remembered the Immortal 32 by being here today.”