Part 3: Weird Hats and Big Knives

Jim and Davy

Two of the notable fighters at The Alamo were Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Most of what you know about Davy is either from his ability to spin a tall tale or his personal PR firm, Walt Disney. Jim Bowie? You probably only know about his knife that looks more like a meat cleaver. These two people could not be any more different, yet they fought for the same cause- the right to seize land from Mexico through squatting.

Jim Bowie was a quiet and reserved man. He was born in Kentucky, but his family moved around before settling in Louisiana. At the age of 16, Bowie signed up to join the Louisiana militia and went to New Orleans. Much like word that the war was over, Bowie arrived after the British were zombie stomped by a bunch of rednecks with cannons. Moral of the story- don’t give rednecks a big gun, because they are then required to kill something. #ItsAnHonorThing

The origin story of his knife sounds almost like a legend but is backed up by multiple accounts. In 1826, Bowie supported the local sheriff’s opponent in an election, and the sheriff also worked at the local bank and suddenly denied Bowie’s application for a loan. #PrettyPetty Fast forward a year, and both attended a duel in Mississippi. Back in the old days, rather than suing each other and running to a safe space, people settled their differences by shooting at each other in public. In this case, the duelists shot at each other twice, missed both times, and figured it was good. The bystanders weren’t happy with the outcome and started fighting each other in what would become known as the Sandbar Fight. Wright shot Bowie, pistol whipped him and then stabbed him with a sword. #GameOverMan #Not Bowie then reached up, pulled Wright to him, and gutted him with Bowie’s huge knife. He then stood up WITH A SWORD STILL IN HIM and went after one of the deputies. How did that end? Bowie got shot and stabbed with a sword again, and the sheriffs office needed a new employee. Lucky for Bowie, one of the duelists was a doctor, who promptly gave him some motrin and had him change his socks, and he was good as new. #ArmyMedicine

After the fight, Bowie suddenly decided that he was done being an American and moved to Mexican Texas, found himself a pretty young wife, and settled down on a ranch with his in-laws. Sadly, shortly after the birth of their second child, Bowie’s wife, two kids and his in-laws all died of cholera. #OregonTrail #WashYourHands Bowie became a drunk and complained about the government. #AverageVeteran When the Texas Revolution kicked off, Bowie decided to stop drinking (as much) and joined the fight. After losing everyone that meant anything to him, Bowie became a fearless commander, and won some pretty important early battles for the Texians. He often led bayonet charges and became known for leading from the front through action, rather than from the rear by mouth. He then went to defend the mission in San Antonio known as the Alamo in January 1836. #WaitForIt

Davy Crockett was the exact opposite of Bowie. He was not quiet and reserved, but rather quite outgoing. He served under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, which was going on during the War of 1812 because apparently Jackson wanted to kill Natives more than he wanted to kill Redcoats. The fact that the Creeks were in Spanish territory and not British didn’t matter much to Jackson. #ItsJustALine While Crockett was technically a rifleman, he mostly served as a scout and a hunter that would forage for the soldiers.

After the Creek War, Crockett returned home and entered into public service, became a Lieutenant Colonel in the militia, and began a couple of different businesses all at once. #BurningItAtBothEnds Crockett decided that business paid better, and he actually liked his family, so he resigned from the militia as well as the local government. That lasted for about a year, and he realized that he didn’t like his family as much as he thought he did, and ran for the Tennessee state legislature, which he won easily. He never quite lied about his exploits while on the campaign trail, but he sure polished the edges. Those businesses of Crockett’s? That problem solved itself as the Tennessee River flooded in 1821 and wiped them all out. Crockett didn’t have Geico or Aflac, and they got wiped out. #AllIn

Since Crockett suddenly had a bunch of free time, and he still didn’t like his family all that much, he ran for Congress and won a seat in the House of Representatives pretty easily. #IfIhad8KidsIdFindSomethingElseToDoToo Crockett’s career in Congress mostly consisted of opposing the sitting President over… everything. When Crockett opposed Jackson over removing the Cherokee and every other Native on the East Coast and sending them off to wonderful Oklahoma, the Tennessee voters had enough and didn’t re-elect him. As such, Crockett rage quit the state and moved to Texas. He took with him thirty volunteers to go fight the Mexicans who were irate about the little illegal immigrant problem in Texas. #WaitForIt

 

Next Up- Give Me Symbolism Or Give Me Death, But Mostly Death

 

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