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painting of Dawn at the Alamo by Henry Arthur McArdle, 1905
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DAWN AT THE ALAMO

Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908) completed the painting in 1905. An 1875 version of this work was destroyed while on display in the Limestone Capitol when it burned in 1881. McArdle conducted exhaustive research and revised the newer version. However, neither painting depicts absolute historical fact. This painting shows the heroic Texians including David Crockett (during his last stand swinging "Old Betsy" protecting women and children--lower right corner), the ill James Bowie (using his trademark knife--lower left corner) and Commander William B. Travis (as he is stabbed in the back--upper right corner). In actuality, Travis, pictured here larger-than-life, was one of the first killed in the battle which occurred on March 6, 1836. The chapel is featured prominently in this painting as the Texas symbol it has become. Note too the expressions of the soldiers. McArdle prided himself on the realistic grimaces and determined scowls.