The Battle of the Alamo has always intrigued me. Born and raised in San Antonio, I often stood in front of the Cradle of Texas Liberty and wondered about the military maneuvers that occurred during the 13 day siege. Mexican General Vicente Filisola stated that his troops were at their stations by 2 a.m. on March 6, and ready for the final assault. But how could he know the exact time?
They had pocket watches!
In the San Jacinto Monument Museum, you may notice a display that features such treasures as General Sam Houston’s ring inscribed with the word Honor, the glove of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and a pistol used by Commander Edward Burleson, who led Texian Army forces during the Revolution.
Also, there is the gold pocket watch with key and chain, that belonged to Mexican General Martin Perfecto de Cos. After the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836, Cos was imprisoned with other Mexican combatants in Anahuac. Dr. George Moffett Patrick visited the prisoners and cared for their wounds. During those visits, Dr. Patrick and General Cos became friends, and Cos gave Patrick his pocket watch.
If you visit the Long Barrack Museum at the Alamo, you will see many of the artifacts from the Alamo era. One interesting relic is the key wound pocket watch that belonged to James Allen, an Alamo courier. This particular watch has Roman numerals on it and the case is made of coin silver.
And you probably remember the tragic story of Colonel James W. Fannin. While serving as the commander of the Presidio de la Bahia at Goliad, he was captured by the Mexican Army. After his men had been killed, Colonel Fannin was brought before the firing squad. His last request was that he not be shot in the face, that he would receive a Christian burial, and that his treasured pocket watch would be given to his family.
However, the commander of the firing squad took Fannin’s watch, shot him in the face, and callously threw Fannin’s body into a heap of murdered soldiers. It is thought that this same watch is now the property of the Dallas Historical Society and can be seen there.
Without a doubt, keeping time was very important in Revolutionary Texas. The generals had to coordinate their plans and take the appropriate action at the proper time. Their lives depended upon it.
Time is important to God, too. King David said in Psalm 31:15, “My times are in Your hand.” The Apostle Paul warned in Ephesians 5:16, “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
And notice Romans 13:11, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”