The Second Battle of the Alamo

Pub date: March 7, 2020 (I will be at a meeting of the Alamo Society at San Antonio’s historic Menger Hotel, right across the street from Alamo Plaza.

In 1903, the threat of demolition hung over Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as the Alamo, site of the massacre by Mexican soldiers under Santa Anna of heroes of the 1836 Texas Revolution–Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William B. Travis, along with over two hundred men. Two women combined their efforts to preserve the historic site. Adina De Zavala had the passion for historical accuracy; Clara Driscoll had the money. Neither could have saved the Alamo alone, but together they bought the long barracks, where the Battle of the Alamo was actually fought, from private owners and turned it over to the daughters of the Republic of Texas to manage. Theirs was a natural union but hard headedness—sometimes a Texas trait—turned what was once a friendship into bitter rivalry that reached a zenith when Adina barricaded herself in the long barracks for three days. The ladies’ fight to save the mission and their own fight has come to be known as the second battle of the Alamo.

The Alamo has withstood many battles since it’s eighteenth-century founding and today stands as a symbol of heroism and loyalty and has inspired everything from movies to jigsaw puzzles. The cry of “Remember the Alamo” is known throughout the world. But few people know that without these two women, the Alamo might well be just another shabby shrine.


A nonfiction history of the historic Waggoner Three D Ranch in North Texas and the family who built an empire there. The ranch is the largest under one fence in this country, established by Daniel Waggoner in the years when the Comanche were still a threat on the Texas plains. His son, W. T., built the empire of his father’s dreams, and for 165 years members of the family lived on the land, though their escapades off the ranch brought them the most publicity. Theirs is a story of land and wealth, of cattle and oil, of divorces and flamboyant lives. Waggoners played an important role in shaping the Texas cattle industry, and they both shaped and were shaped by the frontier city of Fort Worth, known today for its combination of cowboys and culture.

Working title: “The Most Land, the Best Cattle: The Waggoners of Texas.”

Pub date: 2021