A friend of mine recently went to San Antonio, Texas for work.


 friend of mine recently went to San Antonio, Texas for work.  He evidently had an hour or two to spend one afternoon and he decided to stop by the Alamo.  He brought me back a pamphlet with a little of the history, a map and the names of the heroes who died defending the fort.



Having seen the original movie from 1960 and the latest one from 2004, I found it interesting.  My Mama was an Alabama history teacher for over 40 years and she always made sure that we appreciated the folks who fought for our country.



I think that it is important that we continue to teach our children to appreciate those who fight and sometimes die for our country.



Having read books and watched the movies, I knew about Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and William Travis who all died at the Alamo.  Having a mother as a history teacher, I also knew the bad side of some of these famous Alamo fighters.



Jim Bowie was apparently a bit of a “con man” according to many folks and William Travis was branded a coward after leaving Alabama as a failure who neglected many of his obligations, mainly his wife and children. 



Davy Crockett?  Well, as we all know, Davy killed a lot of animals and was a “good ole boy” politician.



Texas was a place for all of these fellows to go and start over.  Mama always said that those things didn’t mean that they weren’t heroes.  I was always happy with Mama’s explanations and continued to wear my coonskin hat.



There were a lot more than three fellows killed at the Alamo, the pamphlet my friend brought me listed their names.  I viewed it as “a roster of heroes.”  The list noted the name and the state where the men were from.



The list noted correctly that William Travis was from South Carolina.  This is important to note right after saying he didn’t leave Alabama on good terms.  You say, “You know William Travis left a pregnant wife in Alabama – you do remember he was from South Carolina.”



What should we remember?  They were American heroes. 



I found another fellow from Alabama; his name was “Galba Fuqua.”  Galba Fuqua was 16 years old when he died on March 6, 1836.  In three more days, Galba would have been 17.



What would you picture Galba to be like?  Most folks would probably say a good ole boy from Alabama who was not quick to pick a fight, but not going to back down from one either.  I’m sure that Galba could probably be described in that way.



However, Galba was not your typical good ole boy.  Galba was born in Alabama to Silas and Sally Fuqua.  It seems that Galba was of French Huguenot descent, along with probably being a little Mexican and a little Jewish.  So our 16 year-old hero was a “Mexican Jewish French Huguenot from Alabama.”



That probably explains why Galba was such a gallant fighter.  He probably had the best of all those different types of folks in him.



At 16, Galba enrolled in a group of volunteer rangers from Gonzales, Texas.  The day he enrolled was Wednesday, February 23, 1836.  Seven days later, Galba arrived at the Alamo with the rest of the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers.  It was March 1st when he arrived; he would die on March 6th.



Galba was a hero. 



Galba Fuqua, at 16, in less than two weeks, joined a group of rangers, went to the Alamo and died defending it.



There has to be more to this story, and there is.



Being there for just a few days, Galba befriended a young woman by the name of Sue Dickinson.  Mrs. Dickinson lost her husband and many friends at the Alamo.  She was there and she survived to tell folks about it.



It seems that during the worst part of the fighting, a young Mexican Jewish French Huguenot 16 year-old from Alabama came to her and tried to tell her something.  He couldn’t speak because his jaw was so badly broken or wounded from the fighting.



Mrs. Dickinson couldn’t figure out what he was trying to say.  Frustrated, Galba Fuqua went back to the wall and continued fighting and eventually died.



Folks have spent years trying to piece together this story, even questioning the validity.



What was Galba Fuqua trying to say?  Something about his mother, his girlfriend, his last wishes?



We will never know and we don’t need any proof from Galba Fuqua.  He was a 16 year-old Mexican Jewish French Huguenot from Alabama.



No, what Galba was, was a fine young man and an American Hero who gave two weeks and his life for our country.



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