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Line Of Glory

A Novel of the Alamo

The final 13 hours at the Alamo began around 5 o’clock the afternoon of March 5, 1836. Colonel William Barrett Travis drew a line in the dirt with his sword and asked all those who would stay and fight to cross it. Everyone there knew that General Santa Anna’s final attack on the fort was coming soon.

Hopes, fears and destinies played out that night for four people.

Susannah Dickinson, a woman of surprising gumption, waited inside the Alamo chapel cradling her baby daughter, Angelina, while her husband, Captain Almeron Dickinson, commanded the cannon battery atop the chapel.

Young James Taylor came to the Alamo with his brothers, Edward and George. They joined the fight to free Texas from the tyrannical rule of Santa Anna. And once that was accomplished, James vowed to find Thomas Jefferson Chambers and make him pay for what he did to their father.

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“Moses” Rose, the one man who refused to cross the line Travis drew, left the Alamo in the dark of night because, he said, he “wasn’t prepared to die.”

Colonel Juan Morales, commanding the Mexican column ordered to assault Crockett and his men at the south palisade, believed attacking the Alamo to be a foolhardy waste of men. His idea was to wait for the heavy cannons to arrive and blast the weak north wall apart, or the wooden south palisade to pieces. But his real disgust was for Santa Anna, a man who allowed whims to dictate his decisions.

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  • History Comes AliveHistory Comes AliveAmazon Review

    This is the most comprehensive glance at the siege of the Alamo. It’s a masterful work of historical fiction, thanks to the author’s devotion to research and detail. It’s a must read for western fans.

    (Five out of five stars)

  • An Important Contribution to HistoryAn Important Contribution to HistoryN. Bright via Amazon

    This creative version of the final thirteen hours of The Alamo is an important contribution to Texas history. The names are real and the author masterfully creates imagery that puts you right into the heart of this significant historical battle. A must read for fans of The Alamo and Texas history. Riveting and emotional. (Five out of five stars)

  • Authentic and Appreciated!Authentic and Appreciated!Jane Little Botkin via Amazon

    Thomas D. Clagett’s Line of Glory, though fiction, intimately rejuvenates the final battle of Texans’ pride and joy—the Alamo—bringing it to life with accurate historical context. As a Texan and historian who has studied this turning-point-battle for the Texas Republic, right down to scouring the old mission’s plastered walls for faintly etched graffiti that reflects soldiers and heroes of previous occupations, I especially appreciate this work.

  • A Riveting StoryA Riveting StoryDeborah Swenson - Author

    “Line of Glory” by Thomas Clagett is a riveting book about the final 13 hours before the battle of the Alamo. A story of heart-wrenching proportions, Mr. Clagett, delves deeply into the minds of the heroic soldiers facing certain death. Reverently, he weaves a story of the arduous hours before, and the traumatic moments during the battle, that will have you spellbound within the book’s pages.

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  • Covers only the last 24 hours! One of the BEST Alamo novels ever written!Covers only the last 24 hours! One of the BEST Alamo novels ever written!Gene Eric Salecker

    This was a concise, excellent, fast-paced book covering only the last 24- or so hours of the 13 day siege. Unlike other novels that start way before the arrival of the Mexican army in San Antonio de Bexar and covers the entire 13 day siege, this book covers only the last 24 hours - after Santa Anna has decided to stop his continuous bombardment of the Alamo to lull the defenders into a much needed slumber. Seen through the eyes of four historic characters; Susannah Dickinson, James Taylor and Louis "Moses" Rose on the Texan side, and Col. Jose Morales on the Mexican side, the actions and reactions are believable and well written. The conversations and thoughts of the four are well conceived and very believable. My only negative comment might be the fact that author Thomas D. Clagett has the defenders doing too much activity on the night before the assault, whereas they probably would have been dead tired after 12 solid days and nights of bombardment and probably would have gone right to sleep, as Santa Anna expected. However, Mr. Clagett needed to flesh out his characters a bit, since he didn't have the other days of the siege to work with, so this can be easily overlooked. Also, Mr. Clagett has the defenders with shotguns breaking them open at the breech and shoving shells into each barrel. This type of fixed shot was not around in 1836. A slight mistake. Overall, if you overlook these two little mistakes, this is an excellent book. One of the best novels on the Alamo that I have ever read! (Five out of five stars)    

  • Myth, Fact or Fiction. A Very Good Read. (Five out of five stars)

  • A new take on the old Alamo StoryA new take on the old Alamo StoryW. E. MARKLEY

    As a kid I grew up watching Davy Crockett on TV and John Wayne’s Alamo movie. I then read books about it, but they all seemed dry until now. Thomas Clagett’s Line of Glory is an excellent historical fiction account of the last 13 hours of the Alamo’s siege telling the story from a variety of perspectives—from the volunteer American soldiers, to the women in the fort, to the lone deserter, to the Mexican officers. It’s an exciting read using a fresh perspective. I highly recommend this book. (Five out of five stars)

  • Read !!!!!!Read !!!!!!Deborah Font

    Wonderful book!!!! Yes, we all know the story but this sheds new light on the true Texas tale

  • Yeee gods did this thing tale holdYeee gods did this thing tale holdStephen Hedstrom via Barnes and Noble

    A mite slow till I got the characters sorted out but when it did it took off running. People behave in realistic ways, No superheroes here. No supervillians either. The whole book rings of top-notch research. Given that this book follows the last days of the Battle of the Alamo I had a fairly good idea of what was going to happen to whom. Even so, I was clenching my teeth and cringing at the flying ordnance and the bayonets. The Mexican army is well handled. They are not faceless enemies but show heart, discipline, skill and tactical knowledge, as well as disgust at carrying out certain orders. Five stars. 

  • Sure, we all know the ending…Sure, we all know the ending…David

    Sure, we all know the ending...

    However, this book is a great read. It tells the Alamo story from the point of view of all sides. The words of those of the author, but they could have easily been said by the characters in the book, all of who are historic figures. (Five out of five stars)

  • This is one of those books I will read againThis is one of those books I will read againJackie Carter

    Great read about the final 13 hours at the Alamo. We read not only about the famous people in this historic event, but the people that are not normally found in history books which makes this story come alive. This is one of those books I will read again. (Five out of five stars)

  • Author’s audacious approach gives us a fresh take on the AlamoAuthor’s audacious approach gives us a fresh take on the AlamoAndrew McBride

    Almost as soon as the smoke cleared from the Alamo battlefield another fog shrouded the scene – that of legend. In the nearly two centuries since historians have argued over almost every single aspect of what may have occurred there in early 1836, when fabled heroes – Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Travis – and a handful of Texans gathered to stand against Santa Anna’s mighty Mexican army and a 13-day siege ensued. Numerous novels, TV shows and movies on these extraordinary events have, for the most part, only fueled the confusion and controversy. So I was skeptical that any further re-telling could add anything new. Happily I was wrong. Thomas Clagett’s audacious approach brings a fresh twist to the tale. For a start he doesn’t attempt to tell the story of the Texas War of Independence, or even the whole siege. Instead he concentrates on the last 13 hours – the evening of March 5 and the morning of March 6 1836. We get an intense focus on the ‘lull before the storm’ and then on the storm itself, as the Mexican army launches its final bloody assault on the Alamo. And bravely he chooses to tell the story through the eyes of less-famous participants: Susannah Dickinson, wife of an Alamo defender, three brothers among the garrison and a Mexican officer leading his troops against them. The ‘big three’ – Crockett, Bowie and Travis – become supporting players. In this way, Clagett humanises the story, without in any way trivialising or diminishing it, or belittling the participants (on both sides.) This is still an epic of courage and sacrifice, of heroism without false heroics. Clagett expertly captures the tension of men waiting to face death, and then the high drama of them giving and receiving it in the battle that consumes them. Highly recommended. (Four out of five stars)

  • Humanizes the characters … an enjoyable readHumanizes the characters … an enjoyable readRichard West

    Loses one star because of all the Spanish words which couldn't be figured out and characters switching back-and-forth between English and Spanish. Otherwise, this was an enjoyable book.

    Humanizes a number of the characters who had just been names of Alamo defenders. While it is fiction, it helps by putting a "they may have said (or done) this at this particular time" slant on their lives. And it does the same for some of the Mexicans - not all of them were ogres like their leader, Santa Ana who was probably reincarnated as Hitler in a future life. And let's face it, it's kind of difficult to feel anything for soldiers who had as their goal the elimination of the 200+ defenders of the old Spanish mission in San Antonio, but they were just following orders. I didn't find myself thinking "I'd like to go have a beer with this guy" but it did humanize some of them. Some of them, on the other hand, were complete (insert appropriate profanity here) like their leader.

    Everyone who knows anything about American or Texas history is familiar with the battle of the Alamo; how for 13 days 200+ (no one will ever know the exact number, it varies from 150 - 250) brave fighters fought off an army estimated at around 4000, and how, on the morning of March 6, 1836, in a battle that lasted barely 45 minutes, all the defenders died with only the women, children and one slave being spared. 

    So what makes this book different? As mentioned, since it is fiction, it humanizes the people involved and makes them more than just names on a monument or in a history book. And, despite the somewhat graphic battle scenes, comes across as an enjoyable read. As long as you don't take it from a "yep, they said this," or "they did this" point-of-view and accept it as what actually happened and was actually said, it makes for a nice diversion from so many of the other books one has to choose from. And, it has been researched - a great many of the battle scenes are described as history has recorded them, so in that respect, it can't be faulted for being inaccurate - it isn't. Just remember, it's fiction and enjoy it. (Goodreads four out of five stars)

  • The author presents a pragmatic, well-researched overview of that awful morning of March 6, 1836The author presents a pragmatic, well-researched overview of that awful morning of March 6, 1836Zjody

    While we will never know specifically what went on inside the final hours of the Alamo, the author presents a pragmatic, well-researched overview of that awful morning of March 6, 1836. With ample insight from both inside and outside of the walls, we share a sense of the inevitable conclusion from both sides of the conflict. The author carefully avoids estimating the number of fatalities in the battle, but focuses instead on the human dreams and emotions from the participants who were in San Antonio on that fateful day. The book suffers in only one omission. Since there are many examples of described locations within the Alamo itself, an illustration of the area would have been greatly appreciated by this reader. 

    (4 out of 5 stars)


  • Line of Glory by Thomas D. Clagett (Five Star Publishing, $25.95) tells the story of the Alamo through the unique perspective of lesser-known participants and by focusing the action on the last two days of the Alamo siege. On the Texan side we have the three Taylor brothers and Susannah Dickinson, while the Mexican view comes through the eyes of Col. Juan Morales. The telling is a masterful blend of Alamo fact, fiction and myth. Books about the Alamo can only end in one way and Clagett’s final battle is  particularly harrowing and well-written. You actually hold out hope for the doomed defenders. A good read!

  • Good ReadGood ReadAlamo-nut

    It was a good read, interesting to see the Alamo from lesser-known perspectives. (4 out of 5 stars)

  • Excellent, Superb, SpellbindingExcellent, Superb, SpellbindingEnjoying Eldorado

    Most Americans 50+ in age are somewhat familiar with the history if the Alamo. Mostly through movies and television epics. This superb author took the known history of this great American epic to a new height. As I read, I found myself deliberately slowing my pace; not wanting to face the inevitable ending -- history cannot be rearranged. I truly appreciated the epilogue, as I and most readers felt a yearning to know some of what the survivors experienced in years after the Alamo. Thank you Tom Clagett for yet another fantastic novel. Look forward to your next. (5 out of 5 stars)

  • Realistic Presentation of Both Sides of the Alamo ConflictRealistic Presentation of Both Sides of the Alamo ConflictShirl

    Clagett has effectively captured the realistic emotions of fear, anxiety, and frustration of the characters on both sides of the Alamo confrontation, Texan and Mexican. Famous participants, such as Davey Crockett, are present in the novel, but the focus is on how others might have experienced the hours before and during the battle. His fictionalized account is so vivid and authentic, readers should be prepared to anticipate lots of blood and gore. It is refreshing to read a book from perspectives of both antagonistic sides. Perhaps a lesson can be learned for current opposing perspectives in today's world. (5 out of 5 stars)

  • An easy read about an iconic American event.An easy read about an iconic American event.James P. Loyd

    Great read that looks at the siege of the Alamo from a completely different angle than most others; from the lesser-known participants. I thoroughly enjoyed it. (5 out of 5 stars)

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars – Better written than most modern thrillers5.0 out of 5 stars – Better written than most modern thrillersVerified Amazon Purchaser

    I don't consider myself a reader of "westerns", but this novel really kept me interested. The action is better written than most modern thrillers.
    The historical details about the Alamo kept the story going, instead of slowing it down. I'm going to check out the other books.

  • The depiction of the final assault is rivetingThe depiction of the final assault is rivetingRoundup Magazine

    Award-winning author Thomas D. Clagett takes readers to the Alamo in 1836 in this well-researched historical novel told through the eyes of some lesser-known figures in the battle – on both sides. Everyone knows the story (and the ending), but Clagett manages to build tension and makes his characters, especially young defender James Taylor and Mexican Colonel Juan Morales, feel incredibly real. The depiction of the final assault is riveting, earning Clagett a place alongside novelists Paul Wellman, Steve Frazee and Stephen Harrigan for taking readers on memorable fictional journeys inside those storied walls.   

    Roundup Magazine   

  • Line of Glory is a well written and well-paced read.Line of Glory is a well written and well-paced read.Booklist

    With all the Alamo tales already published over the past nearly two centuries, one wonders if another really serves a purpose. But Clagett (The Pursuit of Murieta, 2013) has done a masterful job of delving into the backstories of the characters involved, Texan and Mexican both. With little true, documented history to lean on and no survivors from the ranks of the fighting men to tell their stories, the interested history buff is left wondering. Clagett addresses that wondering. What does a fighting man say to his wife immediately before he steps out the door to face insurmountable odds? What does the wife say when she knows she will be a widow within minutes? What do three brothers do and say as they face certain death together? How does a man deal with his regrets when there is no time left? How does a man act when facing his execution? And how did the many individuals come to be there at all? Line of Glory is a well written and well-paced read.

  • Clagett presents people on both sides of the battle who were, perhaps, more important to the outcomeClagett presents people on both sides of the battle who were, perhaps, more important to the outcomeRod Miller, Spur Award-winning author

    “While most Alamo authors focus on the well-known participants, Clagett presents people on both sides of the battle who were, perhaps, more important to the outcome: ordinary soldiers, unheralded officers, women, and children. We learn of their loves, hatreds, hopes, and the glory (and dishonor) they earn as the battle begins and ends.”

  • His fast-paced narrative is so rousing and memorable that the reader will never forget the Alamo!His fast-paced narrative is so rousing and memorable that the reader will never forget the Alamo!Paul Andrew Hutton, author of The Apache Wars

    “The story of the Alamo has long been lost in the mist of legend, but Thomas Clagett brings it to life in his gripping novel. Making good use of historical sources he presents how history may well have been and puts flesh and blood on the men and women, both Texan and Mexican, who fought in that storied battle. His fast-paced narrative is so rousing and memorable that the reader will never forget the Alamo!”

Thomas D. Clagett is a Member of Western Writers of AmericaNew Mexico - Arizona Book Award Winner

Thomas D. Clagett is a Member of The Author's GuildNew Mexico - Arizona Book Award Winner


Thomas Clagett Post Image - Western BGTom has always had a love of the West, of film and of writing. Born and raised in San Diego, California, he attended the University of Southern California. He spent more than twenty years in Hollywood working as an assistant film editor, as well as freelance writing. Devoting himself to writing historical fiction full-time, he and his wife Marilyn moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they adopted their cat, Cody, whom they are home schooling with great success.

Thomas Clagett Post Image - Western BG

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