Excerpt from the book that includes unique anecdotes:
San Fernando Cathedral
“In 1836, the highest point in San Antonio was the bell tower of the old San Fernando church. Local legend has it that because of this distinction, a bell-ringer was assigned to ring the bells as a warning to the townspeople if he witnessed the approach of Mexican General Santa Anna and his troops.
The bell-ringer was said to be a nice fellow with a small character flaw – he liked to partake of alcohol. There was not a lot to do in the bell tower and drinking helped him pass the time. However it also clouded his judgment. Stories are told of how he would spot some dust from a cowboy’s horse or wagon and immediately ring the bell causing people to panic and scatter!
After several false bell-ringing episodes, San Antonians began to ignore the sound. According to local legend, on the day he rang the bell for the true arrival of Santa Anna, no one paid much attention and San Fernando Church, along with the rest of the city, was quickly captured. Santa Anna’s troops immediately seized the tower and raised the red flag of “no quarter” to let the Texans know that this battle would not take prisoners; it would be a fight to the death. The date of the infamous bell-ringer remains unknown.” (p. 21, 22)
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