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tv   Tucker Carlson Tonight  FOX News  December 25, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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will miss him." >> bret: that is spent 25. merry christmas to all, happy new year. charles, my friend, we miss you. >> america's fight for freedom against british rule was not the only revolution. it happened right here in the state of texas. the odds of success just as long. the spectacular victory just as impressive. but to this point, not as widely known. that's about to change as we bring you "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom." >> it's not just a battle. it's a myth. but it's a good myth. it's about brave people making a sacrifice for something they
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>> he was kind of guy looking for a second chance in texas. he had a colorful past. he's been governor of tennessee. he's had a political life. he's got military experience with the u.s. army. he was an officer. >> after losses, -- >> houston want to preserve himself for a better day. to find a way that the enemy was at a disadvantage. ♪ >> welcome to san antonio, texas. behind me fret famous building. that is the church inside the
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alamo where the famous battle took place. we'll talk about this battle. before we do that, i want to flashback, flashback to what texas was like back in 1820 when moses austin started bringing americans right here. what brought americans to texas in 1820? >> it's a time when people were on the move. because there's opportunity and there's also hardships to escape. what texas offers is both of those. you come to texas because the opportunity is land and at that time, land is livelihood. if you don't have land, you can't make a living. many people think of texas is west texas. where it's rough terrain. east texas wasn't part of hardwood forest and great easy plowing. they didn't have a lot of
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mexicans. there became free lotteries. >> moses austin had this idea to start bringing americans this way and deal with the spanish. what he's offering the spanish the opportunity is, we can bring you the people that will turn this from the wilderness into a productive area no longer a frontier. there's not a lot here. the spanish have been trying for years to establish community. >> mexicans didn't want to move to texas because of the apaches. they said we got to have somebody in mexico live there. they brought in the americans. then come down to texas, we'll give you free land, no taxes for 10 years. you have to turn catholics. lot of people started migranting to texas. >> you maybe coming to the united states, but you're going to become spanish. when transition comes to mexico,
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you're going to be good mexicans. you're going to obey the law. you're not going to cause trouble. >> many people drifted in from tennessee and kentucky. >> it seemed like a thoroughfare. >> first 300 families were given property. what happens here? it changes it physically you have crops grown that weren't grown before. you have plantation and farming. >> you're dealing with the first generation texans of the steven austin group that had to protect their homestead.
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they formed a fierce identity in a sense of community in texas that started growing. >> culturally it begins to change. especially in east texas because there haven't been very many spaniards or mexicans there. >> by 1830, four out of every five people living in texas was becoming less and less mexican stronghold. >> they are happy being independent state and later become mexico. >> they were happy because they were on their own. >> mexico gained independence from spain. santa ana who fought for mexican independence now sought to destroy texas's quest to find independence themselves. these guys were on their own and ready to fight. >> the idea of liberty is very important. what they mean by liberty is what it come out of the american
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revolution. liberty to have input in our government, and what they are saying is, we're no longer given our consent for what the changes that are happening. getting rid of the constitution, they are abolishing statehood. texas which wanted to be a state, there are no mistakes anymore. officials will be appointed from mexico city. that's happening to all mexican. >> steven austin went to mexico city and pleaded for independence short of war and they put him in jail. they released steven austin. he became one of number of texas patriots demanding independence. >> his goal was to destroy theup rising. to get to texas, he slowly built
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his army using state troops. >> santa ana was marking himself as napoleon in the west. he was murderous. he encouraged troops to commit rape. he didn't have a great code of honor about him. he was a ruthless dictatorial leader. he decided i'm not going to be known for giving away territory in northern mexico. i'd rather defeat the texans and claim modern texas and then make them negotiate a settlement. >> why this group of texans felt like he had no choice to fight for their independence. how the mexican army led by santa ana responded.
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>> the fight begins. you know in the early 1830s, texas was happy to be independent state of mexico. he immediately shelved liberty.
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annexation to the u.s. was not in the card. president andrew jackson and former president thomas jefferson was convinced that texas came along with the louisana purchase. these guys were on their own. they were ready to fight early on too, they had nothing but success. what do you think the truth is? was texas in the louisana purchase? >> it's a great question. the argument is, it could have been part of the louisana purchase. it became debated for what is clear anybody served under andrew jackson, looked up to jackson and even people that challenged him and criticized jackson. they felt that texas eventually would belong to the united states and many of them felt that it already should be part of the u.s. because of the purchase. >> mexico was just getting on their feet. americans didn't want to fight another war? >> america was trying not to fight another war. we did win the war of 1812 and the jackson of the hero of
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battle of new orleans. there was a feeling -- we weren't looking to go westward. by around the time of 1830s that western movement was starting to kick in and people move to tennessee and further west. this is before the gold rush in california in 1849. in 1830s getting to texas and raising cattle and having a farm, this was a great move. along the louisiana border, some of the great timber land in north america. in that industry, you can make a fortune on just raw natural resources down there. it started becoming very attractive. >> when steve austin gets out of prison, he realizes the best thing he can do is to fight and become independent from mexico.
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>> santa ana put down rebellion. brutally suppressed this rebellion. they were in rebellion at the same time. >> how does the mexican government become aware that this state is going to break away? >> the big moment was in san antonio, when you start getting the texans taking over the mission of the alamo. that now they are fortifying it. surrounding san antonio was lot of fresh water systems. it was not bad living around the hill country of texas and san antonio. it would control that whole part of texas. santa ana thought they could control the area around modern day houston and galveston. they had to make inroad in san antonio. once you started having colonel terrorist an-- colonel travis, a
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thought this was it fight for who owns texas. he thought it was an easy one. >> he was focused on san antonio. he wanted restore his brother-in-law was the commander when the texas post was commander. it was a little bit of retribution and pride instead of him coming this way. the other road where he would have been able to bypass the alamo, reinforce and resupply san jacinto. >> santa ana moved north. but the texas rebellion had lot of previous success. >> sometimes success is your undoing. it's what we won amany of the columnist started leaving. because we won the war. they hadn't. plus you have different people,
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sam houston is one of them. this is what we should do. we should take our troops. this is my plan. there's so much infighting that nothing is getting done. >> after the alamo is taken and general coast is ousted, he's released with the promise not fight again. sam houston gives orders to no longer hole the -- hold the alamo. but travis, buoy and crockett decided otherwise. >> they're holding it because of the town. that's the part that often gets left out. the alamo is important but it's important because where it is. the town of behar has two battle spots one one in 1835 where the texans capture it and it sets up a logic if rebels captured something, the government has to recapture it. >> as many story goes, james
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buoy says go in and tell these guys to move out. they feel pretty good about it. they feel pretty safe. buoy gets there, this place is pretty secure. i'll fight with you guys. >> what he says, we would rather die than give them up to the enemy. >> the reason we fought was to end tyranny by a tyrant who really wants a representative of the mexican people. he was a tyrant. >> santa ana was we kill everybody. utter carnage. >> to the surprise of many, the texas army outnumbered and pretty much unorganized would take over alamo mission. unbelievable right? bad news was coming. up north, general santa ana and 2000 troops, he wanted to stomp
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out the revolution. his first stop was the alamo. we'll pick up the fight when we come back. this is "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom."
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headquarters. merry christmas to you. holiday shopping is far from over. retailers are pretty happy about that. they are now preparing to open their doors post christmas day bargain hunters. analyst say the healthy economy prompted consumers spend lots of cash this holiday season. they spent more money online. no alarms activity so far in north korea. despite promise to deliver a christmas gift to the u.s. there is speculation the north might be warning us about another rocket engine test or even a missile launch. president trump shrugging threats joking the gift could be a nice vase from kim jong-un. now back to "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom."
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>> i'm brian kilmeade welcome back to "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom." inside the alamo where so much fighting took place. general houston was the right guy in james buoy to tell all the men to abandon the forces. they couldn't protect it. that santa ana was coming. he changed his mind. he thought he'll be safe. this the one time which buoy's instincts abandoned him. let's get one of the finest commanders of this generation, general stanley mcchrystal who also loved the alamo and the stories. >> it's a pleasure to be hero. >> i know you love the alamo. you love the military. what about your connection to the alamo? >> when i was a kid, davie crockett came out. beyond that, the alamo is different. it's not just a battle. it's a myth. but it's a good myth. it's about brave people making a sacrifice for something they
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felt was important. >> you have two brave commanders you have jim buoy and travis. >> buoy was a slave trader. he also was a charismatic leader. >> buoy was with his brother and known as crocodile, tough kind of character out of the bayou. buoy, crockett and travis and others decided we're going to dig in our heels. it's freedom or death. we're going to make our stand here. it was like a second american revolution in their mind that we now going to get sources of mexico. >> first thing is to think about the alamo, we think that's the alamo. actually the alamo was a pretty big place.
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if you start with where the chapel is here, the actual alamo went much further. all the way out and down and then up like this. actually this is even further out. this would have been the north wall. when we think about walking or standing in the middle of a compound, it actually be up here little bit, maybe 50 feet there would be the geographic center. it was a big fortification. you need 500 or 600 to give yourself a chance to defend. most of the defenders of the alamo are using light bulbs. maybe one or two rounds. if you standing on the wall and they're not many people around you, then there's this period of nothing happening. you need more people on the wall to keep up the kind of fire that might keep it.
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>> as the mexican troops rolled up. the texans are not in uniform. what do they have? >> they got this commitment. suddenly you put a bunch of eachs together and ask them to defend something like a military force. >> general, they really felt good early on. they had the cannon. when the flag went up and they ask for a surrender, how did travis answer. >> a cannon shot. it will be the wall here shooting down in towards the mexican forces. it was something that says we're not going to back off. they thought they will be reinforced. with the idea if they can be strong enough and keep the mexicans from bringing up their full force, they get reinforced. the problem would not be fatal. >> where are the mexican troops?
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>> gunshot range. probably about a mile away and close their cannons even closer. not a great distance >> more and more troops come up. travis writes these wonderful things that live on forgive. >> victory or death. which is another sign of commitment. at that point, he knows and he decided not to leave. he decide to make a stand. as you talked about time, the texans are here and mexicans are here, you have 13 days of standoff. not a daily fight. but a standoff. mexican were getting stronger, they're bringing more forces. the people inside get tired. >> tell me about the mentality of the war fighters. >> most people are not courageous along. you get courage from the people you're around. if the people around you show optimism, if they show
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steadfastness, it's contagious. you don't want to let your comrades down. >> he had pneumonia. he was in bad shape. he had to show the courage to stayer if the volunteers. even though he has to be in bed, he can't walk and he's dizzy. his fortitude of fight never left him. >> this is 180 plus people who weren't professional soldiers. probably handful have been in a fight before. they're about to face the unknown. they are led to believe that probably to be killed. they made this extraordinary decision to each other to stand. to be courageous. >> on the 13th day of the siege, the full force of the mexican army attacks the alamo in the early hours of march 6th. >> they came ought the north wall. in force. there's a belief that's where the first breach was.
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good early on, the lieutenant colonel williams had shot in the head and dies. >> travis is down. now command is gone. bowie is not able to give orders. there were probably 187 separate battles fought in this compound. so the people on the north wall are fighting and they have no idea what's happening. suddenly each person was finding their own courage in small groups making their own stand, finding a series of small engagements that add up to the battle of the alamo. >> mexican army takes the alamo, executing the captured soldiers including davie crockett. >> davie crockett was a very serious person. he had become a legend.
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some people think he's the american western hero. he felt like a peacock who put another feather in his back. he misread the victory. the truth is, they may have gotten slaughtered but they killed more mexicans than americans. >> the slain body of the texas army are piled and burned. it's suppose to intimidate sam houston's forces, it didn't. >> but the stories that trickled out of the alamo how he showed -- it sparked it. the word that spread out of the alamo wasn't retreat. it was we've now all got to buckle down and do what we can to fight for texas independence. >> here at the alamo, santa ana had hoped to intimidate the
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texans to giving up the fight. they fought longer and harder with more men. when we come back, howsam houston to overcome being outgunned and outmanned.
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>> welcome back to "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom." 1836, weeks after the alamo massacre, the battle flashes here to this place behind him. they were about to be engaged. it's an engagement that sam houston never want to see happen. once again, his orders were not heeded. >> we are standing in the northwest bastion. >> unlike the alamo it was to be a fort. i feel like i'm in a fort. >> it was only fort that existed
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in texas. >> how many troops were here? >> around 400 give or take. >> why did they reach to goliad for help? >> it was only 90 miles away. you can make it that distance in couple of days with the forces. >> they had 200 troops. there's 400 here. in charge, colonel james fannen. >> fannen had blitz of experience at west point. his real experience was with the georgia militia. he fought in battles with bowie. >> travis wants to go. what happens? >> they start out right down here at the crossing on the river. they have some issues with some of the wagons breaking down. they decided it's not going to work. they're not going to be able to make it up there in time to
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help. >> whole time travis thinks they are coming. what does sam houston tells jim fannon and company to do? >> ereceiveed a letter from houston saying gather up your supplies and head east. at that point, alamo fallen. >> before vacating goliad fannon receives record that his men was pinned down. he sent reinenforcement. but men would not make the return trip. part of the men that were there was killed. other headed back towards victoria. what slows down fannon, he doesn't know what's going on. >> doesn't find out what happened. communication is terrible. he doesn't know what to do. he finally decides i have an
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idea. i think i will leave. this is a fortress. it still stands hundreds of years later. i'm wondering, wouldn't it been better off staying? >> once you dig in and once fought, you can be surrounded easily. >> jim fannon travels 18 miles where he's surrounded by the mexican army. fannon is told that he can return to goliad where he and his men will be safe. this turned out to be a lie. they were executed. few escaped to tell their story. they didn't just kill the men. they are held up in a church here in the fort. they are broken up in three groups. one of the groups was told they're going to the coast. other two groups were told they will be collecting wood and water. they marched about a mile outside of the walls of the fort. mexican soldiers were escorting them. turn on a level and --
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>> shoot them point-blank range in cold blood. >> exactly. >> on this property or close to this fort, there's a memorial. can we take a look? >> sure. >> they were burned after they were massacred. just like they done at the alamo. so the fires didn't completely consume the body. >> as we get closer we see two cannons on each side. not only symbolic. they dates back to the battle. >> these were dug out in the early '30s. they were part of the artillery park. that's the burial site. >> it's hard to believe that the remains of 400 men is buried beneath there. >> it's the final resting place of the men here. it's basically their memorial their marker. >> the state of the texas
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revolution was dire. 400 plus here at goliad. sam houston knew his next battle would be his last. forcing him to make his most controversial decision. when we come back on "sam houston and the texas fight for freedom," that decision and more.
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>> april 16, 1836, sam houston and his texas army was about here in front of that very tree. famously now known -- he goes through that lens i can go through the american border where i can get more troops. you can make this decision, follow that limb and go to san jacinto where he knew san jacinto and mexican army will be waiting. of sam houston decide to finally fight. san jacinto, the place of the first and only time that santa ana and sam houston will square off. this is a battlefield. who better take me through this battle than steven moore the author of "texas rising." 18 minutes name of your book.
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>> that's the amount of time it took for the texans to surprise the mexican army. 18 minutes was the time to took to achieve victory. >> the group that got annihilated at the alamo, takes 18 minutes to defeat santa ana here? >> it was the lopsided victory in american history. >> we have a scale model what we're seeing. the mexicans were there and they arrived first. they are sitting there. they are kind of under cover. >> there's a lot of big oaks, lot of moss hanging from the trees. >> 2000 guys? >> lot of guys there more than 1500 guys. >> you have sam houston. they are that way. how many they have? >> 937 about my best count. >> who was here? >> we're in the midsection where it was. this is where you get the slight rise in the hill.
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you got this woodline that some of the mina men coming through . >> how shocked are they as they getting closer and closer. >> they're expecting the artillery to open up my minute. they're waiting to start firing. >> where is sam houston? >> sam houston is in the mist. he's going across his own horse back. >> is that usual for a commander to be in front like that? >> he's got tried and true military leader. he's been in battle with andrew jackson. he's not afraid of battle. >> he knows you need encourage and you need to be smart. when he was blindly showing courage, he was -- he still leading. he gets shot in the leg. >> two of them shot out from under him. he gets back up on the third one. he doesn't quit. so the battle has been decided before allows him the medical treatment to happen. >> 18 minutes is done.
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where do the mexican troops go? >> they're backed up to the water, called peggy's leg. huge body of water here. they trying to go across the leg and swim for their lives. the horses were drowned. >> outnumbered, no formal training. just few weeks together. that 900 plus army was able to take thousand more in 18 minutes then go for victory and then they get the ultimate prize the next day. they captures santa ana. instead of killing him, they do what. >> they keep him alive only because of sam. they wanted to shoot him on the spot. houston was wise enough to know that he needs to keep him alive. this is his key to securing ultimate freedom >> he knows there's reinforcement out there and they'll be coming for revenge. what does he get general santa
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ana to sign? >> gets the treaty signed to end the war. he used his official letter head to write letters saying we have surrendered the, the war is over. >> he left about a thousand men mexican soldiers turned around and left texas. leaving texas as an independent country for 10 years. when we come back, the modern fight. to remember the men who fought so hard for texas independence and the men and women of today who are making sure we never forget.
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support the feeding america nationwide network of food banks to help provide meals to those in need. join us at >> for decades, the state of texas has had a thirst to rebuild the alamo. but both sides cannot agree how to reclaim the footprint. that issue has fallen on the desk of the land commissioner, george p. bush here in austin,
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texas. he has embraced the challenge. >> george, when you became land commissioner, did you have the idea the passion of the alamo for the people of texas and the need to restore it? >> i did. it's at the centerpiece of what being a texan is about. this is a bloody battle in a bloody war for freedom. many constituents have be here many generations since the battle. they tell me the same thing, that we have to do a better job to restore and preserve it. >> at the time when we run from our history, the people of texas say save our history. >> the alamo was falling apart when i showed up in 2015. archeological studies said if the state department intervene, it would fall apart. i asked for an appropriate from the state legislature to get that done. we were successful. we have a lot of work ahead of
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us in maintaining the original church and barrack. not to mention building a museum and visitor's center. >> how do you show the battle while being culturally sensitive? tell me some of the groups that have come at you with their hopes and beliefs and wants? >> what we've said, they have a seat at the table and they can communicate their concerns. the reason why people come every year is for the battle of 1836. what does it mean to george p. bush, restoring the alamo? >> to me, it shows pride as a military veteran. they knew the consequence of not receiving support from other parts, despite not getting the messages. this were multiple opportunities
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to retreat but they didn't. it was the rally cry for the rest of the war of independence which culminated in the battle of san jacinto. >> is this an american story or just a texas story? >> this is a global story. what happened at the battle of alamo shaped our state, our country in terms of where you look at the lines that are drawn and how politics play out and how geo politics plays out throughout the world. >> we started this story in the alamo and continue here in san jacinto and the battle continues here in the capitol on how to best remember the men that fought here regardless how that turns out. one thing is clear, without sam houston's leadership and the courage of the men that fought under him, texas doesn't get independent and annexed to america and america's march west does not take root like it did,
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which leads me to why i titled the become "sam houston and the alamo avengers." thanks so much for watching. i'm brian kilmeade. >> this is the first ever fox nation's history awards. >> celebrating the unsung heroes. >> those


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