Replica of 18-pound cannon used at Alamo will return to San Antonio

AUSTIN, TX (News Release) - A replica of the 18-pound cannon William Barret Travis answered Santa Anna's demand for surrender with makes a defiant return to the Alamo Friday in celebration of Texas Independence Day and the 177th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.

"This 18-pound cannon embodies the Texians' unyielding defiance to tyranny," said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. "This cannon — and the defiance it represented — was one of the main reasons Santa Anna was set on taking the Alamo."

The 18-pounder is believed to be the cannon Travis was referring to when he wrote  '". . . I have answered the demand with a cannon shot . . ."  in his famous "Victory or Death" letter, which is on rare public display in the Alamo until March 7.

The original cannon, probably located on the southwest corner of the compound, was capable of firing an 18-pound cannonball more than a mile.  The 18 pounder was the largest cannon at the Alamo at the time of the battle, but was only one of about twenty cannons at the site.

Eugene Robinson, an antique armorer who consulted for the 2004 Touchstone Pictures film, and Dale Kohler, who worked as an extra in the film, will wheel the replica onto the Alamo Plaza at 10:30 a.m. Thursday and will be available to speak to the media about the cannon and its importance to Texas history. The cannon will remain in front of the Alamo shrine all weekend for the observance of the 177th anniversary of the historic March 6th battle.

The replica cannon was one of the few props to be salvaged from the 2011 fire that destroyed "The Alamo" movie set at Eugene Reimers' ranch. The $10 million set was the biggest in North America at the time and was used for the 2004 Touchstone film.

The original cannons captured at the Alamo were 'spiked" by the Mexican army, rendering them useless to the Texians. Several were found in the late 1900s when Alamo Plaza was developed.