The Coward of the Alamo LbNA # 59363 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 22 2011|
|Location||Moses Rose Memorial Site, Logansport, LA|
He is often remembered as the "Coward of the Alamo", a title he never denied. Louis “Moses” Rose was born in Laferee, Ardennes, France on May 11, 1785 and was no stranger to war. At the age of 21 years, he enlisted in Napoleon’s 101st Regiment, eventually earning the rank of lieutenant. He was named to the French Legion of Honor in 1814 and had served in campaigns in Naples, Portugal, Spain and Russia. In 1827, he was living in Nacogdoches, Texas and working as a log splitter for a sawmill. He served as a messenger between Nacogdoches and Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 1826, he joined the Fredonian Rebellion and was involved in the Battle of Nacogdoches in 1832. Among his friends was James Bowie. He joined Bowie on the trip to Bexar (San Antonio) in 1835 and fought in the first siege of Bexar. On February 23, 1836, he entered the Alamo as Santa Anna arrived in Bexar. Due to his age, 51, he was called “Moses”. For ten days he fought as actively as any man among the defenders. But, Louis Rose had already seen much more of war than most at the Alamo. He recognized the maneuvers executed by Santa Anna; they were maneuvers used in the battlefields of Europe when Napoleon was on the move. He came to realize that there would be no escape from this siege. They were vastly outnumbered and their supplies were limited. It was Rose who related the story of Travis drawing a line in the dirt and asking those who were willing to stand, and die, with him to cross the line. All but Rose crossed the line. When asked years later why he didn’t cross it when everyone else did, he replied, “By God, I wasn’t ready to die!” On the night of March 5, 1836, Rose slipped over the walls and started working his way through enemy lines. He spoke fluent Spanish, which served him well that night. He traveled along the San Antonio River about three miles south of San Antonio, then turned east toward the Guadalupe River. He wandered for weeks, dodging Mexican patrols and sleeping on the ground. Finally, he turned up at the home of William P. Zuber in Grimes County, asking for a meal and a chance to rest. He had traveled almost two hundred miles. Immediately, Rose explained his situation, thinking the Zubers may not appreciate having a coward in their home. He was recognized as an honest man by the Zuber family. They allowed him to stay there several weeks until he had recovered from his time in the wild. He returned to his home in Nacogdoches and went to work in a butcher shop. As an Alamo survivor, he frequently was asked to verify claims of the heirs of Alamo defenders who were trying to collect land for a deceased family member's service to Texas. He relocated to Logansport, Louisiana in the 1840s and worked in a butcher shop there. In Logansport, he lived with the Aaron Ferguson family. Whenever someone approached him regarding the Battle of the Alamo, he would tell them honestly that he was the “coward of the Alamo”. You can call him coward if you like, but in my opinion, he doesn’t deserve it. Louis Rose never married (okay, maybe he was a coward). He passed away in 1850 in Logansport, Louisiana at the age of 65. He was buried in Desoto Parish, Louisiana in the Old Whitten Cemetery, located between Logansport and Longstreet, Louisiana east of the community of Funston on Parish Road 168. The old cemetery today is known as Moses Rose Historical Gravesite. In 1927, one of his brother’s descendants, Arthur Rose, presented Louis Rose’s musket to the Alamo Museum.
Directions: Lat: 32.03537 Long: -93.93321 From Logansport, Louisiana, drive north on LA 5 for 5.2 miles to Parish Road 168, also known as Funston Road. Go east on 168, all the time staying on Funston Rd., which is paved and striped. At one point, there is a "Y", and you should bear left there. You will see a worn sign on the right at the old cemetery. Watch closely or you'll miss it. There are only about four markers there, but the one for Moses Rose is prominent, so you won’t have any trouble spotting it. The old cemetery is very neglected, so take care. There is an uncovered geocache laying next to the oak tree near the marker, so be aware. When we were there in early June 2012, the geocache box was empty. Facing the gravestone, look to your right for a log with two small trees, very close together, just behind and almost touching it. The box is between the trees and the log.