The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

"just As I Have Written It":
A Study of the Authenticity of the Manuscript of
Jos' Enrique de la Peia's Account
of the Texas Campaign
DAVID B. GRACY II*
THE NAME OF MEXICAN ARMY LIEUTENANT JosE ENRIQUE DE LA PEIA
has become as well known among those interested in the story of the
Alamo as the names of the fort's most honored defenders, particularly
David Crockett, whose brutal, summary execution Pefia recounts in heart-
wrenching detail. Published in Spanish in Mexico in 1955, the young of-
ficer's account of the Texas campaign was consulted little north of the
Rio Grande until after Pefia's manuscript writings were brought to San
Antonio, translated into English by Carmen Perry, and published in 1975
as With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution.?
Pefia was driven to produce his extended memoir, he wrote in his pre-
amble, by his consuming desire to correct misunderstanding in Mexico of
events of the campaign. His manuscript is grounded in a diary, the con-
tents of which, according to Professor James E. Crisp, he subsequently en-
larged and modified into an extended narrative supplemented with
information he gathered after the campaign. These two narratives to-
gether, the diary and the extended memoir, make up the Pefia manu-
script, initially called the Pefia diary, as though they constituted one
integrated piece of writing. The first (1o9 pages long) is the diary that
Pefia kept in the field, and was written in Matamoros in the summer of
* David B. Gracy II is the Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise and director of
the Center for the Cultural Record, Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the
University of Texas at Austin. This article is enlarged from a talk given at the Eyewitness to the Texas
Revolution: Josi Enrique de la Peria and Has Narratzve conference in Austin sponsored by the Center
for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, April 29 , 2000.
' Walter Lord, A Time to Stand (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1961), 2o6, was the principal
exception, as he utilized the Pefia account and mentioned that Pefia wrote that Crockett surren-
dered and was executed by order of Santa Anna.Jos6 Enrique de la Pefia, Wth Santa Anna in Texas:
A Personal Narrative of the Revolution, trans. and ed. Carmen Perry (College Station: Texas A&M
University Press, 1975).
VOL. CV, NO. 2 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY OCTOBER, 2001

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed April 20, 2014.