The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998

Book Reviews

the "Davy died fighting like a tiger" crowd, Jose Enrique de la Pefia. Groneman
also engages in a brief obligatory assault on the authenticity of the de la Pefia
account. This is accompanied by the publication of a rather unflattering
mafioso-like photograph ofJesus Sanchez Garza (wearing dark glasses and smok-
ing a fat stogie), the original 1955 publisher of de la Pefia's journal. All of this
provides nothing not already presented in the longer and even more tedious
debate between Groneman and James Crisp fought out in the pages of this jour-
nal and elsewhere. Crisp demolished Groneman's arguments, but what is truly
remarkable is that even after this pathetic horse was beaten to death and sent
out for the reading public to feast upon, many otherwise discerning readers con-
tinued to insist that Groneman served up beef rather than pony. This book will
provide them with yet another tasty snack.
Despite Groneman's perhaps understandable digression into Davy Deathiana,
his book remains an altogether admirable anthology. Under the guidance of
master editor Mary Elizabeth Goldman, and with a particularly attractive design
by Republic of Texas Press, Groneman has produced a fine work, and his best
book to date. It belongs on the shelf of all interested in Texas history.
University of New Mexico PAUL ANDREW HUTTON
Ehrenberg: Goliad Survivor-Old West Explorer. By Natalie Ornish. (Dallas: Texas
Heritage Press, 1997. Pp. xx+403. Acknowledgments, chronology, fore-
word, illustrations, translation, appendix, bibliography. ISBN
0-9620755-1-5. $29.95, cloth.)
It is one of the great ironies of the literature of the Texas Revolution that the
longest and most vivid eyewitness account of the revolt by a Texan soldier has
never existed in a complete or reliable edition in the English language. Scholars
have felt for decades the need for a fresh and uncut translation of Hermann
Ehrenberg's lively memoir, which first appeared in Leipzig in the 184os. Until
now, the only published translation of the teenaged volunteer's narrative was the
heavily abridged (one could even say sanitized) 1935 Dallas version entitled With
Milam and Fannin: Adventures of a German Boy in Texas' Revolution. Now Natalie
Ornish, with the assistance of translator Peter Mollenhauer, has brought out of
Dallas another edition of Ehrenberg, with results even more problematical than
its ill-starred predecessor.
This lavishly illustrated, colorfully bound book contains a wealth of misinfor-
mation. Ornish's failure to document adequately her often sensational claims
about Ehrenberg's exploits leads to countless errors, compounded by the
author's remarkable unfamiliarity with both the context of the Texas Revolution
and the basic facts of her subject's kaleidoscopic life. For example, when noting
(pp. 39-40) that Ehrenberg was cited for bravery for his role in the rescue of
American prisoners in Baja California during the Mexican War, Ornish mis-
places the site of the rescue operation by more than five hundred miles, and
then "corrects" the title of Ehrenberg's own sketch of the engagement. She also
confuses (p. 52) La Paz, the Arizona mining town where Ehrenberg lived in the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/. Accessed December 19, 2014.