The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 427
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In Pursuit of Herman Ehrenberg: A Research Adventure
erstwhile captor Col. Juan Jose Holzinger. Moreover, after describing
the horror of the bloody massacre at Goliad, Ehrenberg declared that
he "could not possibly believe that people who call themselves
Christians would be capable of shooting down prisoners with such
fiendish delight .... They flaunt their exclusive, righteous faith and
pretend to worship Christ who commanded his followers to love their
enemies and to be charitable to them. But," said Ehrenberg, "that is the
weakness of Catholicism. Instead of giving its adherents moral strength
and instilling in their hearts a stimulating rational faith, it deceives
them with superficial display and gives free rein to brutality and
immorality. In return for money and feigned repentance it gives the
sinner absolution for every crime.""
Charlotte may have had other reasons for wanting to leave Our Lady
of the Lake and return to Europe, but it was the impending publication
of her Ehrenberg translation that precipitated her abrupt departure
from the Catholic girls' school. No more than two weeks after she
learned that Prof. McGinnis had recommended her work to the Tardy
Publishing Company of Dallas, and that the Southwest Review would soon
be publishing excerpts from it, she left Texas behind forever.12 Writing
back to Mother Angelique as her ship, the Britannic, neared the Irish
coast on the fifth of July, Charlotte apologized for leaving "without say-
ing goodbye, but my departure was so sudden that I had barely the time
to sell the furniture, do my packing and get on the train." As one of the
Sisters of Divine Providence had delicately put the matter to her,
explained Charlotte, "the possibility of publishing my translation will
very fittingly bring to a close my activities with the college.""13
As it turns out, Charlotte didn't have to worry about any embarrass-
ment that the publication of a stridently anti-Catholic Ehrenberg mem-
oir might cause her or her college, because every such sentiment,
indeed every word that might have caused the slightest offense to any-
one, was carefully snipped from her translation before the Tardy
Company brought it out that fall under the title, With Milam and Fannin:
Adventures of a German Boy in Texas' Revolution.14 Although his name
appears nowhere on the volume, John H. McGinnis is certainly the god-
father of this little book. He arranged for it to be edited by his young
" These quotations are from pages 2 (1st quotation) and 204 (subsequent quotations) of
Prof. Louis E. Brister's draft translation of the Ehrenberg memoir. These passages, as translated
by Prof. Peter Mollenhauer, may be found in Ornish, Ehrenberg, 75, 253. For the original
German text, see Ehrenberg, Texas und seine Revolution, 1, 149.
2 McGinnis to Churchill,June 13, 1935, Southwest Review Collection.
1" Charlotte Churchill to Mother Angellque, July 5, 1935, Churchill Correspondence, Our
Lady of the Lake University Archives. I am indebted to Sister Maria Carolina Flores, archivist of
Our Lady of the Lake University, and to her student assistants, for their invaluable aid in uncov-
ering this cache of Churchill's letters from Europe.
" Smith (ed.), With Milam and Fannin; see Crisp, "Sam Houston's Speechwnters," 216-224.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/498/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.