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The Mexican Side of the Texas Revolution

By Carlos E. Castañeda [comp. and ed.]
Dallas: P.L. Turner Company [1928]
Translation and notes by Carlos E. Castañeda

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Every serious student of the Texas Revolution has found Professor Castañeda’s masterful compilation indispensable. It incorporates the accounts of General Antonio López de Santa Anna (Commander of the Mexican Army of Operations in Texas), D. Ramón Martínez Caro (Santa Anna’s private secretary), General Vicente Filisola (Santa Anna’s second-in-command), General José Urrea (Santa Anna’s undefeated divisional commander), and General José María Tornel (Mexican Secretary of War). Before the publication of Castañeda’s magisterial work, bias and chauvinism marred many histories of the war published north of the Rio Grande. Most Texans were unaware that there was a Mexican side to the Texas Revolution. This volume provided (and continues to provide) a much needed corrective. Thereafter, all serious scholars of the conflict were obliged to a least consider Mexican points of view. As with all primary materials, historians must exercise caution when employing these accounts. Santa Anna was a smarmy political operator if ever there was one. His narrative especially is replete with narcissism, exaggeration, and outright lies. Yet, in that regard, it is no worse than the accounts of Sam Houston. Since its publication in 1928, this important work was reprinted in 1956 and 1970. Nevertheless, even the reprint editions are becoming increasingly difficult to locate. Texans should never permit this book to go out of print.