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With Milam and Fannin …

By Hermann Ehrenberg
Dallas: Tardy Publishing Company, Inc., [1935]
Translated by Charlotte Churchill.
Edited by Henry Smith.
Foreword by Herbert Gambrell.
Illustrated by Jerry Bywaters.

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“One of the earliest German accounts of Texas,” Jenkins commented, “this is also an important source work on the events of the Texas Revolution.” Therefore, it is regrettable that we do not yet have an edition of the book that reflects its prominence. In 1836, Ehrenberg served as a volunteer in Fannin’s command and escaped the Goliad Massacre, after which he endured numerous hardships before eventually making it back to the Texian settlements. By 1843, he had returned to Germany where he published Texas und seine Revolution, an account of his experiences in Texas. In 1935, Tardy Publishing Company released an edition to coincide with the centenary of Texas independence. Yet, instead of presenting a full and faithful translation of Ehrenberg’s original text, publishers released an edition that sought to encourage public school adoptions. The publisher produced a piece of juvenilia, which expurgated much of the content that kiddies might find boring or school boards might find racy. Consequently, the edition that Jenkins listed in Basic Texas Books is but a pale shadow of the one Ehrenberg actually wrote. Mercifully, a corrective is forthcoming. For the last twenty-seven years, Professor James E. Crisp has been editing an English language translation of Ehrenberg’s original text. Dr. Crisp insists that the reason it has taken so long to edit was the result of Ehrenburg lying so often. His work is currently in press and will be available to the public within two years. For the first time, those of us not fluent in German will be able to read a translation of Ehrenberg that does honor to his 1843 narrative. Professor Crisp has graciously permitted me to read portions of manuscript—and it is superb. Its publication promises to be a major event in the world of Texas letters. Finally, a complete and uncensored edition of this Texana classic.