In 1836, an idealistic young Mexican officer named José Enrique de la Peña chronicled his experiences during the Texas Revolution and at the Alamo.
In 1975, the de la Peña diary/memoir was translated by Carmen Perry and published as With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution. The book detailed the suffering of Mexican soldiers, but it was a passage in Chapter 4 that drew international attention. De la Peña stated that seven Alamo defenders were captured, and Santa Anna ordered them executed. One of the prisoners was David Crockett.
The book ignited a firestorm of controversy. Many Alamo devotees – in and out of Texas – rejected any challenge to the cherished belief that Crockett died fighting, while historians argued over the diary/memoir's authenticity. The debate smolders to this day: did David Crockett die during the battle or was he captured and executed? But...
What if Davy didn't die?
That's the premise in Rescuing Crockett, the historical adventure novel by David Pyke.
When the American ambassador to Mexico stumbles across a portrait of David Crockett drawn two years after the fall of the Alamo, a handful of Texians (as Texans were known until the 1850s) embark on a quest for the truth. The Texians are led by Sam McCulloch, a free Black man and the first Texian casualty of the Texas Revolution; Henry Wax Karnes and Juan Seguin, heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto; and Silas Grant, a resourceful sixteen-year-old who was with the Texas army and is preparing for life with Emily Perry, a courageous, determined young woman with red hair and emerald green eyes.
Seizing a chance at redemption for the loss of friends and family at the Alamo, the Texians explore a world still healing and rebuilding from the war. They investigate the stories of Alamo survivors and sort through conflicting accounts to build a picture of Crockett’s last stand. They follow the path of the Mexican army’s retreat and learn of a wounded man escorted under guard to the Gulf Coast. Finally, the Texians slip into Mexico to find a witness to the final moments inside the Alamo. Layers of the mystery peel away to reveal a shocking secret involving Texas’s greatest enemy.