Esparza, Enrique (1828–1917)

By: Reynaldo J. Esparza

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Enrique Esparza, witness of the battle of the Alamo, son of Gregorio Esparza and Ana Salazar, was probably born in September 1828, although he claimed to have been born in 1824. His father was killed in the defense of the Alamo. In an interview with Charles Merritt Barnes, writer for the San Antonio Express, in 1907, Esparza begins his narration concerning his Alamo experience by saying, "All the others are dead. I alone live of they who were within the Alamo when it fell. There is none other left now to tell its story, and when I go to sleep my last slumber in the Campo de los Santos (cemetery), there will then be no one left to tell. You ask me do I remember it, I tell you, Yes. It is burned into my brain and indelibly seared there. Neither age nor infirmity could make me forget for the scene was one of such horror that it could never be forgotten." Esparza was married to Gertrudes Hernández. They had seven children. A daughter, María Josefa, was one of the first area women to be invested in the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word on January 4, 1871, when she became Sister Claude.

Esparza first farmed in the San Augustine community in Atascosa County, Texas. He moved to San Antonio and truck-farmed in the Nogalitos-South Flores area. He also transported merchandise to and from Indianola, Texas, in carts. So burdensome and dangerous was the trip, that on his return, the first place he visited was the church to give thanks for his safe return. Esparza died on December 20, 1917, and is buried in El Carmen Cemetery, Losoya.

San Antonio Express, May 12, 19, 1907, December 21, 1917. San Antonio Light, December 21, 1917. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Reynaldo J. Esparza, “Esparza, Enrique,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 12, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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