Gutiérrez-Magee expedition squashed in bloodiest Texas battle

August 18th, 1813

On this day in 1813, the Spaniards defeated a would-be Texas republic in the bloodiest action ever fought on Texas soil. The battle of Medina ended the filibustering efforts of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. The expedition collided with the Spanish royalist army twenty miles south of San Antonio in an oak forest then called el Encinal de Medina. The republican force of 1,400 men was under the command of Gen. José Alvarez de Toledo y Dubois. The royalist army of some 1,830 men was commanded by Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo and included the young Lt. Antonio López de Santa Anna. On the morning of August 18, royalist scouts lured the republican army into an ambush. A four-hour slaughter ensued. Only 100 of the defeated republican army survived, whereas Arredondo lost only fifty-five men. The dead royalists were buried the next day on the way to San Antonio. The bodies of the fallen republicans were left to lie where they fell for nine years. The first governor of the Mexican state of Texas ordered a detachment of soldiers to gather the bones and give them an honorable burial under an oak tree growing on the battlefield.

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Gutiérrez-Magee expedition squashed in bloodiest Texas battle

August 18th, 1813

On this day in 1813, the Spaniards defeated a would-be Texas republic in the bloodiest action ever fought on Texas soil. The battle of Medina ended the filibustering efforts of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition. The expedition collided with the Spanish royalist army twenty miles south of San Antonio in an oak forest then called el Encinal de Medina. The republican force of 1,400 men was under the command of Gen. José Alvarez de Toledo y Dubois. The royalist army of some 1,830 men was commanded by Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo and included the young Lt. Antonio López de Santa Anna. On the morning of August 18, royalist scouts lured the republican army into an ambush. A four-hour slaughter ensued. Only 100 of the defeated republican army survived, whereas Arredondo lost only fifty-five men. The dead royalists were buried the next day on the way to San Antonio. The bodies of the fallen republicans were left to lie where they fell for nine years. The first governor of the Mexican state of Texas ordered a detachment of soldiers to gather the bones and give them an honorable burial under an oak tree growing on the battlefield.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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