Indians defeat Spanish force on Red River

October 7th, 1759

On this day in 1759, hostile Indians lured a Spanish troop under Diego Ortiz Parilla into a battle near a fortified Taovaya village on the Red River near the site of present Spanish Fort. The Spaniards fought a four-hour battle against their numerically superior opponents, who also included Comanches, Yaceales, and Tawakonis. As darkness fell, Ortiz Parilla led an orderly withdrawal, though he was forced to leave a pair of cannons on the treacherous sandbank where the Spaniards had found themselves pinned down. The expedition thus failed in its objective, which was to punish the Indians responsible for the destruction of Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission in March 1759. Though Ortiz Parilla's detractors exaggerated the extent of the Spanish defeat, he was replaced as commandant of San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio by Felipe de Rábago y Terán, who held the fort on the San Saba River as a face-saving measure for almost another decade.

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Indians defeat Spanish force on Red River

October 7th, 1759

On this day in 1759, hostile Indians lured a Spanish troop under Diego Ortiz Parilla into a battle near a fortified Taovaya village on the Red River near the site of present Spanish Fort. The Spaniards fought a four-hour battle against their numerically superior opponents, who also included Comanches, Yaceales, and Tawakonis. As darkness fell, Ortiz Parilla led an orderly withdrawal, though he was forced to leave a pair of cannons on the treacherous sandbank where the Spaniards had found themselves pinned down. The expedition thus failed in its objective, which was to punish the Indians responsible for the destruction of Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission in March 1759. Though Ortiz Parilla's detractors exaggerated the extent of the Spanish defeat, he was replaced as commandant of San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio by Felipe de Rábago y Terán, who held the fort on the San Saba River as a face-saving measure for almost another decade.

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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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