Chapter Sixteen

The Españoles, Hispanics, Bernardo Vicente Apolinar de Gálvez y Madrid, Vizconde de Gálvezton and Conde de Gálvez (July 23, 1746 C.E.-November 30, 1786 C.E.) and the American Revolutionary War



 Much is owed to the Internet researchers who provide a wealth of information included here.

 While my progenitor, Salvadór de Ribera and his son, Alfonso, defended España’s Nuevo Méjico territory from marauding Natives and others, the European powers watched cautiously as the British Colonists of the New World began their revolutionary stirrings in 1776 C.E. España in particular, watched nervously as the other European powers eyed her possessions. She had explored and settled the most extensive territorial empire the world had known. El Imperio Español of Salvadór’s day stretched across the globe and she held the majority of the Western Hemisphere. Her king was not about to give it all away.


The broad strategic military vision for Nueva España was to extend España’s influence northward from Méjico City to Nuevo Méjico by 1598 C.E. via a series of misiónes or missions, presidios, and villas. This she did early on. España then pushed from Sonora onward toward Tejas. Over some time, Tejas would be partitioned into four provinces under the Virreinato of Nueva España. The El Paso area would be under the jurisdiction of Nuevo Méjico, the misiónes founded near La Junta de los Ríos on May 31, 1715 C.E., by a Spanish entourage under Fray Joséf de Arraneguí were placed under Nueva Vizcaya. The coastal region from the Nueces River to the Río Grande and upstream to Laredo were placed under Nuevo Santander after 1749 C.E. Tejas was initially under joint jurisdiction with the province of Coahuila.


As time went on, Nueva España moved her influence into a “T-like” geographic approach. By 1752 C.E., the Españoles then moved access westward toward Arizona with Catholic misióneros into the Tucson area. By 1762 C.E., she moved access eastward through Tejas and onto Luisiana for the purpose of increased trade. She would later move westward over land through Arizona to Las Californias. España then established the small guarnición/military post of San Agustín del Tucson there before 1766 C.E. The presence of Españoles increased in the region by the last quarter of the 18th-Century C.E.


Royal Spanish troops assisted the misióneros traveling as military escorts. A small detachment from Tubac was stationed at Bac for the protection of misióneros. Capitán Nicolás de Lafora visited Tubac in 1766 C.E. and reported that a military detachment was maintained at Bac and Piman Tucson for the safety of the Jesuits working there. Military protection was continued there after the Franciscans took over the Pimería Alta misiónes. Historians have found that that Fray Francisco Garcés wrote to Capitán de Anza and stated that the soldados were behaving “divinely” and setting the Natives a good Christian example. This small force of soldados was undoubtedly kept at Bac until the Tubac guarnición was moved northward to protect the exposed misión and its branch. The soldados were also assigned to protect the overland route to California in the west in 1776 C.E. Teniente Coronel Juan Bautista de Anza, Gobernador of Sonora, had already successfully settled San Francisco Bay in Alta California.


Remote Nuevo Méjico, the home of my progenitors, was at the top/center of the strategic geographic “T” and a wedge against hostile intentions of any powers and an anchor for moving the frontier northward from Tejas to Las Californias.


España’s greater strategic vision was to regain Florida, unify the northwestern frontier from the Mississippi to the Pacific, and challenge the British on all fronts. However, the challenge proved too great. The European threat could be countered, but the Native populations could not be absorbed rapidly enough and be made to accept España’s culture. The result was a frontier which was largely uncontrolled.


In Latino América José de Gálvez y Gallardo Marqués de Sonora established the Virreinato of Río de la Plata in 1776 C.E. incorporating in it the territories of the Virreinato of Perú, and the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777 C.E. from sections of the Virreinato of Nueva Granada. Both new government structures were intended to establish greater military control, increase areas settled, and to stimulate the economy of each region.


In España Bernardo de Gálvez spent several months in rehabilitation tending to the leg wound he received in Algiers before marching to Madrid in January of 1776 C.E.


In recompense for his service in Algiers and his leg wounds, in 1776 C.E. Teniente Coronel de Gálvez was attached to General de Teniente Alejandro O’Reilly’s La Real Escuela Militar de Ávila where he became a professor. Bernardo de Gálvez had returned only briefly to the la Real Escuela Militar de Ávila de los Caballeros (Knights) of Ávila, España. Its new director, Francisco of Estacheria, had left a coronel’s position vacant in the infantry regiment of the province of Louisiana. Don Alejandro O'Reilly proposed to Bernardo’s uncle, José, that Bernardo should be appointed to occupy the post.


On May 22, 1776 C.E., 30 year old Bernardo de Gálvez became a coronel in the vacant position in the infantry regiment of the province of Luisiana and appointed second in command of the provincial forces. He was then transferred to the faraway provincia.


Smuggling from New Orleans to the Américanos began in earnest in 1776 C.E., when General Charles Lee sent two Continental Army officers to request supplies from the New Orleans Gobernador, Luís de Unzaga y Amézaga (1721 C.E.-1790 C.E.), also known as Luís Unzaga Y Amézaga. He was the Spanish Gobernador of Luisiana from late 1769 C.E. to mid-1777 C.E., as well as a Capitán General of Venezuela and Cuba.


In the Caribe, in February 1776 C.E., American Esek Hopkins commanded a squadron of more than seven ships in an effort to raid against the British-held Nassau Island to secure supplies and munitions. At the Battle of Nassau, on March 3rd and 4th, the Americans landed via the first-ever amphibious assault by American military forces. The force consisted of 250 Marines and sailors.


This was to be done under the covering fire of the Providence, a sloop in the Continental Navy and the 8 gun schooner the Wasp. However, their guns were never fired as landing was unopposed. The attackers overwhelmed Fort Montague. The then British retreated to Fort Nassau. The following day, the British surrendered the town of Nassau and Fort Nassau to Continental forces. The Americans claimed 88 cannon, 15 mortars, and 24 casks of much needed gunpowder. The Americans spent the next two weeks loading their ships with the booty before finally returning home.

Upon review, the Treaty of Surat was condemned by the British Calcutta Council, it was annulled, and the new Treaty of Purandhar with the regency of the Maratha Empire in India replaced it on March 1, 1776 C.E. Raghunathrao was given a pension, his cause abandoned, and the revenues of Salsette and Broach districts retained by the British.


In North America on June 28, 1776 C.E., the American forces under Major General Charles Lee’s command repulsed a British attempt to capture Charleston and its Fort Sullivan. Fort Sullivan was square-shaped. It was constructed of only of a completed seaward wall, its walls made from Palmetto logs 16 feet-wide and filled with sand. The logs rose 10 feet above the wooden platforms for positioning artillery. A palisade of thick planks secured the powder magazine and unfinished northern walls. The Patriots had only 28 rounds for each of their assortment of 31 cannons with sizes ranging from 9-and 12-pounders, British 18-pounders, and French 26-pounders placed along the front and rear walls. The American defenders were ordered to wait 10 minutes between firing a round. They were to concentrate only on the ships nearest the American Fort Sullivan.


The British were commanded by Admiral Peter Parker. He had ordered the fleet to begin its attack that morning. The British fleet consisted of 20 ships. Only 9 were man-of-war ships and armed. The flagship was the 50-gun Bristol and the other ships of the line included the Experiment, Actaeon, Active, Solebya, Syren, Sphinx, Frendship, and the bomb-vessel Thunder. In total, all were mounted with nearly 300 heavy cannon. The other ships were unarmed.


The ship of the line evolved from the galleon. These were three or four-masted vessels which were constructed with a high superstructure on their stern and normally carried heavy guns along two decks. When fleets composed of these types ships engaged in battle they adopted a fighting formation called the line-of-battle. Two opposing columns of ships maneuvered to fire their guns in broadside or a simultaneous discharge of all the cannon arrayed on one side of a ship against each other. Sea battles using these ship formations were known as line-of-battle actions of warfare. These battles were usually won by the heaviest ships which carried the largest and most powerful cannon. As a result, there was a natural progression toward fleets of large, heavy, line-of-battle ships or ships of the line.


The British pilots were ordered to bring the first ships to anchorage in close, as to allow enough space so that the other ships could anchor near the Fort. The battle plan called for a sally and some of units were to swarm the enemy. The sally was to be conducted by 3 other ships. These ships were to go around to the western side of the Fort and fire into the unfinished portion. A bomb ketch was to be used. This type of floating weapon platform was usually adapted from a small, two-masted ketch. The whole ship is constructed around a single large-caliber mortar. These strongly-built bomb ketches were made to withstand the recoil of repeated mortar discharges. Chains replaced rigging ropes nearest the mortar to prevent muzzle blast damage. The ketch was armed with a large mortar to fire into the Fort.


As the battle began, the tide turned against the British. The pilots refused orders to bring the warships in close as Admiral Peter Parker had ordered as they feared running aground. The full effect of their gunnery was then lost. The planned sally which was to be used to exploit the unfinished sides of the Fort, failed when the ships ran aground on the shoal.


The inexperienced American Fort gunners under Major General Lee poured deadly fire into the British fleet which had a destructive effect on the British ships. All personnel on the quarterdeck of the flagship of the fleet, the HMS Bristol, were killed or wounded. South Carolina's royal governor, Lord William Campbell, manned cannon on that ship. He was wounded by splinter and died from the wounds 2 years later. Admiral Parker was also wounded. A splinter tore off his pants. A second wounded his knee and left him unable to walk unaided. The other ships had suffered a number of casualties. The British continued their bombardment. It had little effect due to the Fort's construction with the soft and spongy palmetto logs which simply absorbed the cannonballs.


The British also attempted an assault. This was from Long Island using small boats to attack the northern end of Sullivan's Island. The attack was poorly covered by a British schooner and the boats were soon turned back by Patriots firing at point-blank range. The fire caused very heavy casualties in the British assault party. Clinton called off the attack and no other attacks attempted. By 9:30 P.M. that evening, all firing stopped. By 11:30 P.M., the British ships left. Unfortunately, of 3 British ships which had run aground, the HMS Actaeon was unable to extract herself. The British captain requested Parker's permission to abandon ship. He then moved to destroy her to keep the ship from falling into the hands of the Americans. The captain then set her on fire. Later, an American salvage party went out to the Bristol after she had been abandoned and gathered the ship's bell, its colors, and various stores before the engulfing fire spread, endangered their safety. The ship's magazine soon exploded.


With their efforts repulsed, the British halted their attack. By Battle’s end, the Americans had expended approximately, 1/7 the amount of gun powder than the British forces had. The slow and steady American fire was quite accurate and had won the day.


This success greatly improved his standing within the Army and with the Congress of the United States. Later that year, Lee was captured by British cavalry under Banastre Tarleton. He was a prisoner of the British until his exchange in 1778 C.E. During the decisive Battle of Monmouth fought on June 28, 1778 C.E., Major General Lee led an assault on the British that miscarried. Lee allowed the British rearguard commander, Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis to seize the initiative. The American lines were routed until General Washington saved the day. Major General Lee was subsequently court-martialed and his American military service brought to an unfortunate end. He died at Philadelphia in 1782 C.E.


Luís de Unzaga y Amézaga (1721 C.E.-1790 C.E.), the second Spanish gobernador of Luisiana from 1769 C.E. until 1777 C.E., had been concerned about antagonizing the British before the Españoles were thoroughly prepared for war. However, he did agree to assist the rebels covertly. Luís in fact authorized a critical shipment of gunpowder under a transaction brokered by Oliver Pollock, the American patriot and financier.


During the summer of 1776 C.E., Gobernador de Unzaga secretly gave aid to the Américanos. He delivered five tons of gunpowder to Captain George Gibson and Lieutenant Linn of the Virginia Council of Defense privately. The delivery had come out of the King's stores. The shipment of gunpowder was transported up the Mississippi River under the protection of the flag of España and was eventually used to oppose British plans to capture Fort Pitt in western Pennsylvania which replaced Fort Duquesne, a French colonial fort.


Luís de Unzaga y Amézaga was born in Málaga, España. He was the son of a well-known Vasco family. Luís served in the Italian war of 1735 C.E. He later went to Habana in 1740 C.E., where he was Teniente Gobernador of Puerto Principe, Cuba, and later of Santiago de Cuba the second largest city of Cuba and capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province in the southeastern area of the island.


In 1762 C.E. during the Seven Years' War, de Unzaga had unsuccessfully defended Habana against a British siege. Later, he accompanied Alejandro O'Reilly to New Orleans in 1769 C.E. to put down the Rebellion of 1768 C.E. This was carried out by French and German colonists who objected to the Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762 C.E.) and its granting the territory of Luisiana to España. Following the formal establishment of the cabildo or council, de Unzaga became gobernador of Luisiana on December 1, 1769 C.E.


In 1770 C.E., he married Marie Elizabeth de St. Maxênt, second daughter of Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxênt, the wealthiest man in Luisiana. She was the sister of Marie Felicité (Feliciana) de Saint-Maxênt d'Estrehan, who would become the wife of Bernardo de Gálvez in 1777 C.E.


Even before July 4, 1776 C.E., España and France enter into a secret agreement with the American Colonists to support them in their rebellion against Britain. Before and after the declaration of war, España carried on efforts to undermine its enemy Britain. She maintained a complex network of “observers” throughout the Américas. They monitored the course of the American Revolution and reported on its progress. Two observers posted in Philadelphia were Juan de Miralles and Francisco Rendón.


Juan de Miralles was born in 1713 C.E. at Petrel, España. It is situated in Alicante, Communidad València España. His parents were from France. De Miralles went to Cuba when he was very young. De Miralles settled in Habana around 1740 C.E. While there, he became a successful merchant. Juan was also an arms dealer. De Miralles became a partner in the powerful trading firm of Robert Morris and Thomas Willing.


Robert Morris, Jr. (January 20, 1734 C.E.-May 8, 1806 C.E.) born in Liverpool. He became an American merchant who helped finance the American Revolution and was a Founding Father of the United States. Robert Morris, Jr. signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. He was also elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and became the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. Robert was chosen as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, where he served as chairman of the "Secret Committee of Trade" and as a member of the Committee of Correspondence.

From 1781 C.E. to 1784 C.E., Robert Morris, Jr. served in the powerful position of Superintendent of Finance. In this capacity he helped manage the economy of the fledgling United States. As a powerful civilian in the government, Morris was considered by many "the most powerful man in America" next to General George Washington. His successful administration led to his sobriquet, as the accepted "Financier of the Revolution." Simultaneously, he was Agent of Marine, without pay, and from which he controlled the Continental Navy. He was one of Pennsylvania's original pair of US senators, serving from 1789 C.E. to 1795 C.E.


Thomas Willing (December 19, 1731 C.E.-January 19, 1821 C.E.) was born in Philadelphia. Thomas completed preparatory studies in Bath, England. He later studied law in London at the Inner Temple. In 1749 C.E., Willing returned to Philadelphia, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, in partnership with Robert Morris, until 1793 C.E. as a merchant. He was later a Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, and the first president of the First National Bank of the United States.


By the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776 C.E., Oliver Pollock had become very wealthy and had significant political influence. Less than three months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 C.E., Oliver Pollock had purchased, fitted out and dispatched a vessel up the Mississippi River loaded with 9,000 pounds of gun powder and other supplies to George Washington at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. Later, he noted that the shipment: “…not only arrived in safety, but was a signal and seasonable supply.”


Oliver Pollock became an American citizen when independence from England was declared in the summer of 1776 C.E. Pollock stayed in New Orleans for eight years and also worked as a plantation owner and selling land in Baton Rouge.


In 1777 C.E., American Representatives in France, including Benjamin Franklin, arranged for additional secret transport of weapons and goods from España to the American Colonies. Since the Colonies had not obtained their independence from Britain, France could not accept an Ambassador. Yet, Franklin, the "Representative" was afforded all the courtesies normally extended to other Ambassadors.


Benjamin Franklin, American Representative to France, also sent Arthur Lee to España. There Lee secretly arranged for a Spanish firm to ship two hundred and sixteen bronze cannons, twenty-seven mortars, four thousand field tents, over twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty-six grenades, thirty thousand muskets, bayonets, and uniforms. The arrangement also provided fifty-one thousand one hundred and thirty-four musket balls and three hundred thousand pounds of gunpowder to Boston from a French port, by way of Bermuda. Later, in one of Franklin’s letters, he thanked the Spanish minister, the Conde de Aranda, for twelve thousand muskets sent to Boston. Eventually, España delivered much more aid. However, one must remember that because España was officially neutral at the time, the aid was kept secret. The only records of shipments are those found in España’s archives.


In 1777 C.E., off the coast of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico two Continental Navy ships the Eudawook and the Henry were chased by the larger and more powerful the Royal Navy warship, HMS Glasgow. As the ships were close to the coast of Mayagüez; members of Mayagüez’s Puerto Rico miquelets realized something was wrong. The Puertorriqueños signaled for the Américano ships to dock in the town's bay. The ships docked and crews of both ships disembarked. Mayagüezanos quickly boarded both ships and raised the Spanish flag. The commander of the Glasgow was informed of what had occurred and demanded that the island's gobernador, José Dufresne turn over the ships. The Gobernador refused and ordered the British warship out of the Puerto Rican waters.


In India, the Bombay government then rejected this new treaty and provided refuge for Raghunathrao. In 1777 C.E., Nana Phadnavis, the minister and statesman of the Maratha Empire violated the treaty with the Calcutta Council. They granted the French a port on the west coast. The British responded by dispatching a military force towards Pune.


On January 1, 1777 C.E., Coronel Bernardo de Gálvez through the influence of his uncle José de Gálvez, succeeded Luís de Unzaga y Amézaga and was appointed provisional Gobernador (Interim) of the provincia of Luisiana.


The American Patriot, Benjamin Franklin noted in his report that three thousand barrels of gunpowder were waiting in New Orleans, and merchants in Bilbao "had orders to ship for us such necessaries as we might want." This was because when Bernardo de Gálvez was appointed Gobernador at New Orleans in January 1777 C.E., he continued and expanded American military supply operations.


Former Spanish prime minister and then-Ambassador to the French Court, Pablo Jerónimo Grimaldi y Pallavicini, summarized the Spanish position on formally declaring war on Britain on behalf of the Américanos. He did so in a letter to Dr. Arthur Lee (December 20, 1740 C.E-December 12, 1792 C.E).


Grimaldi y Pallavicini, marqués y duque de Grimaldi (Genoa, c. 1720 C.E.-October 30, 1789 C.E.) was of Italian-Spanish heritage who served as a diplomat and politician. Grimaldi had extensive experience as an Ambassador, served as Chief Minister of España between 1763 C.E. and 1778 C.E., and helped to re-establish Spanish power following her defeat during the Seven Years' War.


He served the Spanish Kings, Fernando VI and Carlos III. Grimaldi was minister plenipotentiary in Sweden and Parma. He was ambassador to the States-General of the United Provinces. Carlos III named him ambassador to Paris. While there, together with French Secretary of State Étienne François, duc de Choiseul, Grimaldi negotiated the third Bourbon Family Compact between France and España. It is believed that this action provoked the entry of España into the war with Britain. He also signed the Peace of Paris in 1763 C.E. By September 1763 C.E., after the dismissal of Ricardo Wall, Grimaldi was named Spanish Minister of State, a position he held until 1776 C.E.

Dr. Arthur Lee, to whom Grimaldi’s letter was sent, was a physician and opponent of slavery in colonial Virginia in North America. He served as an American diplomat during the American Revolutionary War. Dr. Lee was received his educated in medicine and law at the University of Edinburgh and in London, respectively. He practiced law in London for several years after passing the bar. Dr. Arthur Lee remained in London during the Revolutionary War where he represented the Colonies to Britain and France. In addition, Arthur Lee also served as an American spy to surveil British activities. After his return to Virginia, he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress. Lee was also an American diplomat in Madrid who was trying to persuade the Spanish to ally with the fledgling United States.


Cautious by nature, the Genoese-born Grimaldi showed España’s reluctance: "You have considered your own situation, and not ours. The moment is not yet come for us. The war with Portugal — France being unprepared, and our treasure ships from South América not being arrived — makes it improper for us to declare immediately."


Given España’s strategic war concerns, she could only provide military aid and other resources in a very clandestine way, and this she continued to do. Meanwhile, stores of clothing and powder were deposited in New Orleans and Habana for the Américanos and shipments of blankets were being assembled in Bilbao.


Bernardo de Gálvez and his wife, Feliciana had three children together. One was Doña María Matilde Galvez y Saint-Maxênt (Born New Orleans on January 9, 1777 C.E.). She would later become III Condesa de Gálvez and III Marquésa or Marchioness de Sonora.


Bernardo de Gálvez began his duties as Gobernador of Luisiana on February 1, 1777 C.E., when 30 years of age. Don Bernardo’s mission in Luisiana had many elements. The government’s first objective was fight smuggling. This meant to pursue British smugglers and smuggling efforts from the Yucatán which was very common in the region. Next, was to promote commerce. He would encourage trade with France and free trade with Cuba. De Gálvez also had to focus on ending Trade with the British. He would then grant certain privileges for trade with France and its North American colonies. It would be in a similar manner practiced with the other possessions of Nueva España. This had to be done without upsetting the local retailers. The granting of preferred French trading would progressively ruin British trade in the region. During this time, the Gobernador also had to cultivate friendship with the Natives to ensure peace.


Most importantly, de Gálvez had to spy on the British in West Florida. To strengthen his position, Gobernador de Gálvez promoted immigration and reorganized the Luisiana military.


In early in 1777 C.E., under Real Orden or Royal Order from Carlos III of España, Bernardo de Gálvez continued smuggling operations to provide necessary supplies to the Américanos. Again, it should be remembered that this was before España entered the American Revolutionary War. De Gálvez did a great deal to aid the Américano Patriots. With his forces now in control of the Mississippi River, it became a veritable lifeline of support. Great amounts of ammunition, arms, military supplies, and money were delivered to the embattled Américano forces under George Washington and George Rogers Clark. Bernardo also corresponded directly with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Henry Lee. De Gálvez personally received their emissaries, Oliver Pollock and Captain George Gibson.


As Benjamin Franklin reported from Paris to the Congressional Committee of Secret Correspondence in March 1777 C.E., the Corte Real Española quietly admitted the rebels to the wealthy, previously restricted port of Habana with most favored nation-like status.


In March of 1777 C.E., intensive Spanish settlement of Luisiana began under the direction of de Gálvez. The British had been encouraging similar settlement of West Florida which extended north and west of Lake Pontchartrain. Britain had done so since it had acquired that territory from España in at the Treaty of Paris in 1763 C.E. Knowing that the British Crown still had its expansionist eye on España’s newly reacquired Luisiana Territory and Nueva España (areas of today’s United States and Méjico) to the west, de Gálvez brought several hundred refugees from Islas Canarias at the King’s expense.


He provided each family with cattle, farm implements, land, money (to support themselves for four years), and built a church in each settlement. These pobladores, called Islenos or Islanders, named one settlement Valènzuela dans La Fourche on Bayou Lafourche. The Islenos were later joined by Acadians and others. The area is believed to have been on site of Belle Alliance Plantation, an 841 acre grant to Don Juan Vives, early Spanish physician, officer and a teniente of miquelets at Valènzuela in the de Gálvez Expedition. He was Born about 1754 C.E. Royal City of Cario (or Derie), Provincia of València, España. He died in May 1822 C.E. Donaldsonville, Louisiana.


In April 1777 C.E., Luisiana had her first conflict with the British. The Españoles took thirteen merchant ships anchored in Luisiana. The Spanish position was that the action was in response to a previous British capture of a Spanish merchant headed for the Habana.


On April 17, 1777 C.E., de Gálvez issued a proclamation permitting the inhabitants of Luisiana to trade with the United States. In responded to Américano pleas, he secured the port of New Orleans so that only Américano, French, and Spanish ships could move up and down the Mississippi River. Three days later, de Gálvez issued another proclamation giving the Américano Colonists liberty to export their products to any port of France. And he reduced the duty by about one-half. During his administration the trade of the provincia, which has been previously controlled by the British, was largely diverted into French and Américano channels.


The same year, de Gálvez began to strengthen defenses of the territory. Understanding British warfare tactics, he began improvements and construction on both land and sea. He ordered the building of three gunboats to control traffic on the Mississippi River. Soon he received a fragata or frigate and a steamer from Habana. In addition, the Luisiana Regiment was in fact just a weak battalion. It was de Gálvez’s decision to strengthen it and also create a second one. The Gobernador brought recruits to Nueva España and the Islas Canarias, a very difficult task. Additionally, he increased the number of miquelets from men recruited among the inhabitants of the territory. By the beginning of 1779 C.E., this number would grow to 1,478 troops.


From the very beginning of his governance, de Gálvez was faced with the weakness of his military forces on which he was to rely in the event of a British attack. Because of this weakness, he attempted to attract warriors from neighboring Indian communities. He had little success in the face of competition from the British who had more goods to trade with and were experienced at pandering the tribes. Given his situation, Bernardo was forced to be more tolerant toward inappropriate actions by the Native. His actions prompted tensions with authorities in Tejas.


De Gálvez actively protected the indigenous population of Luisiana. He maintained the ban on enslaving Natives (Indians). For the border regions of the Provincias Internas or Internal Provinces and Louisiana, de Galvez called for a cultural penetration through gifts and trade. This he hoped would gradually stop the Native communities from hostilities towards the Españoles and avoid expensive military campaigns against them.


On June 12, 1777 C.E., Oliver Pollock he was appointed Commercial Agent of the Continental Congress in New Orleans. Additionally, he was also appointed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, as its agent in New Orleans, making him the representative of the American Colonies in the city.


Pollock had been an ally first, of Gobernador Luís de Unzaga, and later to Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez, both of whom were anxious to see the new American nation come into being and to drive their ancient enemy, Britain, from the continent. He wrote to Congress: “My eagerness to seize every opportunity of serving my country has led me into such frequent importunities to Gobernador de Unzaga that I have just reason to fear his displeasure.” Far from causing Unzaga’s displeasure, we find that when Unzaga turned Luisiana over to the new gobernador de Gálvez, he described Pollock as a “faithful and zealous American” in whom de Gálvez “might place implicit confidence.” Pollock noted that the new governor “gave me the delightful assurance that he would go to every possible length for the interest of Congress.”


Luís de Unzaga y Amézaga was by then serving as Capitán General of Venezuela from June 17, 1777 C.E., to December 10, 1782 C.E.


Then before July 1777 C.E., España sent another two thousand barrels of gun powder, clothing, and lead up the Mississippi to assist the Colonists. Also, King Carlos III made secret loans of 1,000,000 livres to the Américanos. Additional ammunition, arms, and provisions were sent by the Españoles to General George Rogers Clark's posts along the Mississippi; and to George Washington's Continental Army.


On July 17, 1777 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez reissued Alejandro O’Reilly’s tariff on foods. This was the same Alejandro O'Reilly he had fought for while on the Algiers Expedition. He reissued the tariff while war between Britain and its North American Colonies disrupted shipping.


Mariscal del campo Alejandro (Alexander O'Reilly), Conde de O'Reilly was born at Dublin, Ireland in 1722 C.E. He died on March 23, 1794 C.E. at Bonete, España. He was a military reformer and Inspector General of the Spanish Infantry served el Imperio Español during the last half of the 18th-Century C.E. O'Reilly served as the second gobernador of Spanish Luisiana, being the first Spanish official to actually exercise power in the Luisiana Territory after France ceded it to España. For his recognized services to the Corona Española, he was ennobled as a Conde and given a coat of arms.


Alejandro O'Reilly’s grandfather, John O’Reilly’s family was from Baltrasna, in County Meath. He was a colonel in the army of James II. His regiment, O’Reilly’s Dragoons, fought at the siege of Derry. Like many of the so-called “Wild Geese” (term "Wild Geese" is used in Irish history to refer to Irish soldiers who left to serve in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries C.E.) of his generation, he left Ireland to serve in foreign, Catholic armies. He later joined the Spanish forces fighting in Italy against the Austrians. He then served in the Spanish invasion of Portugal. There, he swore allegiance to España and rose to become a General de brigada.


Don O´Reilly stayed in Habana, Cuba, as adjutant and second-in-command to the Conde de Ricla from 1763 C.E. through September of 1766 C.E., twice a Grande of España. Ambrosio de Funes Villalpando, Conde of Ricla was born at Zaragoza, España, in 1720 C.E. He died in Madrid on July 15, 1782 C.E., at the age of 62.


While in Habana, Alejandro O'Reilly under de Ricla received the city from the British forces. It had been besieged and occupied at the end of the Seven Years' War, in 1762 C.E. Don O'Reilly then set about analyzing what had gone wrong with the defenses of Habana during the successful British siege. As a result, he recommended sweeping changes to improve its fortifications, increase military training, improve on and establish new military and administrative practices, and reform troop organizations. These were quickly approved by the Corona Española.


With the help of, Silvestre de la Abarca, a military engineer of the Royal Army, O'Reilly undertook the work of improving the strategically important fortress of La Cabaña. Abarca was not unknown to the art of military engineering. He was in fact a career engineer in the military having joined the Spanish Corps of Engineers in 1740 C.E. Silvestre participated in the works of the Castilla Channel between 1755 C.E. and 1756 C.E. Abarca subsequently worked in projects of the Pavilion of Engineers, Casa de contratación, customs and Consulate in Cádiz, as well as on the new fortifications of the port of Habana.


Therefore, he was already an engineer with experience and renown when he was appointed to lead the engineering and construction efforts of the fortifications of Habana in 1763 C.E.


By September 1777 C.E., España had already furnished 1,870,000 livres (equivalent to a pound of silver) to the Américanos. Much of this was contributed through a corporation for which France received credit, the famous "Rodrigue Hortalez and Company." It served as the conduit for España’s assistance. Its main director was the French playwright and statesman, Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais.


In October 1777 C.E., of that same year, Patrick Henry wrote two letters to General Bernardo de Gálvez, thanking España for its help and requesting more supplies. Henry suggested that the Floridas that España lost to Britain should revert back to España.


In that same year of November 2, 1777 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez married Marie Felicité (Feliciana) de Saint-Maxênt d'Estrehan, a young India-Francesa widow whose first husband was a son of Jean Baptiste Honoré d´Estrehan, former Treasurer King of France. They eventually had three children, Miguel, Matilde, and Guadalupe. Marie Felicité also had a daughter from her previous marriage, Adelaide, whom Bernardo always treated as his own.


In 1777 C.E., Juan de Miralles was assigned to represent España as a secret agent for the Américanos in order to establish friendly economic relations. España had attempted to appear to remain neutral in Revolutionary War. De Miralles was convinced that España should join the Patriot’s cause in exchange for a guarantee she would regain Florida after the war.


Later, he was made First Commissioner of España to the United States at the Continental Congress. King Carlos III of España assigned Juan to act as a liaison to the new American administration of George Washington then at the capital of Philadelphia. De Miralles had met Washington at a Christmas party and brought him a letter from Diego José Navarro y García de Valladares. During this period, de Valladares had lent support from Cuba to the campaigns against the British in what is now the Southern United States under the command of the Coronel of the regiment of the Luisiana Bernardo de Gálvez.


In 1778 C.E., the American General George Rogers Clark obtained a considerable amount of his supplies from Bernardo de Gálvez in New Orleans. These supplies were used in his future victories over the British at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes.


José de Gálvez’s focus had remained on España’s Nuevo Mundo. He was responsible for two ordinances that profoundly affected the colonial policy of España. One was that of 1778 C.E., which established restricted free trade to replace the narrow mercantile policy of earlier days. This single act transformed España’s possessions from highly-restricted, controlled economies to open and sought after markets. In short, all those seeking to take advantage of opportunities in España’s Nuevo Mundo outposts could now do so. The strategy was simple, improved economies attracted new pobladores from various parts of el Imperio Español to Nueva España. These new pobladores would both strengthen the settlements and aid in their protection.


The political aspects of the Maratha Empire of India issues increased with the support of the London authorities for Bombay, which in 1778 C.E.-1779 C.E. had again supported Shreemant Raghunathrao Ballal Peshwa (born August 18, 1734 C.E.-died December 11, 1783 C.E.). He was Peshwa of the Maratha Empire from 1773 C.E. to 1774 C.E. Raghunathrao, also known as "Raghoba", "Raghoba Dada" and "Ragho Bharari," was the younger brother of Nanasaheb Peshwa.


As José Gálvez strengthened Nueva España’s North American areas, what is now the American Southwest, his nephew, Bernardo, assisted the Américanos from Luisiana. In January 1778 C.E., Patrick Henry wrote another letter to General de Gálvez, thanking España for its help and requesting more supplies.


By 1778 C.E., in North America Bernardo de Gálvez rebuilt fortifications around New Orleans to protect the city against British attack. This included Spanish Fort which guards Bayou St. John. The French in 1718 C.E. had Spanish Fort’s stockaded house built with tabby-cement and mortar walls which were 15" to 30" thick. By 1763 C.E., it was occupied by British. In 1779 C.E., it was to be occupied by Spanish. In 1810 C.E., it was occupied by Spanish in the Baton Rouge Rebellion. He also appointed Commandante Pierre Philippe de Marigny to parcel land for Islenos on the bayou Terre-aux-Bouef Land of Oxen, in St. Bernard Parish and this continued in the Province until 1783 C.E.


Pierre Philippe was the son of Antoine Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville (1722 C.E.-1779 C.E.), an infantry captain in the service of France and Commander of Fort Condé Mobile. He participated in the American Revolutionary War of independence as a coronel and aide-de-camp to General Bernardo de Gálvez. Pierre Philippe fought in the countryside of Manchac, in the capture of Fort Bute, on September 7, 1779 C.E. He was in the battle of Baton Rouge on September 21, 1779 C.E., at the battle of Fort Charlotte during the taking the Mobile on March 9, 1780 C.E., and in the battle of Pensacola, May 9, 1781 C.E.


Pierre was the father of 5 children including Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny of Mandeville (1785 C.E.-1868 C.E.), a rich planter, and a Luisiana politician. In 1798 C.E., he received in his plantation of Chapitoulas. After his death in the field, Pierre’s body was returned to New Orleans, where he was buried in the Saint Louis Cathedral.


Later, Criollo planters would purchase large estates on the bayou. De Gálvez also charged Gilbert St. Maxênt with settling Islenos at Gálveston and Valènzuela.


In 1778 C.E., a secret committee of Congress sent a naval contingent under Captain James Willing down the Mississippi River to New Orleans to disrupt activities of the British in West Florida. Oliver Pollock persuaded Bernardo de Gálvez to give them harbor at New Orleans. This was potentially an act of war for España. Still officially neutral in the conflict in the British North American colonies, de Gálvez aided Pollock in the sale of plunder collected by Captain Willing from British plantations in West Florida (including Baton Rouge) on his way down the river.


Oliver Pollock then used his fortune to finance American operations in the west. The successful campaign of General George Rogers Clark in Illinois 1778 C.E. occurred with his financial support. In the same year, he borrowed $70,000 from Spanish Luisiana's Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez, but the financial needs of the Patriots at the time left him with a financial loss.


We know from the writings of Captain George Rogers Clark that Oliver Pollock shared his victories at Kaskaskia and Vincennes. As the agent in Luisiana of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he was called upon by that government personally to honor drafts and invoices paid by Clark during his campaign in the upper Mississippi Valley. This campaign resulted in the eviction of the British from the upper Mississippi Valley, leaving the new United States and España in control of the Mississippi River from its source to its mouth.


In January 1778 C.E., Virginia governor Patrick Henry authorized an expedition by George Rogers Clark, who captured Fort Sackville at Vincennes and secured the northern region of the Ohio River for the American Patriots.


By February 1778 C.E., a "Treaty of Alliance" between France and the United States was signed, obligating España to assist France against the British. General de Gálvez immediately began to recruit an army, under the guise that it was for the defense of New Orleans.


José de Gálvez y Gallardo Marqués de Sonora established the Real Compañía de Filipinas and in 1778 C.E. founded the Archivo General de Indias. The act brought together information and documents regarding the Indias from Simancas, Sevilla, and Cádiz. Also in 1778 C.E., José established the ability for limited free trade among the various Spanish possessions.


In the position of Secretarío del Estado del Despacho Universal de Indias, de Gálvez was able to secure the appointment of his brother Matías as Gobernador and Capitán General of Guatemala. Matías would go on to become the virrey of Nueva España. Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo (ca. 1725 C.E.-November 3, 1784 C.E.) was born in Macharaviaya, a small village in the region of Andalucía near Málaga, España. He married María Joséfa de Madrid and they had two sons, Bernardo and José. Unfortunately, José died at 8 years of age.


He joined the Spanish Army and distinguished himself in campaigns. He would rise in rank to general in the Spanish Army. Because of Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo’s military record and the influence of his brother, José de Gálvez y Gallardo, he became the Capitán General of Guatemala from April 1779 C.E. to April 3, 1783 C.E. De Gálvez also became well known at the Corte Real Española.


Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo would later become Virrey of Nueva España from April 29, 1783 C.E. to November 3, 1784 C.E. It has been reported that sealed instructions from the Corona Española had been prepared which were intended to be opened in the event of the death of Virrey António María de Bucareli y Ursúa. These specified that Ursúa would be succeeded by the Capitán General of Guatemala. Supposedly, these instructions had been inserted by José de Gálvez y Gallardo, Secretarío del Estado del Despacho Universal de Indias and former visitador in Nueva España. Some believe that this was done in anticipation that they would apply to José’s brother, Matías de Gálvez. However, no name was provided in the instructions and de Gálvez had not yet arrived in the Virreinato to take up his position. Matías had been named Capitán General, Gobernador, and Presidente or president of the Audiència of Guatemala in April 1779 C.E., just before Virrey Bucareli died. As a result, Martín de Mayorga who was then serving as Capitán General of Guatemala had the Virreinato turned over to him. This was later rectified.


France directly allied itself with the American Colonists by February of 1778 C.E.


In March 1778 C.E., United States Captain James Willing left Fort Pitt with an expedition of thirty men. It was bound for New Orleans to obtain supplies for the war. In route, they plundered the British settlements along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Upon their arrival in New Orleans, Bernardo de Gálvez welcomed them and assisted in their auctioning off the British plunder. De Gálvez then sold them ammunition and military arms for their return trip to Fort Pitt.


George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Campaign also, known as, Clark's Northwestern Campaign (1778 C.E.-1779 C.E.), was a series of military maneuvers which were a part of the American Revolutionary War. Since the end of the French and Indian War (1754 C.E.-1763 C.E., the French at the villages of Cahokia, Bellefontaine, Kaskaskia, and Vincennes had been aligned with the British. The village of San Luís or Saint Louis was a part of the Imperio Español which previously had remained neutral. A young militia Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark conceived a bold plan to capture the French settlements, thus opening the Mississippi for safe passage.


Clark’s small force of Virginia militia would seize control of several British posts in the Illinois Country, in what are now present-day Illinois and Indiana in the Midwestern United States. The Campaign is the best-known military venture of the western theater of the American Revolutionary War and Clark's claim to fame, one of the early American military heroes.


Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark set left Virginia for Vincennes on June 26, 1778 C.E. with about 200 men from Virginia.


Clark had relied on Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez and American financier Oliver Pollock for ammunition, credit for provisions, and weapons from España. Although Pollock's credit to purchase supplies for Clark was supposed to be backed by the state of Virginia, he had to rely on his personal credit and funds which de Gálvez loaned him from the Spanish government. These funds were usually delivered sub rosa, or secretly and confidentially by de Gálvez's secretary.


George Rogers Clark would take Vincennes and Fort Sackville. However, these weren’t his only claim to fame. Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark and troops crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky. They arrived at Kaskaskia (Illinois) on the 4th of July. The local French militia leader at Fort Gage, the Chevalier Phillippe de Rocheblave, was caught by surprise and Fort Gage was captured without firing a shot. When the French learned that an Alliance with France had been signed in June, 1778 C.E., and that France had declared war on Great Britain, they were elated.


Unfortunately, by July, 1778 C.E. Lieutenant Colonel Clark was in a dangerous position. Since his arrival the local Natives loyal to the British were all around him. He was running low on supplies for the winter. Oliver Pollack at New Orleans with the assistance of Bernardo de Gálvez shipped whatever supplies he could to Clark. Without this support Clark could not have continued with the Northwestern Operations.


On July 14, 1778 C.E., Father Pierre Gibault, with a few of Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark's militia left for Fort Sackville at Vincennes in the Ohio Territory to inform them of the new treaty with France.


On the 20th of July, 1778 C.E. the French at Vincennes also swore allegiance to the Americans. Because of his small force, Clark could only leave three men to man the fort.  Clark then dispatched Captain Joseph Brown with 30 mounted men to the French settlements. One was Prairie du Rocher a village in what is now Randolph County, Illinois. The second was Cahokia a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, is situated directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis. Accompanied by some Frenchmen, they spread the word of the Alliance. The French were elated and quickly pledged their support to the Americans. Cahokia would officially become part of the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783 C.E. Soon after that, Cahokia’s 105 heads-of-household would pledge loyalty to the Continental Congress of the United States.


Kaskaskia was also taken. Kaskaskia is a historically important village in Randolph County, Illinois. It became a major French colonial town of the Illinois Country, in the 18th-Century C.E.  At its peak, when it was a regional center the population was approximately 7,000. In 1703 C.E., French Jesuit missionaries built a misión there. Its goal was to convert the Illini Natives to Catholicism. The congregation built its first stone church in 1714 C.E. The French also had a fur trading post in the village. Canadian settlers moved in to farm and to exploit the lead mines on the Missouri side of the river.  In 1733 C.E., the French built Fort Kaskaskia near this site. It was destroyed by the British in 1763 C.E. during the French and Indian War. It later became an administrative center for the British Province of Québec.


The Americans were able to take Vincennes and several other villages on British territory without firing a shot. This was due in-part to most of the Canadian and Native inhabitants being peaceful, having coexisted with one another, and unwilling to take up arms on behalf of the British.


In Europe, the Battle of Ushant, also called the First Battle of Ushant took place on July 27, 1778 C.E., and was fought between French and British. The battle, which was the first major naval engagement in the Anglo-French War, ended indecisively and led to political conflicts in both countries. The engagements took place approximately 100 miles west of Ushant which is an island at the mouth of the English Channel located off the north-westernmost point of France. The British Royal Naval forces had failed to win a victory against the French Marine Royale. This led French naval commanders to assume that they could have won the day had their forces been larger. This left the French with an open question of dominance.


By August 6th, 1778 C.E. the British learned of the events at Fort Gage, Kaskaskia, and Fort Sackville and made plans to recapture the fort. The British lieutenant governor at Fort Detroit, Henry Hamilton countered George Rogers Clark's advance by dispatching troops to reoccupying Vincennes.


The Battle of St. Louis (San Luís in Spanish) or the Battle of Fort San Carlos was in the offing. Teniente Gobernador de Leyba of San Luís met the Américano George Rogers Clark, in August of 1778 C.E. The meeting occurred when Clark visited San Luís soon after his victory at Kaskaskia. Clark feared an attack from the British at Detroit. He suggested to de Leyba that he immediately fortify the town in preparation for the battle. When notified, de Gálvez responded to de Leyba ordering that he make do. San Luís was on its own. No fortifications would be provided.


The Teniente Gobernador would have to fortify the settlement as best it could, under the circumstances. The preparations would have to be able to successfully withstand an attack. Given fair warning, de Leyba was able to raise 1000 piastres for the construction of Fort San Carlos, some of which included 400 of his own money. The term piastres also piastre originated from the Italian for "thin metal plate." The name was applied to Spanish and Hispanic American pieces of eight, or pesos. Piastre was also the original French word for the United States dollar, used for example in the French text of the Louisiana Purchase. The Teniente was already deep in debt from his having given gifts to the Natives. He could ill afford to pay for the entire Fort on his own.


On October 7, 1778 C.E., the British Lieutenant Colonel Henry Hamilton departed Detroit with approximately 175 troops and 60 Indians for Vincennes. By the time he arrived at Fort Gage Kaskaskia and Fort Sackville, on December 17th, 1778 C.E., his British force had grown to about 500. The fort at Vincennes was defended only by Captain Leonard Helm and three Virginians, the French militia having drifted away. Helm surrounded Vincennes without firing a shot.


Shortly after the capture of Vincennes, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton, believing no one would attack him during the winter, let his Indians and his militias return to their homes. That left him with only 35 regular troops to defend the fort.


Efforts of support for the Américano Colonies were expanding. Beginning in 1779 C.E. and through 1782 C.E., España’s ganaderos along the San António River between San António and Goliad, sent feed, bulls, nine thousand to fifteen thousand head of cattle, several hundred horses, and mules to General Bernardo de Gálvez’s army in New Orleans. The cattle were used to feed his troops and to provision George Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge.


In order to feed his troops during the period 1779 C.E.-1782 C.E., General Bernard de Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García carrying a letter to Tejas Gobernador Domíngo Cabello y Robles (ca. 1725 C.E.-?). De Gálvez requested the delivery of Tejas cattle to Spanish forces in Luisiana. Cabello y Robles was a career officer in the Spanish Royal Army from León, España. He served after Juan María de Ripperdá as gobernador of Tejas from October 29, 1778 C.E., to December 3, 1786 C.E.


He began his military career at an early age joining an infantry regiment as a Teniente in 1741 C.E. Domíngo saw his first military action in 1742 C.E. This occurred while on his way to Santiago de Cuba to help relieve the city which was at that time under siege. The Ship carrying his company was attacked by a British warship. Cabello later returned to España in 1749 C.E. He was quickly promoted to Mayor and sent back to Cuba as Comandante of a guarnición of four battalions of a fixed regiment on the island and the presidios in Florida. His bravery and conduct while the British lay siege to and captured Habana in 1762 C.E., earned him a promotion to the governorship of Nicaragua. Domíngo would serve in the post from December 12, 1764, until July 20, 1776 C.E.


Accordingly, during the period 10,000 to 15,000 cattle were rounded up on ranchos belonging to ciudadanos and misiónes of Béxar and La Bahía. La Bahía, literally "the bay," is a term with multiple meanings in Tejas history. Various sites on the Gulf Coast were so designated. The Españoles came to use the name as a short form of La Bahía del Espíritu Santo, or Bay of the Holy Spirit, now called Matagorda Bay and Lavaca Bay, bounded by present Calhoun, Victoria, Jackson, and Matagorda counties.


From Presidio La Bahía, the assembly point, Tejas ganaderos and their vaqueros trailed these herds to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and Opelousas for distribution to de Gálvez's forces. Providing escorts for these herds and the several hundred horses to be used for artillery and cavalry purposes were soldados from Presidio San António de Béxar, Presidio La Bahía, and El Fuerte del Cíbolo.


The de Riberas who fought under España in this same Revolutionary War period are listed below:


Nuevo Méjico Colonial Patriots, 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E.

Excerpted from Chapter 6 ("Nuevo Méjico Patriots during España's 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E. War With England") of España's Nuevo Méjico Patriots During Its 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E. War with England - During the American Revolution, compiled and written by Granville W. Hough and N.C. Hough.


Nuevo Méjico Enlistment and Officer Records


Soldado enlistments and other roster records for the Presidio of Santa Fé (PSF), and a few other individual records for the war years, 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E., follow. A plus (+) is shown by each one known to have married or to have had children. The wife's name is given when known. The source of the information is given for each one. As all the entry names on this list are known patriots, the asterisk * is omitted. Source material is given for each military record (e.g. 1d; NMG). Please consult References/Sources for complete citations.


Alfonso Ribera+ (c 1749 NM -). 1a. enl 29 Mar 1777, Sonora Exped, 1780/81, disch 28 Oct 1790, 21:811, farmer, son of Salvadór Ribera and Tomásá Rael de Aguilár of SF. 1d. PSF, 1785. Md (1) ??? and (2) widow María Antónia Abeyta on 2 Feb 1779 at Santa Cruz de la Cañada (recorded in La Castrense) (AASF 31:0217).


António de Ribera+ (c 1722 NM - 27 Feb 1794, bur La Castrense). 1a. enl 7 Mar 1741, invalid roster 1 Jul 1779, 21:743, farmer, son of Juan Felipe de Rivera (Ribera) and María Estela Palomino Rendón of SF. 1c, d. PSF invalid, 1781 and 1785. 2a. 4:301, PSF soldado in 1761. On 24 Dec 1745 at SF (veiled on 18 Apr 1746) md Graciana (Prudencia) Sena ( - bur 22 June 1810 Parroquia), and their chi, all born or bap at SF, incl: Nicolása María, 12 Sep 1748; Matías, bap 7 Mar 1750, md Juliana de la Peña of SF; María Joséfa, bap 6 Mar 1752; Viterbo, 11 Mar 1754; Manuel António, 29 June 1756, md Joséfa Labadía on 28 Apr 1783 at La Castrense; António José, bap 8 Jan 1759, d young; Santiago Francisco, 30 Nov 1760; María Rosalia, 5 Nov 1762; and Julián Rafael, 13 Apr 1765.


Balthazár Ribera+ (c 1756 NM - 14 Jul 1817). 1a, 1c. enl 11 Jan 1779, Sonora Exped 1780/81, 21:833j, farmer, son of Ensign Don Salvadór de Rivera and Tomásá Rael de Aguilár of SF. 1d. PSF, 1785. 2a, wife: María Antónia Ortíz.


José Ribera+ (c 1755 NM -). 1a, 1c. Enl 1 Jul 1779, Sonora Exped, 1780/81, invalid 15 Jul 1802, 21:875, son of António Ribera and Graciana Prudencia de Sena of SF. 1d. PSF, 1785, en cavallada. 2a. Md María Pachéco.


Luís Phelipe de Ribera+ (c 1729 NM -). 1a. enl 26 Apr 1757, disch 15 Jul 1779, 21:757, farmer, son of Juan Felipe de Rivera (Ribera) and María Estela Palomino of SF. Poss md Polonia Antónia de la Peña on 28 Aug 1761, La Parroquia (AASF 31:0081). (This must be checked.)


Mathías Ribera+ (bap 7 Mar 1750 Santa Fé, NM - 17 Aug 1785). 1a, 1c. Enl 1 Jul 1779, Sonora Exped 1780/81, 21:874, laborer, son of António Ribera and Graciana Prudencia de Sena of SF. 1d. PSF, 1785, en Chiguagua. Md Juliana Peña on 3 May 1780 (AASF 31:0220). She remarried Pedro Ortíz.


Salvadór Ribera+ ( ). 1c. Lt, PSF, 1 Jan 1781. 1d. PSF, 1785, en Chiguagua. 2a. 12:111, 1789, retirement. 4:301, PSF Cpl in 1761. Legajo 7278, IX, 99, 1st Ensign, PSF, 1787. 5, at PSF in 1793 as an Ensign. One Salvadór Rodríquez md Tomásá Rael de Aguilár 17 Jul 1747, SFSF. He was shown as a retired Ensign in 1793, prenup: 104.


In a continuing effort to expand España’s territories, in 1779 C.E., José de Gálvez founded a settlement in the valle of Sonora in today’s Méjico. It soon prospered and was the reason a Marqués was created for him. José de Gálvez's influence also advanced the fortunes of his brother, Matías de Gálvez, and those of his nephew, Bernardo de Gálvez. Both were to eventually become virreyes of Nueva España.


The same year in northern Nueva España, Bernardo de Gálvez began to strengthen defenses of the Luisiana territory. Understanding British warfare tactics, he began improvements and construction on both land and sea. He ordered the building of three gunboats to control traffic on the Mississippi River. Soon he received a fragata and a steamer from Habana. In addition, the Luisiana Regiment was in fact just a weak battalion. It was de Gálvez’s decision to strengthen it and also create a second one. The Gobernador brought recruits to Nueva España and the Islas Canarias, a very difficult task. Additionally, he increased the number of miquelets from men recruited among the inhabitants of the territory. By the beginning of 1779 C.E., this number would grow to 1,478 troops.


In 1779 C.E., in North America, the Américano Oliver Pollock was using his own funds to fit-out the captured British corvette or schooner, Rebecca. Pollock’s monetary contributions ultimately exceeded $300,000 ranking him among the top individual contributors to the American Revolution. However, by the fall of 1779 C.E., his credit was exhausted, his plantations had been seized by his creditors and his family was destitute.


The Rebecca was brought into the Continental Navy and rechristened the USS Morris in honor of Pollock’s friend and partner, Robert Morris of Philadelphia, later to be known as the “Financier of the American Revolution.” Pollock and Morris owned several plantations together.


The schooner USS Morris could have a compliment of 57 men and was to be manned, and fitted out for action under the command of Captain William Pickles (d. September 9, 1783 C.E.). Captain Pickles had been commissioned an officer of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War on October 10, 1776 C.E. He was active on the Gulf Coast of North America.


A year earlier in 1778 C.E., the United States Captain James Willing had led a raiding expedition directed against targets in British West Florida. His party had come downriver from Ohio and captured the British ship Rebecca on the Mississippi River. Oliver Pollock, the American commercial agent at New Orleans had charge of naval affairs on the Mississippi River during the American Revolution. He then purchased the Rebecca for the Continental Congress. The Congress had a complicated political relationship with Españia. Bernardo de Gálvez the then gobernador of Spanish Luisiana was allowed to assign the Rebecca and Captain Pickles to deal with British military shipping on the lower Mississippi River and Lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepas. It was his intent to engage British ships. 


A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, the foremast being no taller than the rear mast(s). Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th-Century C.E. Schooners were further developed in North America from the early 18th-Century C.E., and were more widely used in the United States than in any other country. The most common type of schooners, with two-masts, were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, and blockade running. They were also traditional fishing boats, used for offshore fishing.


In early-1779 C.E., Gobernador de Gálvez sent Teniente-Coronel Francisco Bouligny with nearly five hundred Españoles and Islenos pobladores to establish a settlement on the lower Bayou Teche in the Attakapas Country. These Españoles named their settlement Nueva Ibéria, for their own Iberian Peninsula.


Don Francisco Domíngo Joséph Bouligny (September 4, 1736 C.E.-November 25, 1800 C.E) was a high-ranking military and civilian officer in Spanish government. He served as Teniente Gobernador under Bernardo de Gálvez and as acting military Gobernador in 1799 C.E. He founded the city of Nueva Ibéria in 1779 C.E.


Bouligny was born in 1736 C.E. in Alicante, España, to Jean (Juan) Bouligny, a successful French merchant, and María Paret, who was from Alicante. At the age of 10, Francisco Domíngo was sent to a boy's school founded by the bishop of Orihuela. He graduated from there in 1750 C.E. and left to join the family import-export business.


By 1758 C.E., Bouligny had enlisted in the Spanish army, joining the Regiment of Zamora. A year later, in1759 C.E., he was transferred to the Royal Regiment of Spanish Guards. There he was commissioned a Teniente de infantería and sent to Habana, Cuba, in 1762 C.E. Francisco Domíngo was still stationed there until 1769 C.E. when he joined Alejandro O'Reilly's expedition to put down the Luisiana Rebellion. Since Bouligny was fluent in French, he was charged with delivering the Spanish government's messages to the French speaking inhabitants and he acted as an interpreter during the military trial of the rebellion's leaders.


Bouligny was later promoted to the rank of Capitán de brevet or brevet captain in the new Luisiana Battalion. In 1772 C.E., he was appointed a full Capitán. In 1775 C.E., Bouligny was granted leave to return to Europe to settle family affairs. While in España, Bouligny wrote a discourse on the population of New Orleans and Spanish Luisiana (Memoria histórica y política sobre la Luisiana).


In 1777 C.E., Bouligny returned to Luisiana, where he was named Teniente Gobernador by Gobernador de Gálvez. Among his many responsibilities was the management of trade, conducting Native tribal relations, and to found new settlements.


Also, on the North American Continent, Spanish Luisiana gobernador, Bernardo de Gálvez would lead a series of successful offensives against British forts in the Mississippi Valley.


There were also activities other than war making happening in Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez’s domain. In 1779 C.E., the first structure for a market in New Orleans was planned by the Españoles somewhere on the levee. Previously an informal marketplace had been located on the riverside of the Place d’Armes.


1779 C.E. also saw a large joint French and Spanish fleet called the Great Armada was gathered with the intent of invading the Kingdom of Great Britain. The original Franco-Spanish war plan was to seize the Isle of Wight and then capture the British naval base of Portsmouth. However, the French and Spanish invasion never materialized. Therefore, no fleet actions were fought in the English Channel.


In February 1779 C.E., George Rogers Clark returned to Vincennes and Fort Sackville in the Illinois Country in a surprise winter expedition and retook the town from the British. There he captured Henry Hamilton, the British lieutenant governor of Fort Detroit in the process. Virginia capitalized on Clark's success by establishing the region as Illinois County, Virginia.


On February 17, 1797 C.E., the Gobernador of Puerto Rico, General de Brigada, Ramón de Castro, learned that Britain had invaded the island of Trinidad or Trinity. He placed the local miquelets on alert to prepare the island's forts against any military action. It was de Castro’s belief that Puerto Rico was the next British invasion objective. By April 17, 1797 C.E., British ships under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby approached the coastal town of Loíza, which is east of San Juan.


On April 12, 1779 C.E., España signed that secret treaty with France, bringing it into the war against Great Britain. España was in fact fearful of the consequences to their own North American empire when it made this agreement. It should be noted that in the beginning the Españoles did not openly support the American rebellion against British rule. However, España did take direct military operations against British interests when and where they could. España’s true interests were to regain territories lost to Britain. The most notably of which was the fortress of Gibraltar which gave its occupier’s considerable power and control over the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.


España joined France in the war against Britain through the implementation of the Treaty of Aranjuez. This political move was based upon the fact that France had agreed to aid in the capture of the Floridas, Gibraltar, and the island of Menorca. In return for these commitments, the Españoles agreed to join in France’s war against Britain. The terms of this treaty are what brought España into the American War of Independence against Britain. It was a follow on to the earlier Bourbon Family Compacts which had allied España and France. The agreement committed France to continue fighting until España had regained Gibraltar. This stipulation almost led to the war continuing into 1783 C.E., when it became a non-issue. España agreed to accept Menorca and West Florida in lieu of Gibraltar.


In April 1779 C.E., that secret treaty was entered into between the French Ambassador in Madrid and Conde Floridablanca, España’s Secretary of State. It drew España directly into the conflict between the Américano Colonies and Britain. Conde Floridablanca as Minister of State was also charged with and oversaw the initial secret aid to the American Colonies. España's entire effort in the struggle would overseen by Conde Floridablanca. He was described as wily, clever, and astute by his competitors at Corte real española. His enemies called him devious.


The Spanish government had renewed its alliance with France against Britain by means of the Treaty of Aranjuez, on April 12, 1779 C.E. The recapturing of Menorca was one of its main goals. A secondary goal was to the recapture of Gibraltar, and Britain's other Mediterranean sea-fortress. The removal of Menorca from under British control was of great importance due to its being the home base to an effective fleet of privateers, licensed by the British Governor, Lieutenant-General James Murray.


A private person or ship could act as a privateer engaged in maritime warfare under a commission of war. This was accomplished lawfully if granted a “commission,” also known as a “letter of marque.” It empowered the person or ship’s company to employ various forms of hostility permissible at sea for the purpose of war. During a war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land. Thus, privateering was one method for subsidizing state power via mobilizing armed ships and sailors. Robbery under arms was already a common practice in seaborne trade. Most merchant ships were armed for protection. Privateering included attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured vessels were subject to condemnation and sale under “prize law.” The proceeds of sale were divided between the captains and crew, privateer sponsors, and ship owners. Some percentage or share usually was paid to the issuer of the commission.


Therefore, the retaking of Menorca was one important objective in the achievement of España's larger strategic goals in its alliance with France against Britain during the Anglo-French War. Menorca, located in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea is currently part of España. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca. Menorca’s highest point, called El Toro or Monte Toro, is 1,175 feet above sea level. At the eastern end of the island of Menorca is the Port of Mahón, a deep-water anchorage. The narrow entrance to the Port was guarded by a fort, El Castillo de San Felipe. The British called it, St. Philip's Castle.


During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1708 C.E., Britain's Royal Navy invaded Menorca and it temporarily became a British possession. Great Britain later took possession of Menorca in 1713 C.E., under the terms of Article XI of the Treaty of Utrecht. The Governor General Richard Kane moved the island's capital to Port Mahón and a naval base was established in that town's harbor.

El Castillo de San Felipe was supported by two outlying fortlets (Small fort), San Carlos and Marlborough. The Fort was greatly strengthened after the execution in 1756 C.E. of Admiral John Byng who had wrongly judged the safety of his fleet more important than the possession of the Fort. It should be noted that the British, a great naval power, had no port on the Mediterranean coast. Therefore, possession of Menorca was of major strategic advantage to her. For most of the 18th-Century C.E., Menorca was in held by the British.


Though France had won Menorca, she had unfortunately lost the Seven Years' War in 1763 C.E. As a result, Menorca was returned to Britain rather than France's ally España, which had historical ties to the Island.


Initially, Floridablanca would implement a strategy of patience before committing his country to war. However, after España declared war on Britain, Conde Floridablanca would oversee an aggressive effort. He would remain faithful to a plan that would achieve España's stated goals. From the beginning of negotiations, Floridablanca and the Marqués de Grimaldi made clear what España wanted in exchange for her alliance with France. As reiterated on several occasions, España wanted Gibraltar; Menorca, and the Floridas. They especially wanted Pensacola, Jamaica, Bahamas; Méjico, Honduras, and Compeche coasts cleared of British establishments. They also wanted Britain out of Central América. Floridablanca would strive to achieve these objectives until peace was made in 1783 C.E.


Bernardo de Gálvez began planning for the possibility of war April. His forces had intercepted communications from the British at Pensacola indicating that they were planning a surprise attack on New Orleans. He then decided to launch his own preemptive strike. To that end, he concealed from the public his receipt of a second proclamation.


On April 18th, British soldiers and German mercenaries or Hessians forces stormed the Puerto Rico beach of Loíza. The British ships were attacked with artillery and mortar fire from both El Morro and the San Gerónimo fortresses then under the command of General de Brigada Ramon de Castro. The British twice tried to take a key passage to the San Juan Islet, the Martín Peña Bridge and the resulting fighting was fierce. The Spanish forces of 16,000 Puerto Rican Spanish troops, volunteers, and local miquelets defeated the British during both attempts. The British had also attacked at Aguadilla and Punta Salinas. At both points, they were also defeated. Those British troops unlucky enough to have landed on the island were taken prisoner.


As the invasion of Puerto Rico failed on April 30th, the British retreated back to their ships.


In April 1779 C.E., Don Francisco Domíngo Joséph Bouligny brought a group of 500 Malagueño (from Málaga, España) pobladores up Bayou Teche near New Orleans to establish the city of Nueva Ibéria.


Matías de Gálvez y Gallardo was named Capitán General, Gobernador, and Presidente or president of the Audiència of Guatemala in April 1779 C.E. In Guatemala, de Gálvez showed himself an active administrator and a good organizer. He worked to reconstruct Guatemala City after the earthquake of 1773 C.E., established a mint and built the cathedral.


By May 2nd, the British were on their way northward after their failed attempt to take Puerto Rico. Gobernador of Puerto Rico Ramon de Castro was promoted to Mariscal del campo and several others promoted and given pay raises by King Carlos IV as recognition for their victories.


España officially entered the American Revolutionary War on May 8, 1779 C.E., with a formal declaration of war by King Carlos III. When Bernardo de Gálvez, the Gobernador of Luisiana received word of declaration of war against Great Britain, he immediately began to secretly plan offensive operations.


The Américano, Oliver Pollock served as de Gálvez's aide-de-camp during the Spanish campaign against the British that began with the Spanish declaration of war in June 1779 C.E. De Gálvez and the Spanish troops would eventually sweep through the future states of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, defeating the British with the capture of Fort Bute and campaigning through the victorious siege of Pensacola in 1781 C.E. It was Oliver Pollock's apt diplomacy which assisted in the surrender of Fort Panmure (future Natchez, Mississippi).


On June 3, 1779 C.E., the French fleet at Brest unexpectedly left port and sailed southward. The initial plan was for the French fleet, commanded by Admiral d'Orvilliers who had also led at Ushant was to meet a Spanish fleet off the Sisarga Islands, near Coruña in north-west España. His fleet consisted of 30 ships of the line and numerous smaller vessels. The French reached the agreed upon rendezvous point only to find that the Spanish fleet had not arrived. The Españoles later complained that bad winds had made the attempt impossible. To worsen the situation, the French ships from Brest had deliberately departed harbor before being fully supplied. They did this to avoid the possibility of being blockaded by the British fleet. This act would cause serious problems which arose due to the wait having dragged out for several weeks. Unfortunately, no arrangements had been made to take on additional supplies in España. The result was that scurvy weakened the crews. In addition, life aboard the hot, crowded ships allowed conditions by which typhus and smallpox broke out.


The purpose of this combined French/Spanish fleet was to put the Royal Navy out of action, so that an army could be safely transported across the English Channel from La Manche, France. In June of 1779 C.E., a French army of over 40,000 men was slowly being gathered in the area of Le Havre and Saint-Malo in northern France. It was supported by 400 transport boats. When landed there, it would set up an operational base on the Isle of Wight, or on the nearby British coast. In that brief period, there were fewer than 40 Royal Navy ships of the line available in the English Channel area. To make matters worse, these were only recently placed under the command of the ailing 64-year-old, Sir Charles Hardy. Additionally, Hardy had not commanded a ship or fleet for the previous 20 years.


The year 1779 C.E. brought with it challenges with worldwide implications. España playing all sides in the conflict offered her mediation between the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain. The offer to mediate was refused by the Britain. España then declared war on June 16, 1779 C.E. King Carlos III after declaring war against Britain requested that all responsible members of the clergy lead the people in prayer for success against the British and prayers were needed during the war years 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E.


All males, including Natives (Atakapa-Choctaw group that lived in Southwest Luisiana, Caddo, Natchez, Wabanaki Confederacy, and others), over eighteen years of age in Nueva España and other parts of el Imperio Español were required to become a member of the miquelets in their respective areas in order to strengthen Nuevo Mundo Virreinatos and prepare for battle with Britain everywhere necessary on the continent of North America.


By June 1779 C.E., the Spanish had finalized their preparations. Upon her entry into the American Revolutionary War in 1779 C.E., one of España's principal goals would be to recover of the key strategic location of Gibraltar which had been lost to England in 1704 C.E. The Españoles developed a plan to retake Gibraltar by blockading it and starving its garrison of troops from Britain and the Electorate of Hanover into submission. The siege of British Gibraltar was to be España’s longest-lasting action of the war. A larger Franco-Spanish army numbering 33,000 soldados besieged the British then under the command of George Augustus Elliott.


The siege of Gibraltar began in June 16, 1779 C.E. to February 7, 1783 C.E. The Españoles had established an effective land blockade around Gibraltar. A weaker Spanish naval blockade was also put in place. The British soon discovered that small, fast ships could evade the blockade. Slower, larger supply ships simply could not evade capture by the Españoles. However, the stubborn British held out in the fortress. This they were only able to do as a result of being resupplied three times by sea.


España’s third formal declaration of war against Great Britain was on July 8, 1779 C.E. The King commissioned Bernardo de Gálvez to raise a force of men and conduct a campaign against the British along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. De Gálvez quickly mustered an army of Spanish regulars and Acadian miquelets.


The Acadians are the descendants of French colonists who settled in Acadia during the 17th and 18th centuries C.E. The Acadia colony was located in what is today’s Eastern Canada's Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, as well as part of Québec, and present-day Maine to the Kennebec River. Acadian (French-Canadian immigrants) militias were units of Acadian part-time soldiers who fought in coordination with the Wabanaki Confederacy (particularly the Mi'kmaq militias) and French forces during the colonial period.


These militias defend Acadia against encroachment by the British after 1707 C.E. Some Acadians provided military intelligence, sanctuary, and logistical support to the resistance movement. Other Acadians remained neutral in the contest between the French-Wabanaki Confederacy forces and the British. The Wabanaki Confederacy, translated roughly as People of the First Light or People of the Dawnland are a First Nations and Native American confederation of five principal nations. These are the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot.


Members of the Wabanaki Confederacy are made up of Native peoples from most of present-day Maine, United States; and Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and some of Québec south of the St. Lawrence River in Canada. The Western Abenaki live on lands in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts of the United States.


Members of the Confederacy and other Native levies served under Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxênt in Luisiana during this time. British Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dickson was charged with the defense of the Baton Rouge district, which included Fort Bute, Baton Rouge, and Fort Panmure areas in modern Natchez, Mississippi. The British had begun sending larger numbers of troops to the area following the American, George Rogers Clark's capture of Vincennes and Fort Sackville, which had exposed the weak British defenses in the area.


Baton Rouge was defended by moats, palisades, and 18 cannons. It was garrisoned by 375 British soldiers, 500 settlers, and Blacks.


The Spanish expedition would return victorious to New Orleans with nearly a thousand of prisoners:

·       3 Forts taken

·       3 Advance military posts taken

·       2 ports taken

·       1 Brigantine HMS West Florida

·       550 British soldiers and German mercenaries captured

·       500 settlers and armed Blacks captured


The initial declaration was followed by another whereby España officially entered the American Revolutionary War on June 21, 1779 C.E. The King authorized his Nuevo Mundo subjects to engage in hostilities against the British.


June 21, 1779

ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF H.M. (His Majesty – Carlos III )








In Madrid on the Press of Pedro Marín


AÑO 1779




One of the goals to which I have been attentive since my exaltation to the throne of España has been to maintain, as much as possible, the tranquility of Europe and América and for the intimately-connected happiness of the inhabitants of both regions. To curtail the calamities of the present war raging between France and England, and to prevent those fatal results from extending into my dominions, I have tried various methods dictated by humanity and sane politics.


Since the beginning of this discord, I have observed the most generous and sincere impartiality between the belligerent powers, while making vigorous attempts to reduce their differences to an honorable and reciprocal settlement to accommodate their respective circumstances. While giving weight to these negotiations, I have opened my treasury and arranged for a respectable naval armada to protect my possessions from all insult, and have placed in my hands the balance of power between the two armed nations. While setting aside all considerations and without showing the least tendency regarding this war, I have dedicated myself towards benefiting my realm with the fruit of peace by promoting agriculture, commerce, and the reduction or elimination of many taxes; all of which are not ambiguous testimonials of my peaceful disposition. (By which I have sought only) to establish prosperity and abundance among my vassals.


The proposals made to the contending powers, who expressed their desire for my mediation, have been most fair and analogous to their interests. Nevertheless, it is with great sadness that I have seen my efforts to be fruitless; resulting in the misunderstanding of my hopes to re-establish peace within the European community. The London courts, after having entertained much time with studies, promises and delays, have had to be forced to recognize the justice of these proposals, wherein it has been discovered the ambitious spirit that dominates them.


Their truthful goal has been to lull España to sleep under cover of negotiations, to maintain disarray of the naval forces of the August House of Borbón, and give themselves time to develop (England’s) project to regain, by usurpation, some of my American dominions in those areas where losses have already been suffered.


Thus, I have learned from experience that I have been provoked with various new and cunning enemies among the barbarous nations of Florida after they had been seduced to conspire against my innocent vassals in Luisiana. Not only have secret negotiations been undertaken to arm these tribes and dispossess me of my natural allies in case of a (military) outbreak.


·       In further abusing my moderation, it has been verified that:

·       Their agents have repeatedly insulted the Españoles flag;

·       They have recognized and yet robbed our ships;

·       They have attacked others that fortunately had the arms needed to defend themselves;

·       They have made unjust seizures;

·       They have opened and torn up official registries and sealed documents from my own mail packet boats, and executed other hostile acts of violence upon my vassals.


Finally, they have gone as far as to usurp me of my sovereignty in the province of Darien (Central América), by authorizing the (British) Governor of Jamaica, with the rank of Captain General, to cause Indian rebellions in those regions, and then seized España’s possessions in La Bahia de Honduras where Españoles were imprisoned and dispossessed of their properties.


In addition, there has been immense and continual contraband trade practiced in my dominion of the Indies, supported many times by their own ships of war, followed by the destruction of the peoples’ rights and the good faith of the treaties that recognize their just compensation for the bloodshed and fortunes spent by them in the discovery, acquisition, and defense of those properties. With all of these offenses, there is not yet any satisfaction at the English ministries, wherein specific promises have evaporated, only to have the experience of my seeing them repeated.


Under these circumstances, with no dignity shown to my crown, nor my personal decorum, nor the protection which I have granted to my beloved vassals, they have permitted these insults to continue for some time with impunity.


In spite of my natural disposition to preserve the imponderable good of peace in these difficult times, I have seen:

The sensible ordered retirement of my Ambassador from the London courts, and the ceasing of all communications, trade and commerce between my vassals and those of the British king as the result of my Royal Decree of June 21st.


By using these means, I am placing my trust in the Almighty for justice for myself, which has not yet been obtained despite being sought in so many ways. Consequently, I authorize all my vassals:


To seek amends by way of reprisals and to commence hostilities, on land and by sea, against the subjects, ships and estates of His British Majesty, treating them as my true enemies and as their own; and


Towards this end, they shall arm as many ships as possible in conformity with the Royal Ordinance on this matter, with knowledge that all (naval) seizures are to used by our shipbuilders without any reservations on my part.


Without any doubt, my Américano vassals have seen my extraordinary efforts to maintain public tranquility and… (The singular favors that have been dispensed upon them, by conceding ample liberty for their travel and navigation, the abolishment or moderation of established taxes, and the exemption of other tariffs to attain their highest level of opulence and happiness)… that, upon learning of my resolution, they will show very evident examples of their loyalty and love for my service by effectively concurring with the defense of the state, to the offense of these invaders and enemies of it, and to the glory and splendor of my arms, which are in the direct interest of their own homes, their lives, and their religion, and that the vigor of their hostilities shall determine the swiftness of the re-establishment of peace, which is the goal of all just wars and the principle object of my orders.


With this well founded trust, I command all of my Virreinatos, Presidentes, Gobernadors, Capitánes General, Courts of Justice, Magistrates, Mayordomos, Royal Officials, Alcaldes Mayores, Judges, and the remainder of the Justices of my dominions of the Indies, that they shall:


Be zealous and cautiously attend to the security and defense of the provinces, plazas, ports and coasts subject to their jurisdiction, in accordance with the procedures in the laws of the Indies and of my latest Royal Orders.


In addition, they shall undertake expeditions against those English armed forces and establishments which they judge to be opportune and conducent to the good of the nation and the honor of my arms.


Also, I command and entrust, most particularly to all government councils of the cities, towns, and places in those dominions, that by all possible means, they display their loyalty, principally by their own example, in unifying the spirits of their ciudadanos and to inspire noble feelings that will motivate them towards the end that all of my loyal vassals will view that the defense to the mother country, and the rights of my Royal Crown, as the primary obligation by which they have access to enjoy the benefits of society and of my sovereign protection.


And finally, I charge the Reverend Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Ecclesiastic Vicars, Cathedral (Rectors), Parish Priests, and religious communities to continue in their public and private prayers to the God of our Spanish Armies, and for our armed forces that are gathered under His divine protection, and that they advise all of the faithful, in their frequent speeches and exhortations, that the defense of the nation is inseparably united with the true religion that they profess, because their enemies are also (enemies) of it; and that, as good Catholics, they should (be willing) to shed their last drop of blood before seeing their churches profaned, their holy images destroyed, or religious objects desecrated and defiled.


Given in Madrid on the 8th of July of 1779, YO, EL REY (I, THE KING)


Dispatched to Don Joséph de Gálvez (Prime Minister of España)


In Europe, a Spanish fleet, commanded by Don Luís de Córdoba and the subordinate of d'Orvilliers in a joint enterprise finally arrived off the Sisarga Islands off Cabo de San Hadrian on España’s Northeast coast on July 22, 1779 C.E. It included 36 ships of the line.


On July, 25 1779 C.E. a Franco-Spanish armada set sail northwards from a place near Coruña in north-west España to battle the British fleet. However, strong winds greatly slowed its progress. With passing time, diseases which had afflicted the French fleet and killed d'Orvilliers' only son, a lieutenant in the fleet, had spread to the Españoles. Later, the Franco-Spanish armada would learn that it had missed opportunities to seize two important British convoys of merchant ships from the West Indies. The fleet would reach Plymouth on July, 31, 1779 C.E. It would finally pass Ushant an island at the south-western end of the English Channel which marks the north-westernmost point of metropolitan France, on August 11, 1779 C.E., and enter the Channel.


Earlier in August 1779 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez’s fleet at New Orleans had been dispersed. That same month, he received re-enforcements from Habana, and was made a major general.


On a dashing white horse, he would eventually lead an international army of 7,000 troops composed of Cubanos, Méjicanos, Santo Dominguans, Haitians, Venezolanos, Puertorriqueños, and Españoles against the British. In addition, Natives, Blacks, French and German colonists, local Islandos, and Acadians joined with de Gálvez. These victories would relieve British military pressure on General George Washington's armies. They would also open supply lines for military goods and money from España, France, Cuba, and Nueva España.


Fort Bute located on Bayou Manchac, about 115 miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, on the far western border of British West Florida and the surrounding areas were to be protected in August 1779 C.E., by Lieutenant Colonel Dickson had at his disposal 400 regulars, including companies from the 16th and 60th Regiments, a recently-arrived company of grenadiers from the German state of Waldeck, and a compliment of approximately 150 members of the Loyalist militia.


Waldeck, later Waldeck and Pyrmont, was a sovereign principality in the German Empire and German Confederation. It comprised territories in present-day Hesse and Lower Saxony, (Germany). By 1681 C.E., Waldeck had raised a battalion of infantry known as Waldeckers. Leading up to the Napoléonic Wars, these Waldeckers generally served as mercenaries, contracted out by Waldeck’s rulers for foreign military service. By 1740 C.E., demand was so great that the single battalion became two (the 1st Regiment). In 1744 C.E., they grew to three battalions, and to four in 1767 C.E. (forming a 2nd Regiment). In 1776 C.E., a third regiment (5th and 6th Battalions) was raised. Most notably Waldeckers served under the Dutch (the 1st and 2nd Regiments) and British (the 3rd Regiment). The latter was used by Britain to suppress rebellions in the American Colonies. So it was that the 3rd Waldeck Regiment served during the American War of Independence, where they were known under another name used for all Germans, the Hessians. This regiment was eventually captured by the Americans. Only a small number returned to Germany. Of these, some formed part of the newly raised 5th Battalion in 1784 C.E.


Fort Bute built in 1766 C.E., was an older stockade. By 1779 C.E., the stockade was so dilapidated that it was judged to be indefensible. At the time, the Lieutenant Colonel was informed of the Spanish movements toward the area, he withdrew the majority of his forces to Baton Rouge and Fort Panmure at Natchez. Dickson left only a small garrison of 20 Waldeckers under Captain von Haake to garrison Fort Bute.


On August 14, 1779 C.E., a squadron under American colors consisting largely of French ships with French crews, set sail from the French port of L’Orient. As a diversionary tactic it headed northward towards Ireland. This fleet was commanded by John Paul Jones, the American captain with a reputation in Britain as a Patriot or traitor. This depends on one’s viewpoint.


In the Atlantic, d'Orvilliers was not aware that the British fleet was not in the Channel.  At that time, Admiral Hardy was patrolling off the Scilly Isles having heard that the French fleet was already out in the Atlantic since June. On August 14, 1779 C.E., the massive combined Franco-Spanish armada came within sight of the English coast. This caused a wave of alarm which quickly spread through the country.


The alarm did not spread quickly enough to reach the Royal Navy ship Ardent, which left Plymouth on August 15th to join Hardy on patrol. By August 16th, the French and Spanish ships were sailing slowly eastwards up the Channel. They had received orders from France to turn around, as a decision had been taken by the government that the best place for the troops to land would be near Falmouth in Cornwall. D'Orvilliers considered this directive a poor idea. He sent a reply asking for the government to reconsider. The next day, the British ship Ardent met an outlying French squadron of the great fleet. The captain of the Ardent had been fooled into believing it was British and was quickly captured.


The French and Spanish armada remained off of Plymouth and waited for a reply to d'Orvilliers' message. By August 18th, a gale from the east drove them far to the west and out into the Atlantic. They then struggled eastward again.


Also on August, 18, 1779 C.E., a hurricane swept through the town of New Orleans, sank most of De Gálvez’s fleet, and destroyed his provisions. It was de Gálvez’s original plan to leave on August 20, 1779 C.E. De Gálvez was able to rally the support of the Territory by explanation that the expedition was needed to defend Spanish Luisiana from an imminent British attack.


On August 25th, the French and Spanish armada finally learned the location of Hardy's fleet and decided to destroy it. The armada was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with sickness in its ranks and the lack of food. The armada finally made its way to the Scilly Isles with the intention of forcing a battle. It was Hardy who decided to try and avoid just such a battle.


In North America, Bernardo de Gálvez took Fort Manchac on August 27, 1779 C.E. De Gálvez would carry his military campaign from August 27, 1779 C.E. to September 7, 1779 C.E. His forces would defeat the British colonial forces garrisoned at Manchac and capture of Fort Bute located on Bayou Manchac, about 115 miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, on the far western border of British West Florida.


De Gálvez was a man of action like his father. After learning via secret reports that the British were preparing to invade the provincia, he immediately took the initiative. War with Great Britain was expected. Málaga military reinforcements were assigned to assist Bernardo for defense. They established relations with the Native tribes of the Creek, Chickasaws, and Seminole. Maps of the area were prepared. This was all in preparation for when de Gálvez received the official letter that war existed between Britain and España. He then organized an expedition against British posts that controlled the Mississippi.


General Bernardo de Gálvez did not set out from New Orleans by land toward Baton Rouge until August 27, 1779 C.E. Bernardo mobilized a large number of soldados. De Gálvez led 520 hundred Spanish regulars, of whom approximately two-thirds were new recruits. However, before he could advance de Gálvez had to continue recruiting more men. The Gobernador did so until he reached a total of 1,443. These formed a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural contingent comprising:

·       170 Veterans soldados Peninsulares and from various Virreinatos

·       350 recruits from the Islas Canarias, Méjicanos, Cubanos, Dominicanos, and Puertorriqueños

·       80 Free blacks and Mulatos

·       60 White Creole miquelets

·       10 Américano volunteers from New Orleans commanded by Oliver Pollock, who rode beside de Gálvez as his adjutant

·       10 cannons

·       14 Artillerymen

·       Over 600 German, Acadian, and some Irish marched upriver to the German and Acadian coasts (named for the original settlers) where they turned out even more men

·       160 Indians of Arcadia, Atacapas, Punta Cortada, Opeluzas, and a Atakapa-Choctaw group that lived in Southwest Luisiana, Caddo, Natchez, Wabanaki Confederacy, and others attached along the way


This was an international army if ever there was one. The Indians and Blacks acted as the advance guard, prowling through the thickets and canes along the river. The regulars followed closely them, with the White militia bringing up the rear. The force would swell to over 1,400. However, this number would be greatly reduced before they reached Fort Bute. Several hundred would be lost due to the hardships of a forced march.


In this critical period, once España declared war on Britain, her Españoles located world-wide were committed. Carlos III , King of España, ordered his subjects around the world to fight the British wherever, whenever they were found. In North America, the main objective for España’s troops was to drive the British out of the Golfo de Méjico and the Mississippi River.


Upon hearing that King Carlos III had issued a proclamation on August 29, 1779 C.E., General Bernardo de Gálvez in New Orleans was already prepared for battle. Don Bernardo immediately developed a military campaign. Between 1779 C.E. and 1785 C.E., he would defeat the British in Baton Rouge, St. Louis and St. Joseph, Michigan, Mobile, Natchez, Pensacola, and other locations. Although he had only a small military force under his command, he did not wait for reinforcements. After organizing volunteer regiments, he marched northward on the eastern riverbank.


In the Atlantic by August 31st, under cover of fog, the British fleet slipped past Land's End, which is located at the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England, and is within the Peninsula. Hardy then began leading the French and Spanish armada towards the key British naval base of Portsmouth.


By September 3rd, the British fleet in the Atlantic was completely undamaged and reached the well-defended safety of the Solent, which is located in the strait which separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. It is approximately 20 miles in length and varies in width at about two and a half and five miles. There, the fleet began equipping and preparing for battle.


The delays had been problematic for the Spanish/French armada, as it was losing men daily to sickness. French military planners also understood that the invasion of England appeared to be delaying and if postponed, their troops would be fighting through the British autumn and winter. It was on that day, that the leaders of the Great Armada abandoned their campaign and sailed off to Brest.


In North America, it was only on September 6, 1779 C.E., that de Gálvez’s force closed on Fort Bute, that he informed the force of the Spanish declaration of war and the true purpose of their mission. This drew cheers from the soldados. Manchac, also known as Akers is an unincorporated community in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Fort Bute or Manchac Post was so named after the then British Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. It was established in 1763 C.E. at the junction of Iberville River (Bayou Manchac) with the Mississippi River, and remained an important military and trading post in British West Florida.


After a night’s rest, they attacked the Fort at dawn the next day. Bernardo de Gálvez would capture Fort Bute at Manchac on September 7, 1779 C.E. There was a brief skirmish in which one German was killed. The garrison quickly surrendered with the exception of six. These escaped and made their way to inform Lieutenant Colonel Dickson.


The Capture of Fort Bute signaled the opening of Spanish intervention in the American Revolutionary War on the side of France and the United States. Mustering an ad hoc army of Spanish regulars, Acadian militia, and native levies under Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxênt, Bernardo de Gálvez the Gobernador of Spanish Luisiana stormed and captured the small British frontier post on Bayou Manchac on September 7, 1779 C.E.


Manchac had already been raided in February 1778 C.E. by American forces under the command of Captain James Willing, the owner-operator of a popular supply center for traders, farmers, and British soldiers in the West Florida settlement of Natchez.


Many of the inhabitants of Natchez were loyal to the British king. Some of these were Loyalists who had fled the Thirteen Colonies when fighting began between the British and American Patriots. James Willing had been suspected of treason by some British officers for helping the Patriots. Rumors about his illegal activities began to grow when he was said to be filling canoes with supplies for the rebels and transporting them at night. Willing was also said to have discussed his support for the Patriots. Many of the British were glad to see him go when he closed down his business and sailed up the Mississippi River.


In 1778 C.E., Captain James Willing and his crew joined the Patriots. They sailed from Fort Pitt on the Ohio River to the Mississippi River, where he headed south. Fort Pitt was a fort rebuilt by British colonists during the Seven Years' War. It was located at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, where the Ohio River is formed in western Pennsylvania. It replaced the original French fort, Fort Duquesne. The French colonial fort was built in 1754 C.E. as tensions increased between Great Britain and France in both Europe and North America. British military protection in the area eventually led to the development of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania by British-American colonists and immigrants.


They then raided British forts and the homes of Loyalists. Willing became an ardent supporter of the Patriot cause. When he and his crew returned to Natchez, they forced the inhabitants to swear their loyalty to the United States. While Captain Willing’s attacks were successful and brought forts and territory under Patriot control, he didn’t win over the Loyalists of West Florida.


Manchac would be captured by Spanish forces under Luisiana Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez which was at that time a part of España. The American Revolutionary War action became known as the Battle of Fort Bute.


The Battle of Lake Pontchartrain, a single-ship action, was fought on September 10, 1779 C.E., during the American Revolutionary War. The engagement was between the British sloop-of-war HMS West Florida and the Continental Navy schooner USS Morris. It was fought in Lake Pontchartrain which was then in the British province of West Florida.


In the 18th and most of the 19th centuries C.E., a sloop-of-war in the British Navy was a warship, also known as one of the escort types. It had a single gun deck that carried up to eighteen guns. As the rating system covered all vessels with 20 guns and above, this meant that the term sloop-of-war actually encompassed all the unrated combat vessels including the very small gun-brigs and cutters. In technical terms, even the more specialized bomb vessels and fireships were classed as sloops-of-war. In practice, these were actually employed in the sloop role when not carrying out their specialized functions.


The HMS West Florida was patrolling Lake Pontchartrain when it encountered the Morris. The American, Oliver Pollock used his commissioning authority granted by Congress to give command of the Morris to Continental Navy Captain William Pickles in 1779 C.E. She had set out from New Orleans under Captain Pickles and his Spanish and American crew. After a hard fought effort, the larger crew of the USS Morris successfully boarded the West Florida. Its captain, Lieutenant John Payne received a mortal wound and the British ship was captured. With the capture of the West Florida, a major British naval presence on the lake was eliminated, weakening already tenuous British control over the western reaches of West Florida.


Pickles thus achieved domination of the Luisiana lakes, discouraging thought of a possible British attack by way of Manchac and the lakes around New Orleans and aiding in the capture of the British colony of West Florida.


One result of the of these naval victories was that people residing at the time in the Lacombe area on the northern shore of Lake Ponchartrain became some of the first citizens of the new American nation. Captain Pickles administered them an oath written by Oliver Pollock and reading in part: “We do hereby acknowledge ourselves to be natives as well as true and faithful subjects of the United Independent States of North America…”


Pickles then took over command of the prize, the West Florida. He was then given instructions by Oliver Pollock, Congress' agent in New Orleans, to assist de Gálvez in a planned expedition to capture the West Florida port of Mobile. Following that successful expedition Pickles sailed on to Philadelphia, where the West Florida was sold.


Unfortunately, the Morris was sunk in a hurricane only a few days before it was to join the forces of de Gálvez in his march against the British at Baton Rouge in September 1779 C.E. The severe hurricane which destroyed the USS Morris also caused the loss of 11 of her crew.


After September 10, 1779 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez decided to move against the British forces at Fort New Richmond, the name that they had given Baton Rouge. Pollock again rose to the occasion. He departed with de Galvez as his Aide-de-Camp, accompanied by nine Americans and 1,500 Spanish Regulars, Luisiana militiamen made up of Españoles, Frenchmen, Germans, free Blacks, Natives, and others only days after a hurricane had destroyed his home and the vessel Morris. In a campaign of 25 days, the forts at Manchac (Fort Bute) and New Richmond were taken by the de Gálvez forces on September 21, 1779 C.E. De Gálvez wrote that Pollock “attended me in person until the surrender.” After the Marcha or March of de Gálvez, de Gálvez tried to get Pollock to accept a commission in the Spanish Army which Pollock refused. He later wrote: “I felt it my duty to decline this offer, the feeble services which, with nine brother Americans, I had been able to render were under the banners of America. We took them with us into the field…”


Pollock had urged the capture of Fort New Richmond at Baton Rouge by the Continental Army and was only partly satisfied to see it fall into Spanish hands. He wrote to Congress only a few months before the Marcha de Gálvez: “I cannot imagine what has deterred you from sending an expedition this way before now. As it surely must come sooner or later, I live in hopes as I make no doubt you know the value of West Florida too well to give it up by treaty on anywise to any power on earth.”


Pollock had no way of knowing that, in a secret alliance with France in 1778 C.E., the Congress had agreed not to expand American territory into the Floridas.


At this point, years of struggle lay ahead for Pollock in seeking reimbursement for the funds he had advanced to the Congress and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 


The Action of September 14, 1779 was a minor naval engagement between a British Royal naval frigate HMS Pearl and a Spanish fragata Santa Mónica off the Região Autónoma dos Açores or Autonomous Region of the Açores during the Anglo-Spanish War.


The Spanish Navy had been patrolling the Açores in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km west of continental Portugal since July, with a small squadron of ships under of General de Teniente Don António de Ulloa, with his flagship Fenix or Phoenix, ships of the line Gallardo, Diligent, and San Julián and also the fragatas Santa María and Santa Mónica.


On September 14th, the British 32-gun frigate HMS Pearl, Captain George Montagu while cruising off the Açores in the early hours of the morning chased a large ship which turned out to be the Spanish 28 gun fragata Santa Mónica under the command of capitán de fragata, Don Manuel Núñez Gaona.


The fragata Santa Mónica was built on Francisco Gautier plans, it had ports for thirty-four cannons, 161 feet in length and tonnage of 548 tons.


At 09:30am, Pearl caught up with the ship and commenced action. They battled for two hours before she struck her colors. The Santa Mónica was severely damaged and had 38 men killed and 45 wounded. The Santa Mónica was a new ship, mounting 26 long 12-pounders on her main deck, and two four pounders on her quarter-deck, with a crew of 271 men. She exceeded the Pearl in tonnage. The Pearl had suffered little damaged except to her rigging. She also lost 12 men killed and 19 wounded. De Ulloa was later acquitted in October at a court martial in Cádiz regarding the loss of the Santa Mónica.


Back in North America, an exhausted Bernardo de Gálvez remained at Fort Bute for six days. His troops needed rest before proceeding to Baton Rouge. When rested, de Gálvez and Coronel, Gilbert St. Maxênt would next move capture Fort New Richmond at Baton Rouge from British on September 21, 1779 C.E.


Bernardo de Gálvez’s strategy was to force the surrender of Baton Rouge thus freeing the lower Mississippi Valley of British forces. This was meant to relieve the threat to the capital of Luisiana, New Orleans.


Fort New Richmond was built by the British in 1779 C.E. on the east bank of the Mississippi River in what is today, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Fort was new with earthen walls encircled by a palasade and a ditch nine feet deep and 18 feet wide. It garrisons 400 British regulars, 150 settlers, Blacks, and 13 cannons. Once the Españoles took control of the Fort they would rename it Fort San Carlos.


Fort New Richmond at Baton Rouge had fallen after a short siege. The terms of capitulation agreed to later by Dickson at Baton Rouge would secure the surrender of the remaining British outposts on the Mississippi River.


De Gálvez would also force the surrender of Fort Panmure, the former Fort Rosalie at Natchez in September 21, 1779 C.E. Natchez is now a village in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The Fort was surrendered to de Gálvez after the capitulation of Baton Rouge. This was done without resistance. At that time there was only a small garrison of regularly enrolled British soldiers, possibly Hessians. Years earlier, during the summer of 1764 C.E., a large detachment of British troops had occupied Fort Rosalie at Natchez, which was thenceforth known as Fort Panmure.


Fort Rosalie, however, was at that date in ruins. It was overgrown with trees, and there is a tradition that a new site for Fort Panmure was selected. It seems to be assumed that the old fort was reconstructed. This was done for a permanent occupation barracks constructed for the troops.


Fort Rosalie on the present site of Natchez Mississippi was originally built by French Governor M. de Bienville in 1716 C.E. The original Fort Rosalie was described as an irregular pentagon, without bastions. It was constructed of thick plank. Then the Fort’s buildings consisted of a stone house, a gunpowder magazine, a few officer’s houses, and barracks for the soldiers. A ditch surrounding the Fort was partially natural and man-made. In most places the ditch was 19 feet from its bottom to the top of the rampart.


Later, when he was superseded by Governor Cadillac, de Bienville received an appointment to lieutenant-governor. He was then ordered to command two companies of infantry. De Bienville was to remove his headquarters to Natchez and house one company of infantry there. The other was to be billeted on the Ouabache.


History inform us that Cadillac would not give de Bienville more than thirty-five men, though he knew that M. de la Loire des Ursins had brought the news that five Frenchmen had been killed by the Natchez. Des Ursins had barely escaped with his life after being advised by a chief, who had given him the means to save his life.


The Natchez Natives occupied a series of towns on the east bank of the Mississippi River. They inhabited areas in the vicinity of the modern town that today bears their name. The Natchez also controlled a large territory that extended along both sides of the lower Mississippi River.


De Bienville after setting-out arrived at Fort Iberville on the Mississippi. There, he met MM. de Paillou and de Richebourg in charge of pirougues, long narrow canoe made from a single tree trunk. The boats had been sent from Mobile and were laden with provisions and utensils for the settlements of Natchez and on the Ouabache. He ordered the two to proceed to Tonicas, a post which had been established a short time before on the Mississippi. It was about two leagues above the mouth of the Red River, on the borders of a lake. They were to join him there. The work Fort Rosalie was commenced in June, 1716 C.E. The Fort was completed by soldiers who arrived the following August. It was named Rosalie in honor of Madame la duchesse de Ponchartrain.


De Bienville soon learned that the Natchez had killed two Frenchmen and plundered six Canadians. He quickly sent an interpreter to the Natchez to obtain provisions and to bring the calumet, a North American Indian peace pipe. The French began negotiations with the Great Sun of the Natchez and his representatives. He was the community leader under which the Natchez social organization was based. The relationship of community members and the Great Sun was all important. He enjoyed the status of a living god, and as such, his esteem was so great that he was carried about on a litter wherever he went. The Natives soon restored the Canadians and surrendered the heads of the chiefs responsible for the murders. This gesture brought about peace.


An agreement was reached that the Natchez would furnish posts and lumber to build a fort needed for the protection of the French from any further aggressions on the part of the Natives. The work was commenced in June, 1716 C.E. under the direction of M. Paillou. He had been appointed commandant. The Natives supplied the timbers and the labor for the Fort’s earthworks. Fort Rosalie was completed by the soldiers of Bienville, who had arrived the following August, 1716 C.E., named Rosalie in honor of Madame la duchesse de Ponchartrain.


The soil at Natchez was excellent. Later, many Frenchmen, soldiers, and workmen went and settled there after obtaining their discharge. New dwellings were built after most bought their lands from the Natives. There would be five villages founded there half a league apart. On land, the league was most commonly defined as three miles, though the length of a mile could vary from place to place and depending on the era. A place called the Great Village, the residence of the great chief of the tribe, was built along a little river called White River, St. Catharine’s Creek.


Fort Rosalie was built on a hill west of the Great Village. It was only a plot 150 feet long by 90 feet broad. It was enclosed with palisades, without a bastion. The typical palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling was a fence or wall made from wooden stakes or tree trunks. It was used by the soldiers as a defensive structure or enclosure.


South of the Fort was a small Indian tribe, the Tioux. They traded with the Frenchmen. Later, they abandoned their village to go and settle elsewhere. Before leaving, they sold their lands to one of the richest settlers in the country, the Sieur (a privileged social class) Roussin.


A bastion is also called a bulwark. It is derived from the Dutch name "bolwerk." The feature is an angular structure projecting outward from the curtain wall of an artillery fortification. The curtain wall is constructed as a defensive wall between two towers or bastions of a castle, fortress, or town. A fully developed bastion consists of two faces and two flanks. It allows for fire from the flanks being able to protect the curtain wall and also any adjacent bastions.


Inside near Fort Rosalie’s gate was the guard-house, and 18 feet off along the palisade ran the barracks of the soldiers. At the other end, opposite the gate, the commanding officer’s cabin was built. To the right of the fort entrance stood the powder magazine building. The post Fort Rosalie, maintained a company of soldiers.


The Fort was first destroyed by the Natchez at the time of the Massacre of the French in 1729 C.E. After the Natchez abandoned the Fort, it was burned. In response, French troops were ordered to the area. A contingent decamped and made its way to the location where Fort Rosalie had been. French troops under Loubois forced the Natchez to flee across the Mississippi.


The location of the second fort was not built on the same site as the original fort. The first fort was some distance from the bluffs, most probably near the eastern limits of the city some 670 yards from the river. It stood on the summit of a hill about 670 yards from the shore of the river, and about 180 feet above its surface. The second fort was built on the brow of the bluffs. This new fort and buildings were promptly constructed of earth, with barracks for the soldiers and houses for the officers.


Years later, when a large detachment of British troops took possession of the Fort during the summer of 1764 C.E., its name was changed from Fort Rosalie to Fort Panmure, in honor of the then minister of George III. This occupation must have been sometime after a Major Loftus, attempted to ascend the river to the Illinois country and was turned back by the shots of a few Natives near the heights which afterward bore his name, the site of Fort Adams. That event supposedly took place in March, 1764 C.E.


Fort Rosalie was by that time in ruins and had been overgrown with trees so a new site for Fort Panmure was selected. The replacement fort was with a permanent occupation barracks were built for the troops.


By 1768 C.E., British troops were withdrawn from West Florida to San Agustín. The area of West Florida at the time encompassed a large part of Alabama and Mississippi. Upon leaving, Fort Panmure was left in the care of one man.


On February 1, 1776 C.E., Fort Panmure was initially held by Captain Thaddeus Lyman, Jacob Blomart, and Mclntosh. These were soon ordered to Baton Rouge in consequence of the prospect of a war with España. A Captain Foster, with a hundred men, was sent to command at Natchez. Soon after, it appears that a conflict arose between Colonel Anthony Hutchins, Captain Lyman and a Captain Michael Jackson, whom the Pensacola governor had sent to take command at Fort Panmure. The possession of the Fort was contested with some bloodshed.


In November, 1776 C.E., a fresh contingent of New Englanders, led by Captain Mathew Phelps, settled on the Big Black River. The command of these troops was given to Brigadier General Donald McDonald. Many highlanders had joined his royal standard under North Carolina.


It is not likely that Fort Panmure was garrisoned at the time of Patriot Willing’s visitation, in 1778 C.E. What is known is that the Natchez district was loyal to the British government. Shortly after Captain Willing’s raid, Governor Chester sent Colonel Magellan to raise four companies of militia under the command of Captain Lyman, Blomart and Mclntosh. He had orders to refurbish Fort Panmure and make it ready to receive troops.


Soon the command was ordered to Baton Rouge due to the prospect of a war with España. Only Captain Foster and hundred men were left in command of Natchez. After the capitulation of Baton Rouge, Fort Panmure and a small garrison of regularly enrolled British soldiers, Hessians, surrendered to de Gálvez without a fight.


After Baton Rouge and Natchez, de Gálvez would return to New Orleans and begin the planning of the campaigns against Mobile and Pensacola, the remaining British strongholds in West Florida.


At the expense of Spanish King Carlos III of España a poem by Julien Poydras was printed. La Prise du Morne du Baton Rouge par Monseigneur de Gálvez praises the young Gobernador and General for his capture of Baton Rouge from the British.


By the first week of October 1779 C.E., the Mississippi River was securely in España’s control. For these actions de Gálvez was promoted to General de brigada. Now that de Gálvez had secured the Mississippi River, he set his sights on removing the British threat from the Golfo de Méjico. However, bad weather thwarted his efforts several times.


Luisiana 1752-211k. Carte de la Louisiane et Pays Voisins.


When España entered the war, Britain went on the offensive in the Caribe, planning an expedition to Spanish Nicaragua. A British attempt to gain a foothold at San Fernando de Omoa was rebuffed in October 1779 C.E. At the time, the Spanish guarnición consisted of 228 men under the command of Juan de Ayssa who served as Gobernador of Nicaragua from 1783 C.E.-1787 C.E.


Don Juan de Ayssa was promoted to Teniente Coronel. As recorded in the Royal Order of June 12, 1781 C.E., he had alerted the other garrisons in the area, bravely defended the fort, suffered hardships as a prisoner of war, and contributed greatly to creating difficulties for the British operations. He was taken prisoner to Jamaica. De Ayssa was later freed at the end of the war. He rose to become Gobernador of Nicaragua in 1783 C.E.


In November of 1779 C.E., Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia, wrote to Bernardo de Gálvez: “We have contracted considerable debt at New Orleans with Mr. Pollock, besides what is due your state.” He went on to explain the Virginia had no way of immediate repayment of the advances to Pollock saying: “In this situation of things, we cannot but contemplate the distress of that gentleman, brought on him by services rendered to us, with utmost concern.”


Pollock would experience the horrors of debtors prison in Habana; arrested there while the Agent of the Continental Congress to Cuba. Only the intervention of his old friend and then Virrey of Méjico, Bernardo de Gálvez, saved him from years of undeserved confinement. He would be accused of having profiteered during the war, an accusation utterly false and later withdrawn, but deeply hurtful. He would still be found petitioning Congress for the payment of his advances twenty years after the end of the war. And yet, Oliver Pollock miraculously managed to re-establish himself and repay all those who had lent him money for the American cause.


On November 11, 1779 C.E., a minor naval engagement between the British Royal Naval frigate HMS Tartar and the Spanish fragata Santa Margarita took place off Lisboa during the Anglo-Spanish War. British Captain Alexander Graeme commanding the Tartar was part of a squadron under Commodore George Johnstone. While off Lisboa, the Captain sighted the Spanish 38-gun fragata, Santa Margarita. Tartar moved swiftly to catch up with her and engaged the fragata. After approximately a two hour engagement, the Santa Marguerita had her ship’s masts almost broken and toppled (dismasted). Santa Margarita’s Capitán then made the decision to strike her colors. With the lowering of the flag, she indicated her surrender. Once boarded and captured, the 12-pounder, 36-gun fragata Santa Margarita was added to the Royal Navy under her existing name. She would have a long career, serving until 1836 C.E.


In the Atlantic on November 20, 1779 C.E. a minor naval engagement took place. In the European theater of the Anglo-Spanish War a battle was fought between a 50-gun British Royal Navy ship and a 64-gun Marina de guerra real Español de España ship. The Spanish ship had been designated a warship used as a transport and had reduced armament.


The 28 gun Hussar, under Captain Elliot Salter and the 50 gun HMS Chatham were convoying trade from Lisboa back to England. They came upon a two-decked, Nuestra Senora del Buen Confeso, a Spanish ship, outside of their convoy. She held 26 twelve-pounders and a crew of 120 marineros and marines. The ship left the scene and the British followed.


Hussar reached the ship the next day with its Spanish flag hoisted. Salter ordered an attack. The Hussar came alongside and opened fire. She had an advantageous position over the Spanish ship as she was in a position upwind of her. The Hussar was able to direct gunfire along the length of the ship. There were a number of broadsides. Upon realizing that resistance was useless, the Spanish struck their colors after an almost 45 minute long action.


By late-1779 C.E., supplies in British Gibraltar were seriously depleted and General George Eliott appealed to London for relief. A British relief supply convoy was soon organized. In late-December 1779 C.E., a large fleet sailed from England under the command of Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney. Rodney's final destination was the West Indies. He had received secret instructions to resupply Gibraltar and Menorca first.


There were also many things accomplish in 1779 C.E. by the brave and brilliant Bernardo de Gálvez. He was promoted to General de Brigada. Brigadier General is an officer of the rank between colonel and major general. Bernardo founded Gálvezton, Gálveztown or Galveztown. Today, Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the state of Tejas. The community is now 208.3 square miles. De Gálvez promoted settlement of Nueva Ibéria. Present-day, New Iberia is the tenth-largest city in the U.S state of Louisiana. Located 30 miles southeast of Lafayette, and is the parish seat of Iberia Parish. The General had driven the British troops out of West Florida. For a while, the bayous and rivers that form Ascension Parish’s borders ceased to be an international boundary.


I consider it a great honor that many of my de Ribera line served under this superior leader and aided in the success of the American Revolutionary War. As subjects of España, the family paid a special tax to aid the Américano Colonists. As soldados of España, they defended the borders of the frontiers of Northern Nueva España, Nuevo Méjico, from the English against whom España declared war in 1779 C.E. To name but a few, they were Alférez of the Infantry Don Salvadór de Ribera my progenitor, his brothers António and Luís Felipe. Salvadór’s sons Alfonso and Balthasár were of that number. Also, António’s sons, José and Matiás were soldiering during the period. These are but a few.


And there were other de Rivera/Ribera families that served:


*Bartolomé Ribera (1755 C.E. Mérida-), married. Alférez, 1777 C.E.-1785 C.E., Capitán, 1799 C.E., Bn Inf Mil Discip Vol Blancos, Mérida, Legajo 7297:VI:8.


*Domíngo Ribera (1751 C.E. Puerto Rico-). 1st Sargento, 1776 C.E.-1795 C.E., Mil Discip of Puerto Rico, single, Legajo 7289: VII:54.


Juan António de Ribera. Sargento 1st Mil Discip Cab de Puerto Rico, 1795 C.E. Leg 7289: VII:105.


*Manuel de Ribera (1744 C.E. Ovieto-). Teniente, 1781 C.E., 1795 C.E., Mil Discip Inf of Puerto Rico, married, Legajo 7289: VII:25.


Roja Ribera. Cuba P:1574


Agustín Rivera. Sargento, Cab Lanceros de Veracruz, Méjico, 1800 C.E. Leg 7276:XIV:25.


*Benito Rivera (1765 C.E. Habana-), Cadete in 1781 C.E. in América under Bernardo de

Gálvez, Cadete, Habana Regt, 1786 C.E., single. Legajo 7259:II:84, Cadete, Inf of Habana, 1788 C.E.


Eugênio Calixto/Fernando Rivera/Ribera of San Sebastián de los Reyes, Castilla la Nueva, Madrid, España.  FD7:92, he and wife Inés Madera de Luna of Santo Domíngo had ch during war years.


*Francisco Rivera. Puerto Rico: 199, soldado, infantry company, San Fernando de Omoa, Honduras, 1779 C.E.


Francisco Rivera.  FD7:92, he and wife Juana Saldaña, Free Blacks, had ch in 1784 C.E.


Jerónimo de Rivera.  FD7:91, he and wife Manuela de Jesús Tolentino/de Castro, Free Pardos (mixed ethnic ancestries), had ch during war years.


José Rivera. Sargento, Dragones de Pazquaro de Michoacán, 1800 C.E.  Leg 7276:XIX:46.


* Joséf Gregorio Rivera.  Zomoa:106, in 1780 C.E. an engineer in Guatemala and Honduras.


*Juan Rivera.  Capitán grad, 1797 C.E., Staff of San Cristóbal, Habana, Legajo 7263:II:8.

Pedro Tomás de Rivera.  Teniente, 1799 C.E., Mil Discip Blancos de Carupano, Cumaná, Legajo 7295:VII:83.


Pedro de Rivera.  FD7:92, he and wife Antónia de Soto had ch during war years.


In 1780 C.E. Europe, the British struck against the United Provinces of the Netherlands. They did this in order to preempt Dutch involvement in the League of Armed Neutrality. That declaration of several European powers stated that they would conduct neutral trade during the war. Great Britain was not willing to allow the Netherlands to openly give aid to the American patriots through the League. The British were already agitation by Dutch radicals. Their friendly attitude towards the United States had been an influential in the start of the American Revolution. These factors encouraged the British to attack. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War lasted into 1784 C.E. and was disastrous to the Dutch mercantile economy.


In 1780 C.E., José de Gálvez y Gallardo Marqués de Sonora forwarded a royal dispatch to Teodoro de Croix, Commandante General of the Provincias Internas of Nueva España. It requested all Royal subjects to donate money for the assistance of the American Revolution. Millions of pesos were collected.


In Central and South América, by 1780 C.E., after España entered the war, the Jamaican British governor John Dalling proposed an expedition to the Spanish province of Nicaragua. His strategy was to have British forces sail up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua. Once there, they were to capture the town of Granada, thereby cutting Spanish America in half and providing access to the Pacific Ocean.


On January 4, 1780 C.E., a British fleet divided, with ships headed for the West Indies sailing westward. This left Admiral Sir George Rodney in command of 19 ships of the line, which were to accompany the supply ships to Gibraltar. A ship of the line was a specific type of naval warship. It took part in the naval tactic of the time known as the line of battle. In applying this tactic, two columns of opposing warships maneuvered to bring the greatest weight of broadside firepower to bear. This action involved an almost simultaneous firing of all the guns from one side of a warship. This type of engagement was invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful cannons. The ship of the line progressed to become the largest and most powerful of their time.


On January 4, 1780 C.E., Admiral Sir George Rodney left with the ship of the line HMS Hector under Sir John Hamilton, and the frigates HMS Phoenix, HMS Andromeda, and HMS Greyhound under Captains Hyde Parker, H. Bryne, and William Dickson. This flotilla was to escort the West Indies-bound merchant ships. The following day, Rodney’s flotilla encountered a Spanish convoy consisting of 22 ships, bound from San Sebastián to Cádiz.


His command quickly closed on them, as the copper sheath covering on some of his ships allowing them to outrun the Españoles. The entire convoy was captured, with the exception for one merchant vessel. Rodney sailed those Spanish ships found to be carrying provisions useful to Gibraltar and relieved the British forces with them.


On January 8, 1780 C.E., there was a naval engagement between a British Royal Naval fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney, and a fleet of Spanish merchants sailing in convoy with seven warships of the Caracas Company, under the command of Comodoro or Commodore Don Juan Agustín de Yardi off Cabo Finisterre a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia, España. It resulted in the entire Spanish convoy was captured.  En route to relieve Gibraltar, Rodney's fleet took this action several days before his engagement and defeat of a Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.


Admiral Sir George Rodney also commissioned and manned the captured Spanish flagship, the 64-gun, Guipuzcoana. He renamed her HMS Prince William, in honor of Prince William, who was then present at the engagement.


De Gálvez sallied to take on Fort Charlotte in Mobile on January 10, 1780 C.E. Many of his men now were from the Habana garrisons, joining the artillery, fixed infantry, and militia of Louisiana. Twenty-six North Americans joined de Gálvez, bringing his total force to 1,427. De Gálvez’s men embarked from New Orleans.


Meanwhile, in North America, on January 11, 1780 C.E., 754 Spanish and Cubano troops sailed from Habana. Spanish troops set sail on a fleet of twelve ships for the Mississippi.


The Spanish and Cubano troops reached the mouth of the Mississippi on January 18, 1780 C.E.


On January 20th, the twelve ship flotilla with Spanish and Cubano troops was joined by the Gálveztown a brig sloop. She was under the command of the Américano, Captain William Pickles and a crew of 58. Captain Pickles was an officer of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War who died September 9, 1783 C.E. He was commissioned on October 10, 1776 C.E. and active on the Gulf Coast. Pickles had been given command of the USS Morris in 1778 C.E., a British ship that had been captured on the Mississippi River. By 1779 C.E., she was destroyed by a hurricane. He was then given another ship, also called Morris, by Gobernador Bernardo de Gálvez. His assignment, eliminate British military shipping on Lake Pontchartrain. By September of 1779 C.E., Captain Pickles had captured a British ship, the HMS West Florida. He then took over command of the prize with instructions from Congress' agent in New Orleans, Oliver Pollock to assist de Gálvez. The Gobernador had planned an expedition to capture the West Florida port at Mobile. Pickles quickly had the ship re-rigged. It was also renamed the Gálveztown. He would later sail on to Philadelphia, where the ship was sold.


Bernardo De Gálvez’s army had sailed from New Orleans aboard a small fleet of transports on by January the 28th, 1780 C.E., for Mobile.


Captain Pickles had been given command of USS Mercury, and charged with transporting Henry Laurens to the Dutch Republic on a diplomatic mission. The USS Mercury was captured off the coast of Newfoundland Banks by the Royal Navy on September 10, 1780 C.E., and Captain Pickles and Henry Laurens were imprisoned in London. After his release, he returned to Philadelphia. Pickles died there on September 9, 1783 C.E., after being assaulted by a gang of Italian sailors.


The prosecution of Captain Pickles’ murderers was complicated by a legal question: whether statutes previously enacted by the British Parliament were still in force in the now independent state of Pennsylvania. Two of the sailors were sentenced on October 8, 1783 C.E., to hang ten days later.


In the Atlantic, on January 16, 1780 C.E., several days later, Rodney engaged and defeated another Spanish fleet under Don Juan de Lángara y Huarte (Born 1736 C.E. at Coruña, España and Died 1806 C.E. at Madrid, España) at the Battle of Cabo de São Vicente or Cape St Vincent. This he did before going on to relieve Gibraltar and Menorca.


De Lángara was the son of a renowned Basque family. His father was Almirante or Admiral Juan de Lángara Arizmendi, who fought as Teniente de Navío or lieutenant of the Marina de guerra real Español de Españia at the victorious Battle of Menorca in 1756 C.E., against the British under Admiral Sir John Byng.


In 1750 C.E., Don Juan entered the Marina de guerra real Español at a young age, as a Guardiamarina or Midshipman. De Lángara then quickly distinguished himself in various wars. From 1766 C.E. until 1771 C.E., he participated in several scientific expeditions, three voyages to the Filipinas and the Chinese seas, and made several important contributions in cartography. By 1774 C.E. he was commanding the fragata La Rosalia on a scientific expedition, which led to several important discoveries related to piloting and navigation.

By 1778 C.E., he was a Comodoro. A Commodore is a naval rank used by many navies. It is considered superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. In non-English-speaking nations, it may often be used as an equivalent for the rank of flotilla admiral, counter admiral, or senior captain.


De Lángara participated with distinction in the 1779 C.E. naval campaign in the Narrows against Britain, capturing the British letters of marque 26-gun sixth-rate Winchcombe. These were ships measuring 94 feet along the gun deck by 26 feet in the beam and an approximate tonnage of 250. They were a typical 20-gun sloop of the early 18th-Century C.E. manufactured at Britain's Winchcombe dockyards.


During the winter 1779 C.E.-1780 C.E., the combined fleet wintered at Brest and Cádiz respectively. The 44 year old, de Lángara was left in command of a small squadron of 11 ships, mostly smaller ships of the line. On the afternoon of January 16, 1780 C.E., Don Juan faced the British naval strength of 21 battleships and 11 frigates under the command of Admiral Sir George Rodney off Cape Santa María.


The Battle of Cape St. Vincent or the Moonlight Battle is it is also known, was a naval battle took place on January 16, 1780 C.E. during the Anglo-Spanish War off the southern coast of Portugal. The British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara. It is considered an unusual naval battle as it took place during the night. It was also the first major naval victory for the British Navy over their European rivals in the war which proved the value of placing copper-sheathing the surface of warship hulls.


Admiral Rodney was escorting a fleet of supply ships to relieve the Spanish siege of Gibraltar. His fleet of about twenty ships of the line encountered de Lángara's Spanish squadron of ships south of Cape St. Vincent on the Atlantic Ocean. Once de Lángara realized the size of the British fleet, he attempted to take his force to the safety of Cádiz. Unfortunately, the faster, copper-sheathed British ships chased his fleet down.


The running battle lasted from mid-afternoon until after midnight. The British fleet captured four Spanish ships, including Lángara's flagship. Two other ships were also captured, but their final disposition is unclear. The reports are conflicting. Spanish sources offer that the ships were retaken by their Spanish crews. Rodney's report suggests the Spanish ships were grounded and destroyed.


Following the battle, Rodney was able to successfully resupply Gibraltar and Menorca before continuing on to the West Indies. De Lángara was released on parole and later promoted to General de Teniente by King Carlos III.


It wasn’t mere money, but Hispanic lives were sacrificed to help the American cause.  Having totally defeated the British along the entire Mississippi River, by the spring of 1780 C.E., de Gálvez and his army advanced to the Great Lakes and captured Fort Saint Joseph, Michigan, once known as San José. Fort Saint Joseph was a fort established on land granted to the Jesuits by King Louis XIV; it was located on what is now the south side of the present-day town of Niles, Michigan. Père Claude-Jean Allouez established the Mission de Saint-Joseph in the 1680s C.E. Allouez ministered to the local Native Americans. The French built the fort in 1691 C.E. mainly as a trading post on the lower Saint Joseph River. It was located where one branch of the Old Sauk Trail, a major east-west Native American trail, and the north-south Grand River Trail meet; together the combined trail fords the river. As a reward for this victory, de Gálvez was promoted to Mariscal del campo and given command of all Spanish operations in America.


Patrick Sinclair, the British military governor at Fort Michilimackinac in present-day Michigan organized expeditions from the north against the Americans. With their victories, the British took over Fort Saint Joseph and maintained it for the fur trade. During the American Revolutionary War, they used it to supply their American Indian allies the Miami, Potawatomi, and others in the war against the rebellious Continentals.


Beginning in February 1780 C.E., Sinclair instructed fur traders to travel throughout their territories and recruit interested Native tribes for a military expedition against San Luís. The prize for the fur traders was an offer to control the fur trade in the upper parts of Spanish Luisiana as an incentive to participate. The British force which attacked the settlement was composed primarily of Natives and led by a former British militia commander. Emanuel Hesse, a former militia captain turned fur trader was placed in command of most of the force gathered at Prairie du Chien. The force numbered an estimated 750 to 1,000 Natives approximately two dozen fur traders. Spanish guarniciónes in Luisiana repelled attacks by British units and their Indian allies in the 1780 C.E.


In 1780 C.E., Americans from Cahokia, Illinois, led by Jean-Baptiste Hamelin and Lieutenant Thomas Brady raided Fort Saint Joseph, once known as San José in Michigan. The British Lieutenant Dagreaux Du Quindre then led forces to capture the raiding party. He overtook and defeated them near Petit Fort, in present-day Indiana.


By the spring of 1780 C.E., de Gálvez’s army was advancing to the Great Lakes and would capture Fort Saint Joseph. After the defeat of Hamelin's party, two Milwaukee chiefs, El Heturnò and Naquiguen, had traveled to Spanish-held San Luís. Upon their arrival there on December 26, 1780 C.E., they reported the failed raid and asked for assistance to raid the fort again. Don Francisco Cruzat, Commandante of San Luís, dispatched the miquelets Capitán Don Eugenio Pouré with 60 volunteers and Native allies. The force also included Alférez Charles Michel dit Taillon (Charles Tayon) and the interpreter Louis Chevalier.


By 1781 C.E., a Spanish/Native Potawatomi detachment traveled through present-day Illinois and took Fort Saint Joseph. They travelled via the Illinois River and Kankakee River to modern Dunns Bridge, Indiana. There they turned northeast and marched towards Fort Saint Joseph. Before the Spanish and their allies attacked the fort, they promised the Potawatomi half the bounty if they would remain neutral. Captain Pouré took Fort Saint Joseph by surprise on February 12, 1781 C.E. by racing across the ice and taking the fort before the defenders could take up arms. The fort was then ransacked in retaliation for British raids on St. Louis and to impress upon the local Indian tribes the need to switch allegiances to the Spanish.


The fort and the St. Joseph River were briefly claimed by Spain as their territory. The fort was established on land granted to the Jesuits by King Louis XIV; it was located on what is now the south side of the present-day town of Niles, Michigan. This expedition gave España a claim to the Northwest Territory, which would be thwarted diplomatically by Great Britain and the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

On the Atlantic Ocean south of Cuba in the Caribe Sea a British expedition sailed from Jamaica on February 3, 1780 C.E. It was escorted by 21-year-old Horatio Nelson in the Hinchinbrook. A British force under the command of John Polson and Captain Horatio Nelson landed on the coast of the present-day Nicaragua. Their orders were to sail up the San Juan River to capture the strategically crucial towns of Granada and León, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua. Although Nelson was the highest-ranking officer, his authority was limited to naval operations. The overall commander was John Polson of the 60th Regiment, who recognized Nelson's ability and worked closely with him. Polson had three to four hundred regulars from the 60th and the 79th Regiments and about 300 men from the Loyal Irish Corps, raised by Dalling. There were also several hundred local recruits including Blacks and Miskito Natives.

With his combined forces, in February 1780 C.E., he captured Fort Charlotte, forcing the City to surrender.


In North America, on February 6, 1780 C.E., a storm scattered the Spanish fleet headed for Mobile Bay.


Despite this, all ships arrived outside Mobile Bay by February 9th. Unfortunately, the fleet encountered significant problems gaining access into the bay as several ships ran aground on sand bars. The Volante was wrecked as a result. De Gálvez salvaged her guns and positioned them on Mobile Point to guard the bay’s entrance.


By February 10th, the Españoles landed close to Fort Charlotte. The garrison commander, Captain Elias Durnford, had been awaiting relief from British held Pensacola which had not arrived. The outnumbered British garrison resisted stubbornly. It did so until several hundred regular infantry and artillerymen rowed ashore to reinforce de Gálvez's army.


España was intent on attacking British holdings in West Florida during the American Revolutionary War. On February 20th, reinforcements for Mobile from Habana arrived. The billowing sails of five warships were sighted. They carried the Regiment of Navarra, 500 veteran Spanish infantrymen, and the combined forces assembled for the assault on Mobile.


As the troops boarded the remaining ships to continue up the bay, a small vessel arrived with the welcome news that reinforcements were under way from Habana. They would bring a force to about 1,200 soldados. Don Francisco Domíngo Joséph Bouligny was one of those Españoles who had led an expedition against the British at Mobile and was to participate in the Siege of Pensacola.


By February 25th, the Españoles landed on the shores of the Dog River, about 10 miles from Fort Charlotte which guarded the Port of Mobile. They were informed by a deserter that Fort Charlotte’s garrison had a compliment of 300 soldiers.


Initially, De Gálvez had assembled a mixed force of Spanish regulars and miquelets at New Orleans. He had requested additional troops from Habana for operations against Mobile and Pensacola in 1779 C.E. These requests had been denied. Before departing from New Orleans, de Gálvez dispatched one of his tenientes to Habana to make one last request for the troops.


While de Gálvez was defeating the British along the Mississippi, España’s subjects including soldados and ciudadanos such as my de Ribera line who were both, who lived in areas that make up the present states of Tejas, Nuevo Méjico, Arizona, and Las California answered King Carlos III ’s call for a special donativo or donation to help with the war. In the end, these funds helped secure Américano independence. In March of 1780 C.E., Carlos III decreed that to sustain the war “his vassals in América” were to contribute a one-time donativo of one peso (approximately $30.00 by today’s standard) per-Native and other castes. Two pesos were required per-Español, commoner and nobles. Collectors went to villas and pueblos in the Nuevo Mundo. Donativos were collected from soldados and ciudadanos throughout Cuba and España’s hard-pressed Nueva España’s Norte Américano settlements.


It wasn’t mere money, but Hispanic lives were sacrificed to help the Américano cause. Having totally defeated the British along the entire Mississippi River, by the spring of (March) 1780 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez and his army advanced to the Great Lakes and captured Fort Saint Joseph, Michigan, once known as San José. As a reward for this victory, de Gálvez was promoted to Mariscal del campo and given command of all of España’s military operations in América.


A British expedition against Fort San Juan in Nicaragua took place between March 1780 C.E. and November 1780 C.E. It had been successful until yellow fever and other tropical diseases wiped out most of the force, which then returned to Jamaica.


Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribe Sea. Jamaica is the fourth-largest island country in the Caribe, by area. It consists of the third-largest island of the Greater Antillas. The island, 4,240 square miles in area, lies about 90 miles south of Cuba, and 119 miles west of La Española or Hispaniola. Today, Hispaniola Island contains the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.


Originally inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the Island came under España’s rulership following the arrival of Cristóbal Colón in 1494 C.E. After many of the indigenous died of disease the Spanish imported African slaves for labor. Originally named Santiago, it remained a possession of España until 1655 C.E. England, later Great Britain in 1706 C.E., conquered the island and renamed it Jamaica. Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter once under British colonial rule. Its plantation economy became dependent upon slaves imported from Africa.


The Españoles immediately engaged in siege operations against Mobile’s Fort Charlotte. De Gálvez’s troops were composed of Puertorriqueños and other Hispanic soldados who transported their cannon closer the fort. On March 1, 1780 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez sent Teniente Coronal Francisco Bouligny to deliver a letter to the Commander of Fort Charlotte, Elias Durnford offering to accept British surrender. It was politely rejected. De Gálvez then began placement of gun batteries around Fort Charlotte the very next day.


De Gálvez and Captain Durnford were courteous in their written dialogue. As an example, de Gálvez at one point politely criticized Durnford for having burned houses denying the cover which the structures provided to the Españoles. Durnford’s response simply pointed out that the other side of the Fort, away from most of the town, offered a better vantage point for attack. While trading these niceties, the Españoles continued digging trenches and bombing the Fort.


During the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E., Fort Charlotte was the last remaining British frontier post capable of threatening New Orleans in Spanish Luisiana. Before it was known as Fort Charlotte, Fort Condé was a French fort originally built in 1717 C.E. when Mobile was part of the French province of Louisiana or New France. Once under Spanish rule, it became known as Fort Carlota. When the British took over following the French and Indian War in 1763 C.E., the Fort was in ruins.


While it had been repaired at that time, when hostilities with España were at-hand in 1779 C.E., it was again in need of repair. The Fort was garrisoned by a total about 300 men. The regulars were primarily from the 60th Regiment and were augmented by Loyalists from Maryland and Pennsylvania. The compliment also had local volunteers. From the time news of de Gálvez's victories had reached Mobile, Colonel Elias Durnford began directing improvements to the Fort's defenses.


Elias Durnford (June 13, 1739 C.E.-June 21, 1794 C.E.) was a British army officer and civil engineer. He is best known for surveying the town of Pensacola and laying out a city plan. This planning Durnford based upon two public places. One is now the Plaza Ferdinand VII and the other Seville Square. Between 1769 C.E. and 1778 C.E., the Colonel was Lieutenant Governor of British West Florida. By 1794 C.E., Colonel Durnford would be the Chief Royal Engineer of the West Indies.


While Durnford was preparing, de Gálvez's army was making ready to sail by January 28, 1780 C.E. from New Orleans aboard a small fleet of transports.


Captain Durnford had requested reinforcements early on from General John Campbell at Pensacola. On March 5th and 6th, most of the Pensacola garrison was dispatched to Mobile. River crossings delays and other difficulties left the force unable to assist the garrison at Fort Charlotte. Despite this, the heavily outnumbered British garrison resisted stubbornly.


But not until March 6, 1780 C.E., was Bernardo de Gálvez able to maneuver his fleet in close enough to Mobile to begin operations. Three days later, Mobile surrendered. He was to recapture Mobile from the British at the Battle of Fort Charlotte. Fort Louis de la Mobile (Fort Condé de la Mobile, Fort Charlotte, Fort Carlota, Fort Mobile), in today’s Alabama was built by the French in 1711 C.E. They built Fort Condé de la Mobile after moving their garrison from Fort Iberville in Luisiana. By 1763 C.E., it was occupied by British and renamed Fort Charlotte. In 1779 C.E., it would be captured by Spanish Mariscal del campo and Gobernador of Luisiana, de Gálvez and called Fort Carlota. In 1783 C.E., it would be ceded to España.


By March 9th, the defenders of the site were beginning to lose their resolve. The capitulation of the British forces would eventually secure the west shore of Mobile Bay for the Españoles and open a path for Spanish operations against Pensacola. Its fall would drive the British from the western reaches of West Florida.


In North America, the two-week siege and Battle of Fort Charlotte at Mobile, Alabama on March 10th-13th, 1780 C.E. was commanded by Spanish Mariscal del campo Bernardo de Gálvez against the British fortifications guarding the port of Mobile. Mobile is located at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast. It is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama. The city was in the British province of West Florida.


On March 11, 1780 C.E., Spanish batteries of 18-and 24-pound cannons began firing. The intense and sustained barrage of artillery filled the skies with smoke, and cannonballs smashed the parapets and embrasures of Fort Charlotte in Mobile. By late afternoon, Durnford ordered a white flag raised.


On March 13, 1780 C.E., de Gálvez began the Battle of Fort Charlotte. The siege fought during the American Revolutionary War between de Gálvez and Captain Elias Durnford commander of the British fortifications guarding present-day Mobile, Alabama. Fort Charlotte was the last remaining British frontier post with the potential to threaten New Orleans in España's neighboring Luisiana Territory.


On March 13th, the walls of Fort Charlotte were breached. They remained resolute until Spanish bombardment finally breached the Fort’s walls. The garrison commander, Captain Elias Durnford, had held out awaited relief from Pensacola. However, given the superior force of the Spanish, Durnford capitulated the following day, surrendering his garrison on March 14, 1780 C.E. He had no choice. The Captain was forced to surrender. In the larger scheme of things, its fall drove the British from the western reaches of West Florida. It also reduced the British military presence in West Florida to its capital, Pensacola.


That capitulation secured the western shore of Mobile Bay. In essence, it opened the way for Spanish operations against Pensacola. However, de Gálvez did not immediately move against Pensacola after his victory at Fort Charlotte, the General was aware that Pensacola was strongly defended. It held powerful cannons, in a secure structure. The well-trained, experienced, and seasoned warrior understood clearly his position. He once again wisely requested large-scale naval support from Habana.


A lesser soldado and comandante would have attempted to seize the moment and capitalize on the current British disorganization. De Gálvez’s military intelligence had informed him that the British were in disarray due to the attempt to support Mobile. He had also learned in April that additional reinforcements had arrived at Pensacola. This included British Royal Navy vessels. Without the necessary reinforcements, de Gálvez was forced to garrison Mobile. Given his circumstances, he and left for Habana in order to obtain additional troops and gather and transport necessary equipment for an attack on Pensacola.


It should not be forgotten that General George Washington was very appreciative of the heroic deeds by Hispanic soldados on behalf of his cause. España’s diplomat, Juan de Miralles, had earned Washington’s respect and admiration for his help during the Revolution. When Miralles died in 1780 C.E., Washington presided over his funeral and wrote a letter explaining how beloved the Español was by Americans.


In Guatemala, after many delays, a British expedition began moving up the San Juan River on March 17, 1780 C.E. toward Fortress San Juan.


On April 9, 1780 C.E., Captain Horatio Nelson led an assault which captured a Spanish battery on the island of Bartola in what was to be the first hand-to-hand combat of his career. Five miles upstream was Fort San Juan, with about 150 armed defenders and 86 others.


The siege on Fort San Juan began on April 13, 1780 C.E. Because of poor planning and lost supplies, the British soon began to run low on ammunition and rations.


After the tropical rains began on April 20, 1780 C.E., the British attacking Fort San Juan began to sicken and die of what was most probably malaria with dysentery and typhoid fever.


Captain Horatio Nelson was one of the first British to become ill. He was dispatched downriver on April 28, 1780 C.E.


The British expeditionary force succeeded in capturing the Fortress San Juan on April 29, 1780, despite the fact that it consisted of less than 200 men. The 22-year-old Captain Horatio Nelson, in command of HMS Hinchinbrook, was responsible for leading his men through dense jungle to attack the Fortress from a hill in the rear.


In Nicaragua, at the Battle of El Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepción or the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception the Españoles, with about 160 armed defenders of whom only 60 were soldados, successfully held back a force of 3,000.


The El Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepción was a fortification located on the southern bank of the Río or River San Juan, in the village of El Castillo in southern Nicaragua. The fortress is situated approximately 6 kilometers from the border with Costa Rica, at the Raudal del Diablo rapids of the San Juan River. The Fortress was completed in 1675 C.E. as part of a series of fortifications along the San Juan River, to defend against pirate attacks upon the city of Granada. Granada could be reached by navigating upstream from the Caribe Sea along the San Juan River into Lake Nicaragua. The settlement of El Castillo and its fortress continued to be strategically important to the Captaincy General of Guatemala until the late 18th-Century C.E.


Because of poor planning and the assumption that the besieged would surrender very soon, the British ran out of ammunition for the cannons as well as rations for the men.  When the tropical rains started, men began to sicken and die, probably of malaria and dysentery, and maybe of typhoid fever. The expedition was a costly debacle.


In North America, Juan de Miralles had been named as España’s first ambassador to the United States. De Miralles and George Washington became personal friends and professional correspondents. Unfortunately, while visiting Washington's headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey he became ill with pulmonary fever which is associated with pulmonary inflammation. Within days, Juan died on April 30, 1780 C.E. at Morristown, New Jersey.


In North America, Francisco Rendón arrived in the United States from Cuba in 1779 C.E. He served as secretary to Juan de Miralles, España’s unofficial representative to Congress. After Miralles’ death in April 1780 C.E., Rendón succeeded him as unofficial representative. In 1785 C.E. and 1786 C.E., Francisco served as secretary to Diego de Gardoqui, España’s first official representative to the United States. Rendón then served as España’s intendant in Luisiana from 1794 C.E. to 1796 C.E. Later, he would serve as intendant in the Nueva España areas Zacatecas, Méjico, 1796 C.E.-1810 C.E., and Oaxaca, Méjico, 1814 C.E.-1816 and 1818 C.E.-1821 C.E.


When the Battle of San Luís Expedition left Prairie du Chien on May 2, 1780 C.E., the largest contingent of the force was about 200 Sioux warriors led by Wapash (1718 C.E.-1806 C.E.). He was an Mdewakanton Dakota chief born in present-day Minnesota in 1718 C.E. There were also additional sizable companies from the Chippewa, Menominee, and Winnebago nations, and smaller numbers of warriors from other nations. The Chippewa chief Matchekewis was given overall command of the native forces. Matchekewis was a tribal leader of the Ojibwe people whose homeland was the Michigan country. In 1763 C.E., he had taken part in Pontiac's Rebellion in the capture of Fort Michilimackinac from the British. By 1780 C.E., he was in command of the braves of his tribes during the American Revolutionary War. In that war, the Ojibwe were allies Britain against the Españoles. At the Battle of San Luís Matchekewis was in charge of all the Native troops.


When the force reached Rock Island they were joined by about 250 men from the Sac and Fox nations. Rock Island is a city and the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois. The original Rock Island, from which the city got its name, is the largest island on the Mississippi River and now called Arsenal Island.


By mid-May, 1780 C.E., a single round tower had been built at Fort San Luís. It was about 30 feet in diameter and approximately thirty to forty feet tall. The tower, named Fort San Carlos, provided a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. This left part of a second tower only partially constructed. There wasn’t time to build more towers.  So trenches were dug. They were placed between the tower and the river to the north and south of the village. The Teniente de Leyba placed five cannon on top of the tower. And additional cannon were placed along the trenches.

Given his military disadvantage, de Leyba appealed to a 70 year old Frenchman, Francois Valle. Valle lived at the site of the French Colonial Valles Mines approximately 60 miles to the south of the fort. In response, Valle sent his two sons and 151 well-trained and equipped French militia men. This act would tip the scale in favor of the Españoles.


Another import point about Valle, he provided the Españoles of both forts (Fort San Carlos and Fort Bowman) with a major tactical advantage. Valle supplied them with genuine lead from his mines for musket balls and cannonballs. This they would have instead of pebbles or stones. To be sure, being hit by a pebble or stone does not compare to the damage and knockdown power of a 52 caliber rifle ball at 100 feet.


Later, by Royal Decree on April 1, 1782 C.E., King Carlos III of España, conferred upon Francois Valle the rank of teniente in the regular Spanish army thus making him a Spanish don.


In Nicaragua, about 450 British reinforcements arrived on May 15, 1780 C.E., but the Blacks and Natives abandoned the expedition due to illness. Although British governor John Dalling persisted in trying to gather reinforcements, sickness continued to take a heavy toll.


In North America, on May 23rd, Teniente de Leyba's scouts reported that the British militia commander, Emanuel Hesse's force was only 14 miles away from Fort San Carlos. They had landed their canoes and were coming overland.


On May 25th, Commander Hesse sent out scouting parties. These were to determine the situation at San Luís and report back. The parties were unable to get close to the village due to the presence of workers, including women and children, in the fields outside the village.


The Battle of Fort San Carlos, or the British attack on San Luís arrived on May 26, 1780 C.E. De Leyba’s original compliment of soldados had only 29 Spanish Army regulars of the Fijo de Luisiana Colonial Regiment but were now bolstered by Valle’s 153 assisters. Most of the 168 inexperienced miquelets were dispersed in the surrounding countryside.


In the beginning, the Native warriors under the British were reluctant to attack San Luís. However, Commander Hesse provided them with large gifts and secured their participation. The diversity of the company resulted in some animosity among the various Native tribes. The Chippewa and Sioux in particular had a known history of conflict with one another. However, Wapash and Matchekewis promoted unity within the force during the expedition.


Commander Hesse ordered Jean-Marie Ducharme and 300 Natives across the river to attack Cahokia. The remainder was to head toward San Luís arriving approximately 1:00 pm.


Jean-Marie Ducharme (July 19, 1723 C.E.-July 20, 1807 C.E.) was born in Lachine, New France. He was the son of a farmer and fur trader. Ducharme also became a fur trader and political figure in the areas of New France, British Québec, and Lower Canada. He entered the fur trade in the southwest and assisted the French in establishing Fort Duquesne near the current site of Pittsburgh.


Soon after the British took control of Québec, Jean-Marie began operations at La Baye, near what is today know as, Green Bay, Wisconsin. By 1763 C.E, he transported ammunition to Michilimackinac, violating a British ban. Ducharme was later arrested and imprisoned at Montreal.


In 1772 C.E., Ducharme was trading with the Little Osages on the Missouri River. This led the Españoles to attempt his capture. Though his furs were confiscated, Ducharme managed to escape to Montreal. Later, he continued to trade in the La Baye area.


Both Spanish guarniciónes in Luisiana repelled attacks by British units and their Native allies in the 1780 C.E. The Battle of San Luís is also known as the Battle of Fort San Carlos. The British-led attack on San Luís took place on May 26, 1780 C.E., at the time a French settlement in Spanish Luisiana. The city and inland port is now in the U.S. state of Missouri, located along the western bank of the Mississippi River. It forms Missouri's border with Illinois. The city was founded after the Treaty of Paris in 1763 C.E., during the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779C.E.-1783 C.E.


This unsuccessful British-led attack on San Luís, a French settlement in Spanish Luisiana would show Britain’s weaknesses. The city of St. Louis and inland port in the state of Missouri, is located along the western bank of the Mississippi River, it forms Missouri's border with Illinois. The city was founded after the Treaty of Paris (1763), during the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779C.E.-1783 C.E.


The British force which attacked the settlement was composed primarily of Natives and led by a former British militia commander. The settlement's defenders, mostly local miquelets, under the command of Teniente Gobernador of Spanish Luisiana Fernando de Leyba, had fortified the town, as best they could and successfully withstood the attack.


A second simultaneous attack on the nearby American outpost at Cahokia, on the opposite bank of the Mississippi and technically in British-controlled territory, was also repulsed. The retreating Natives destroyed crops and took captive civilians outside the protected area. The British failure effectively ended their attempts to gain control of the Mississippi River, during the war.


A warning shot was fired from the Fort San Carlos tower when they came in view, with the Sioux and Winnebagoes leading the way. These were followed by the Sac, Fox, and fur traders which included Hesse, bringing up the rear. Unfortunately, the British forces were detected.


Once aware of the British presence, de Leyba directed the defense of the Fort from the tower. The Españoles opened with devastating fire from the Fort and trenches when the British forces were in range. During the first volley, most of the Sac and Fox fell back.

There could also to be heard in that confusing battle the sorrowful cries of women and children who were shut up in the house of the Comandante. It was defended by twenty men under the Teniente de infantería, Don Francisco Cartabona. The mournful wailing seemed to inspire the besieged Fort and extraordinary valor and spirit resulted in the soldados.


That first barrage of fire left them unwilling or unable to carry on the fight. They left the battle with many of the other participants suspicious of their motives in joining the expedition. The British later complained of their treachery.


However, the Wapasha and the Sioux persisted for several hours. These attempted to draw the Españoles out. They went as far as brutally killing captives they had taken in the fields. Reports of the number killed outside the city's gates varying significantly. Estimates are from a few dozen to forty or more. One Jean Marie Cardinal was among the killed. He was an early trader and explorer of the Mississippi. Cardinal and his Pawnee Indian wife, Careche-Caranche had seven children.


At least one American was also killed while out in the fields. He, a Frenchman named Chancellor, and his family were riding a horse drawn cart at the time. Chancellor was hit twice by musket balls in his arm. His wife was a victim of a shot through her hand. An elder daughter was hit in the shoulder. Another of his daughters received a wound to the head. The unknown American was shot dead. In order to prevent the Natives from taking the American's scalp, Chancellor forced the horses hard through the city gates.


Julian Roy was another lucky survivor. He had made his way into the fields armed with a pistol. He first tried to outrun the Natives. Once Roy realized that one of the attackers was almost upon him, he fired a shot which hit the Indian in the jaw. As there was no way to escape the oncoming of the Natives, Roy assisted the wounded Indian hoping to win his appreciation. The ploy worked, saving his life.


Some of the townspeople were angered by these murders and requested permission to have the miquelets deploy to the outside. De Leyba refused the request and the attackers eventually withdrew. As the British headed north they destroyed crops, livestock, and buildings as they went. It is clear that de Leyba’s efforts had been enough to repel the invaders. However, this did not stop the British troops from laying waste to the surrounding farms, so much for the loving kindness of the British.


A second and simultaneous attack took place at the nearby American outpost at Cahokia and its Fort Bowman. Cahokia was technically in British-controlled territory. The town was founded 1699 C.E. It is located on the opposite bank of the Mississippi. Cahokia is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois which is part of Greater St. Louis, the metropolitan area around St. Louis. The name is a reference to one of the clans of the historic Illini Confederacy, who were encountered by early French explorers to the region.


The Illini or Illiniwek Confederacy is also referred to as the Illinois Confederation. These were a group of 12-13 Native tribes living in the upper Mississippi River valley of North America. The tribes were the Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Peoria, Tamaroa, Moingwena, Michigamea, Chepoussa, Chinkoa, Coiracoentanon, Espeminkia, Maroa, and Tapouara. At the time of European contact in the 17th-Century C.E., they were believed to have a total population of over 10,000.


Cahokia derives its name from the Cahokia Indian tribe which translates to "wild geese." By 1735 C.E., the Mission of Cahokia listed only twelve adult Canadian males in a census. Later, Cahokia became the most populous of the French colonial Mississippi Valley villages. By the 1740’s C.E., the settlement was the center for the French trade of Native American goods. Furs traded with a French government representative became the basis for the setting of trading prices. Gifts were given to insure that the tribes traded with the French rather than the British.


French control of the Middle Mississippi Valley and Cahokia were lost to the British in a series of colonial wars that ended in 1763 C.E. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the terms forced the French to cede all territories east of the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Territory, and New Orleans to the Españoles. Preferring not to live under British rule, many of the French settlers crossed the river to Ste. Genevieve or to the newly established settlement of San Luís.


During the American Revolution Cahokia had become a part of the United States. Cahokia is located in southwestern Illinois along the Mississippi River. The city rests in the northeastern part of St. Clair County about 4 miles south of East St. Louis. On July 4, 1778 C.E., an American expedition led by Captain Joseph Bowman, took Cahokia without resistance. The small stone fort was renamed Fort Bowman and was the westernmost American fort in the Revolutionary War. The French had built it originally in 1719 C.E. It was constructed of as a wood fort from 1733 C.E.-1736 C.E. The Fort was rebuilt on 57-acres. By 1760 C.E., it was later rebuilt with four blockhouses. By 1764 C.E., it was destroyed by French. In 1765 C.E. the British occupied the Fort. In 1772 C.E., the British built Fort Gage of stone. In 1778 C.E., it was captured by American George Rogers Clark and renamed Fort Clark.


Cahokia was named the county seat of St. Clair County following passage of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 C.E., which directed that a "courthouse, county jail, pillory, whipping post, and stocks" be built in every county. Instead of erecting a new building, the judges of the common pleas court of St. Clair County in 1793 C.E. purchased the Saucier home to serve as the courthouse.


On the other side of the river, Ducharme's attack on Cahokia was easily repulsed. The timely arrival of Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark to lead its defense played a role; Clark's reputation as a frontier fighter made the Indian force reluctant to pursue the attack. The retreating Natives destroyed crops and took captive civilians outside the protected area.


In North America, San Luís’ defenders were in the main, local miquelets. Spanish defenders were under the command of Teniente Gobernador of Spanish Luisiana, Fernando de Leyba. There is very little known of de Leyba's life until his appointment to the position of Teniente Gobernador on June 14, 1778 C.E. Immediately upon his appointment to the post, de Leyba was ordered by Bernardo de Gálvez to stay aware of events occurring in the American Revolutionary War. He was also ordered to keep all correspondence prominent Americans secret and to report said at once to de Gálvez.


De Leyba's health was already poor, and, by June 28th, he was dead. His report of the action reached de Gálvez only after his death, yet the General was impressed enough to promote the gobernador, posthumously, to the rank of Teniente Coronel.


The British failure effectively ended their attempts to gain control of the Mississippi River, during the war.


The Spanish defeated Matchekewis. After the war, he signed the Treaty of Greenville with the young United States, ceding Bois Blanc Island in Lake Huron, in addition to all of his original lands, to the United States.


In 1780 C.E., Luís de Córdoba y Córdoba (February 8, 1706 C.E.-December 29, 1796 C.E.) the Spanish Almirante would aid the Thirteen Colonies in their war by winning sea battles and defeating the British. This hurt the British economy and war efforts.


De Córdoba was born in Sevilla, España. His father was Don Juan de Córdoba Lasso de la Vega y Puente, a Capitán de la Marina de guerra real Español, a knight of the Order of Calatrava a mariner. Luís’ mother was Doña Clemencia Fernández de Córdoba Lasso de la Vega Veintimiglia, the daughter of the Marqués of Vado del Maestre and first-cousin of her husband.


De Córdoba’s interest in the sea began at an early age. By age 11, Luís enlisted aboard his father's ship. At age 13, he had made his first journey to América. In 1721 C.E., Luís joined the La Escuela Naval Militar or naval academy at the naval town of San Carlos, San Fernando, Cádiz España where he graduated with the rank of Alférez de Fragata in 1723 C.E. His early career was marked by success. On cruises and military actions at sea, he won the approval of his superiors and praise from the King. By 1730 C.E., de Córdoba commanded the naval escort for the Duke of Parma, Infante Carlos de Borbón who journeyed across the Mediterranean en route to the campaigns in Italy. The Duke of Parma would later become Carlos III of España. Carlos and his generales were on their way to reconquer the Kingdom of Naples at the Battle of Bitonto. This they would do with naval assistance from a squadron commanded by de Córdoba.


Luís de Córdoba y Córdoba was a Spanish Almirante best known for his command of the Spanish fleet during the American War of Independence. De Córdoba’s most memorable military actions were the capture of two British convoys and the taking of a total of 79 ships between 1780 C.E. and 1782 C.E. These included the capture of 55 ships from a convoy composed of Indiamen, and other cargo ships 60 leagues off Cape Saint Vincent This was the time of the American War of Independence and the British Navy was at low ebb, not being able to replace and upkeep their battered ships with the abundant Vermont timber as in the past. Don Luís captured a convoy of 55 British ships and their three accompanying frigates north of the Açores and brought them all to Cádiz in the summer of 1780 C.E.


Meanwhile in Cuba, the Spanish comandantes planning the Pensacola campaign knew that most of the troops would now have to come from Cuba, Luisiana, and other Spanish holdings in the América. De Gálvez reached Habana to lobby for more troops on August 2, 1780 C.E. just as the decimated Spanish Army of Operations arrived. The junta there agreed to provide 4,000 men, including reinforcements from Méjico and as many troops as could be spared from Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo.


The Battle of Cape St. Vincent took place on August 9, 1780 C.E. It was a naval engagement during the Anglo-Spanish War. A Spanish fleet led by Almirante Luís de Córdoba y Córdoba, accompanied by a squadron of French ships, came upon a large British convoy. During the action the Españoles and French force captured almost all the British ships. This dealt a severe blow to Great Britain’s commerce industry.


Captain of HMS Ramillies and three frigates, Sir John Moutray led the British convoy. They sailed from Portsmouth on July 27th. On August 9th, they encountered a Spanish fleet.


During the Battle, the Españoles captured 52 of 55 British vessels, making it one of the most complete naval captures ever made. In that capture the British lost 80,000 muskets. It is estimated that this was enough to equip 40,000 troops. They also lost 294 cannons. The size of a British Unit is as follows:







10 companies of 38 men:
8 line infantry companies,
1 light infantry and 1 grenadier company.

380 men

Dragoon Regiment

6 companies of 37 men:
6 Cavalry companies

222 men


It has been estimated that the affair had a negative financial impact of approximately £1,500,000 (£1,000,000 in gold and £500,000-£600,000 in equipment and ships). It has also been suggested that this failure helped to derail a secret British diplomatic effort to make peace with España.


In Indian, the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780 C.E.-1784 C.E.) experienced even bloodier battles. Fortunes fluctuated between the warring powers. In September, 1780 C.E., Tipu would defeat Baillie at the Battle of Pollilur.


Fresh from his victories in the West and reinforced, Bernardo de Gálvez turned his attention to the Gulf Coast. He planned for his actions against what had been España’s crown jewel of the Southeast, the British stronghold at Pensacola, Florida. Next, he prepared for battle. Using the intelligence he’d received on the British forces at Pensacola, de Gálvez wanted to take immediate action on an offensive there. However, delays due to bad weather hindered him. Once reinforcements arrived from Jamaica, he personally sailed to Habana, Cuba in August 1780 C.E. to secure additional reinforcements. De Gálvez received his reinforcements. However, his expedition was cut short after only two days. A storm scattered his fleet and he was forced to return to Habana. He once again had to secure reinforcements because some of the ships had been damaged, but it was more difficult the second time.


As de Gálvez was preparing for battle, Nuevo Méjico’s Gobernador Juan Bautista de Anza was officially notified of the decree in a letter from Teodoro de Croix dated August 17, 1780 C.E. De Anza had obtained permission to exempt the Zuñi and Hopi pueblos from the requested donativos to be given by the Natives of the Provincia. In Las Californias, Fray Junípero Serra used Church funds to pay the donativos for misión Natives. While the Españoles fully supported the war efforts, they recognized that the impoverished Natives were unable to comply.


It is important to understand how España’s soldados and statesmen were connected. Teodoro de Croix was named Commandante General of the new Provincias Internas jurisdiction and assumed his duties on January 1, 1777 C.E. This was the same date that Bernardo de Gálvez became acting gobernador of Luisiana. His relationship with the de Gálvez family cannot be underestimated or ignored in the context of España’s Nuevo Mundo power politics.


Teodoro de Croix (1730 C.E.-1792 C.E.) was a soldado and government official in Nueva España. He was born in Prévoté castle near Lille, France, on June 20, 1730 C.E. Entering the España’s army at age seventeen, he was sent to Italy as an alférez of grenadiers of the Royal Guard. By 1750 C.E., he transferred to the Walloon Guards, bodyguards of the Borbón kings of España. In 1756 C.E., he was promoted to the rank of teniente and decorated in Flanders with the Cross of the Teutonic Order, which gave him the title of caballero. By 1760 C.E., Caballero de Croix was made a coronel in the Walloon Guards.


In 1766 C.E., when his uncle Francisco, Marqués de Croix, went to Nueva España as virrey. Teodoro accompanied him as Capitán of the Virreinal (Viceregal Court Guard). The virrey shortly appointed him gobernador of Acapulco. He became inspector of troops for Nueva España with the rank of General de brigada in December of that year and served in that capacity until 1770 C.E. The next year the Marqués de Croix ended his term as virrey and Teodoro sailed with him for España in company with José Bernardo de Gálvez y Gallardo, who was retiring as inspector general. Poor sailing weather held up the voyage for five months in Habana. Thus, de Gálvez's young nephew, Bernardo de Gálvez fresh from his first frontier command in Chihuahua, was able to overtake him and join the group for the rest of the voyage.


De Croix's career undoubtedly benefited not only from his uncle's status. However, the close alliance of the de Gálvez and de Croix families was also of great value to him. The subsequent careers of both the two older men and their nephews followed a well-planned course. The de Croix/de Gálvez power relationship and their tremendous influence at the Corte real española assisted the careers of both families. While the elder de Croix became Commandante General of España’s Army, José de Gálvez advanced to the important post of Secretarío del Estado del Despacho Universal de Indias. Don José thus was able to implement his recommendation for separating Nueva España's most northern provincias from the Virreinato to deal more effectively with the Native problem. Teodoro was named Commandante General of the new Provincias Internas jurisdiction and assumed his duties on January 1, 1777 C.E., the same date that Bernardo de Gálvez became acting gobernador of Luisiana.


As commandant general, de Croix found himself facing the animus of the reigning virrey, António María de Bucareli y Ursúa. It is speculated that this was due to his having been deprived of a portion of his jurisdiction. De Croix saw little improvement in frontier conditions from the work of Hugo Oconór, a Bucareli appointee, who had undertaken a reshuffling of presidios to establish a new defense line to conform to the Royal Regulations of 1772 C.E. The staggering toll of Indian depredations all across the frontier convinced him of Oconór's failure.


De Croix was faced the necessity of reorganizing the presidial line again. He ultimately returned some of the presidios to their original position and buttressed them with a secondary line of fortified villas. In August 1777 C.E., Caballero de Croix left Méjico City to inspect his jurisdiction. The entourage crossed the Río Grande near San Juan Bautista on December 24th and remained in what is now Tejas until January 22, 1778 C.E.


At Monclova, San António, and Chihuahua de Croix convened war councils with frontier officers to discuss the methods for confronting the Apache menace. By then the problem was common to all the Interior Provinces. As a result of these juntas, came a request for the new gobernador of Luisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez, to join de Croix in an Apache campaign. This would unite a large Luisiana military force with the two thousand troops that the Commandante General hoped to obtain from the Corona Española. Such plans, which might have enhanced the stature of both men, were doomed by the prospect of España's entry into the war that the North Américano Colonists were waging against Britain.


As part of España’s strategic vision for Nueva España and the North American Continent, de Croix built up a more extensive military establishment. This would bolster Nueva España’s control over its entire northern frontier. Such a military structure had never existed previously. Four thousand eight hundred and eighty-six militiamen and presidials were placed under arms from Tejas to Sonora. Unfortunately for España, with his departure, the bulk of his policy was abandoned. On February 13, 1783, he was promoted to Teniente General and relieved of his duties to become virrey of Perú. Two years later, his friend Bernardo de Gálvez, having achieved notable successes in the war with Britain was appointed virrey of Nueva España. Bernardo succeeded his late father, Matías to the post.


For a brief time, the de Croix and de Gálvez families had achieved a colonial dynasty.  However, it was short-lived. Bernardo would die in office in November 1786 C.E. Caballero de Croix would serve as virrey of Perú from April 6, 1784 C.E. till March 25, 1790 C.E. In 1791 C.E., he was made a coronel in the king's bodyguard and a commander in the Teutonic Order. He died in Madrid in 1792 C.E.


A hurricane halted the Spanish expedition to capture Pensacola the capital of British West Florida in October of 1780 C.E.


The British expedition in Nicaragua, to take Fort San Juan and the surrounding region was abandoned in principle on November 8, 1780 C.E., and the Españoles reoccupied the remnants of the Fort after the British blew it up before their departure. More than 2,500 men died, which made the San Juan Expedition the costliest British disaster of the entire Anglo-Spanish War.


By the closing of 1780 C.E., General George Washington's appreciation for these heroic deeds on behalf of the colonists by Hispanic soldados was not forgotten. The Españoles diplomat, Juan de Miralles, earned the respect and admiration of Washington for his help in the Revolution. When de Miralles died in 1780 C.E., Washington presided over his funeral.

On the 24th of April, after reviewing the four battalions with Washington, De la Luzerne, and others, Don Juan de Miralles was tossing with death fever. Four days later, he died. On the 29th of April his funeral took place, in a style never imitated or equaled in Morristown. A witness, Mr. Thatcher exhausted all his strong words in expressing his admiration of the scene, and doubtless would have used more had they been at hand. Hear him: "I accompanied Dr. Schuyler to headquarters to attend the funeral of M. de Miralles. The deceased was a gentleman of high rank in Spain, and had been about one year a resident with our Congress from the Spanish Corte real española. The corpse was dressed in rich state and exposed to public view, as is customary in Europe. The coffin was most splendid and stately, lined throughout with fine cambric, and covered on the outside with rich black velvet, and ornamented in a superb manner. The top of the coffin was removed to display the pomp and grandeur with which the body was decorated. It was a splendid full dress, consisting of a scarlet suit, embroidered with rich gold lace, a three-cornered gold-laced hat, a genteelcued wig, white silk stockings, large diamond shoe and knee buckles, a profusion of diamond rings decorated the fingers, and from a superb gold watch set with diamonds several rich seals were suspended. His excellency General Washington, with several other general officers, and members of the Congress, attended the funeral solemnities and walked as chief mourners. The other officers of the army and numerous respectable citizens formed a splendid procession, extending about one mile. The pall-bearers were six field officers, and the coffin was borne on the shoulders of four officers of the artillery in full uniform. Minute-guns were fired during the procession, which greatly increased the solemnity of the occasion. A Spanish priest performed service at the grave in the Roman Catholic form. The coffin was enclosed in a box of plank, and in all the profusion of pomp and grandeur was deposited in the silent grave in the common burying ground near the church at Morristown. A guard is placed at the grave lest our soldiers should be tempted to dig for hidden treasure."



Washington also wrote a letter explaining how beloved the Español was by Americans. This was a testament that the Founding Fathers had knowledge and appreciation for España and her ciudadanos’ aid to the American Colonists.


While the Revolutionary War raged on, España and her Nuevo Mundo colonials had their share of problems. It is clear that the de Gálvez family rose to the occasion. Bernardo de Gálvez stood firm in the Mississippi region. José de Gálvez helped direct affairs of the el Imperio Español from España. José’s brother, Matías, born in Velez-Málaga in 1731 C.E., was well into his career in the Nuevo Mundo. Entering the administration through the influence of his brother, Matías obtained rapid promotion.


By 1781 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez’s father, Don Matiás de Gálvez, was appointed Capitán General of Guatemala. Approximately, two years later Don Matiás became Virrey of Nueva España today parts of which are in Méjico. An uncle, Don Joséf de Gálvez, was a great favorite of King Carlos III and was appointed secretary of state and president of the Council of the Indias. This position conferred upon him a power only slightly less than that of the King.


José or Joséf de Gálvez y Gallardo, Marqués of Sonora (1729 C.E.-1786 C.E.), was a Spanish ciudadano who assisted in the political aspects of España’s supporting independence for the United States. José, a Spanish lawyer and statesman, was born in Vélez Málaga, España in 1729 C.E. Vélez-Málaga is a municipality in the province of Málaga, in the autonomous community of Andalucía, España. It is the most important city of the region of La Axarquía, headquarters of the Commonwealth of municipalities of the coast of the Sun-axarquia and the head of the judicial party which bears his name. It obtained the title of City of Vélez-Málaga in the year 1487 C.E. by the Catholic monarchs. He died in Madrid, España in 1786 C.E. José graduated in law at the University of Alcala de ltenares, and gained considerable distinction by his eloquence in the defense of several lawsuits.


Practicing law in Madrid, José de Gálvez y Gallardo married María Magdalena de Grimaldo, who died a year later. He then married Lucía Romet y Pichelin, a woman of French origin. Lucía's connections enabled de Gálvez to work as legal adviser at the French embassy in Madrid. He soon climbed the social and political ladder and secured a job as personal secretary to Jerónimo Grimaldi, minister to the newly ascended King Carlos III. In 1762 C.E., de Gálvez obtained a position as attorney to Prince Carlos, the future King Carlos IV.


While in Madrid, he became acquainted with the French ambassador, Marquis de Duras, who engaged him as an assistant in the prosecution of claims at the Corte Real Española. There, de Gálvez attracted the attention of Carlos III's Prime Minister, the Marqués of Grimaldi, and became his private secretary.


Again in 1781 C.E., Luís de Córdoba y Córdoba's fleet captured America-bound British convoys, damaging British military supplies and commerce.


In North America, the revolt by the Natchez district people occurred in 1781 C.E. At Fort Panmure the Spanish guarnición was besieged by British Loyalists. It was forced to surrender. Later, it was returned to the Spanish officers and Criollo soldados. The Fort would remain in Spanish hands until its evacuation on March 30, 1798 C.E.


In Central América, because of the distance and the scarcity of resources, Matías de Gálvez was unable to aid Fort San Juan, Nicaragua. The British captured the Fortress San Juan in Nicaragua and occupied it for nine months, finally abandoning their last efforts on January 5, 1781 C.E., after their forces were decimated by tropical diseases. It fell to the British expedition led by Captain Horatio Nelson. The hill is named Lomas de Nelson to this day.


For some time, Bernardo de Gálvez in North America had not been able to launch his successful attack on Pensacola until 1781 C.E. However, before Bernardo did so, in January 1781 C.E., his guarnición at Mobile was forced to fend off a counterattack by the British.


On another area of the North American British battle front, Bernardo’s army and its organized miquelets soon rose to seven thousand men. Invading the northwestern part of Florida, he defeated the British in several encounters. His next action was to besiege Pensacola, West Florida. This would be his greatest victory.


Unable to attack it from the seaside due to a lack of siege artillery and a fleet, de Gálvez went in January 1781 C.E., to Habana to gain support, obtain troops, and weapons.


On February 28, 1781 C.E., de Gálvez set sail for Pensacola returning from Habana, Cuba bringing with him from about 1,300 men. These regular troops included a Majorcan regiment. España's Irish Hibernia Regiment with its 319 men including miquelets of biracial and Free Afro-Cubanos was also part of the contingent. It was commanded by Arturo O'Neill de Tyrone y O'Kelly (January 8, 1736 C.E.-December 9, 1814 C.E.). He was an Irish-born Spanish coronel who served the Corona Española as gobernador of several places in Nueva España (1781 C.E.-1800 C.E.) including being the Gobernador of Spanish West and East Florida. He came from a lineage that occupied prominent European positions and titles, since at least the 12th-Century C.E.


Upon his return in February with the necessary material, word arrived of a failed British effort to recapture Mobile.


De Gálvez had already sent instructions ahead to New Orleans and Mobile that reserves should make for Pensacola. A relieved General Bernardo de Gálvez reached Santa Rosa Island outside Pensacola Bay on March 9, 1781 C.E.


The defenses of British of Pensacola and Fort George were about to be tested when a Spanish and French fleet led by de Gálvez arrived on March 9, 1781 C.E. off the mouth of Pensacola Bay. Nine days later, the fleet would storm its way into the bay, despite ineffectual fire from the batteries at the red cliffs.


After securing Santa Rosa Island, on March 11, 1781 C.E., he attempted to enter the bay. Unfortunately, the flagship "San Ramon" ran aground. After she was worked free, the flagship returned to her former position outside the bay. The next few days were spent unloading supplies onto the Island, while de Gálvez tried to convince Capitán de Mar y Guerra José Calvo de Irizábal of the San Ramon to try again, or allow the smaller ships to enter the harbor. Calbo was reluctant and even though de Gálvez was in command of the expedition, Calbo was responsible for the safety of the fleet itself and was within his right to refuse.


Knowing he had to enter the bay to carry out successful operations, de Gálvez boarded the brigantine, Gálveztown, on March 18, 1781 C.E. Gálveztown was previously the HMS West Florida. The sloop-of-war was armed with several four- and six-pound cannons and could carry a crew complement of about 30.


It had been captured during the Battle of Lake Pontchartrain on September 10, 1779 C.E. The Continental Navy’s Captain William Pickles and his joint Spanish and American crew aboard the Continental Navy schooner USS Morris captured the West Florida at what was then in the British province of West Florida. The West Florida was later renamed the Gálveztown, and placed under the command of Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish gobernador of Luisiana (Nueva España).


He then led four ships into the bay without consulting with Calbo. The next day de Gálvez was able to convince Calbo to send in the rest of the fleet. Calbo himself took the San Ramon and returned to Habana.


By March 22, 1781 C.E., five hundred men from Mobile and fourteen hundred from New Orleans arrived to join de Gálvez. Two days later on March 23rd and 24th, de Gálvez moved his men from Santa Rosa Island to the mainland. On March 24, the Spanish army with its accompanying miquelets moved to the center of operations. O’Neill served as Aide-de-Camp and commander of the scout patrols.


The next day of March 25, 1781 C.E., Natives allied with the British attacked some Spanish stragglers. These attacks continued daily and nightly. Fortunately, they were rather insignificant and did little real damage. However, they did raise tension and slow the Españoles’ preparations for the siege.


Once the bay had been entered, O’Neill’s scouts landed on the mainland and blunted an attack by 400 mainly pro-British Choctaw Indians on the afternoon of March 28th. The scouts soon joined forces with the Spanish troops arriving from Mobile.


During the first few days of April, 1781 C.E. little action took place as the Españoles familiarized themselves with the area.


The Spanish troops then established encampments and began extensive siege preparations. There were Hundreds of engineers and laborers employed bringing supplies and armaments to the battlefield areas. Engineers dug trenches and built bunkers and redoubts. A covered road constructed to shield the troops from the constant fire of grapeshot, grenades, and cannonballs.


On April 12, 1781 C.E. de Gálvez was wounded while on reconnaissance of the British fortifications. Battlefield command was formally transferred to Coronel José de Ezpeleta, a personal friend of de Gálvez. He was a career military officer. De Ezpeleta was born in Cádiz in 1739 C.E., and died in Pamplona in 1823 C.E. He was the second son of Joaquín de Ezpeleta y Dicastillo, Capitán of the regiment of infantry of Castilla, of Pamplona, and Doña María Ignacia Galdeano y Prado, of Olite. For both his lines were of the oldest nobility of Navarra.


He took part in the war with Portugal (1762 C.E.-1763 C.E.) and was later sent to Cuba along with his regiment of Navarra. José de Ezpeleta went on a military expedition of the Conde de Ricla and Mariscal del campo O'Reilly. In Puerto Rico, he implemented new and disciplined miquelets. In 1771 C.E., he was promoted to Sargento. José spent a year at the guarnición in Oran. In 1774 C.E., José attended la Real Escuela Militar de Ávila, founded by O'Reilly, where he met a group of young officers that will be major players in the war against England in 1779 C.E.-1783 C.E., Bernardo de Gálvez, Esteban Miró, Francisco de Saavedra, Pedro Mendinueta, Cubano Gonzalo O'Farrill, and others.


During the first weeks of April, O'Neill's Irish scouts reconnoitered the Pensacola fortifications. The Fort at Pensacola was formerly the Spanish Fort Panzacola, taken over by the British in 1763 C.E. It is located between Sevilla Square and Plaza Ferdinand, and between Main and Romano Streets. Rebuilt in 1767 C.E., it was an 850-foot by 1400-foot stockade. It was then enlarged in 1775 C.E. as a five-sided stockade about 1000 by 750 feet, with four two-story timber blockhouses:


The East Redoubt built by the townspeople in 1780 C.E., was located near present-day Eighth Ave. and Zaragosa Street. Fort Waldeck was originally the southern hornwork of Fort George until named separately in 1781 C.E. The West Redoubt which was possibly never completely built in 1778 C.E. was located near present-day Baylen and Government Streets. The North Redoubts built in 1778 C.E., consisted of two works located at present-day Intendencia and Palafox Streets, and at Intendencia and Alcaniz streets. These also were possibly never completed.


The British constructed two redoubts to protect their main fortress. The redoubt farthest from the city was the Crescent. The Crescent Redoubt, also known as The Queen’s Redoubt (Four Guns), built in 1778 C.E. about 600 yards northwest of Fort George, at Spring and Brainard streets. Next in distance was the Sombrero built in 1781 C.E., captured and renamed British Prince of Wales Redoubt. Prince of Wales Redoubt, was located 300 yards north of Fort George (aka Middle Redoubt) built in 1780 C.E. with 8 guns, located on Gage Hill 300 yards north of Fort George at Cervantes and Spring streets. Both redoubts could be held by independent garrisons in the event of a siege and both held heavy artillery.


This was followed by Fort George the critical key to the defense of Pensacola. The strong bastioned Fort was located on Gage Hill, the name given by the British. The Fort had the commanding hill of the area which overlooks downtown Pensacola. Fort George also was commanding higher ground to the north. It was built 1779 C.E. The fort was a 20 gun, 80 square-yard log enclosure. It was located at Palafox and LaRau streets on Palafox (Gage) Hill, near Lee Square.


Campbell also erected a battery called Fort Barrancas Colorada near the mouth of the bay.


The Spanish soldados established encampments and began extensive preparations for the siege. Hundreds of engineers and laborers brought supplies and armaments to the battlefield. The engineers also dug trenches, and built bunkers and redoubts, besides constructing a covered road to shield the troops from the constant fire of grapeshot, grenades, and cannonballs.


It was well known that when the American Revolution broke out in 1775 C.E., the entire city of Pensacola had been surrounded by a strong stockade and a new redoubt was built on the red clay bluffs where Fort Barrancas stands today. The new redoubt was built on the red clay bluffs called Fort at Red Cliffs was built in 1771 C.E. on Barrancas east of the present Water battery. It consisted of simple log and earth embankments (Upper and Lower Batteries) and two blockhouses to the rear.


A strong affiliated or "horn work" led down the hill toward the town stockade. Known as James Noble’s Fort, it was built between 1763 C.E. and 1781 C.E. In effect, it was a stockaded commercial trading post located south of present-day Government Street and west of the Escambia County Judicial Building. Like the main fort itself, was liberally supplied with heavy artillery.


A hornwork is an element of the trace italienne system of fortification. These fortifications are a freestanding fortification with angular points or horns serving to enclose an area immediately adjacent to a fort and add an extra layer of defence. It consists of a pair of demi-bastions with a curtain wall connecting them and with two long sides directed upon the faces of the bastions, or ravelins of the inner fortifications, so as to be defended by them.


The hornwork was used to extend the fortified area in a particular direction to prevent the enemy occupying an area of high ground or simply strengthen the overall fortifications in the expected direction of attack. A crownwork serves a similar purpose, but unlike a hornwork, it contains full bastion.


By 1778 C.E., the British Major General John Campbell commander of both Pensacola and Fort George had formed the garrison at Fort George with roughly six hundred and fifty men. By April, 1781 C.E., it was reinforced by Hessian mercenaries, Maryland Loyalist Battalion and Pennsylvania Loyalists, and Creek Indian allies. His total force there was by then almost two thousand. By early 1781 C.E., the Pensacola garrison consisted of the 16th Regiment, a battalion from the 60th, and 7 (Johnstones) Company of the 4th Battalion Royal Artillery. These were augmented by the Third Regiment of Waldeck.


In addition to the Loyalist soldiers, many Native Americans supported the British. After the fall of Mobile in March 1780 C.E., between 1,500 and 2,000 Indians had come from various points to Pensacola for its defense. These included Choctaws, and Creeks, with Creeks being the most numerous. Just prior to the Spanish attack, there were only 800 Native American fighters left to defend Fort Pensacola.


During this period, de Gálvez began corresponding with Major General Campbell.


A second attack by the Choctaws began on April 19th interrupting the siege preparations.


On that same day of April 19, 1781 C.E., a large Spanish fleet arrived in support from Habana. The ships were a combined Spanish and French fleet commanded by Don José de Solano y Bote Carrasco y Díaz (March 11, 1726 C.E.-April 24, 1806 C.E.), Marqués de Socorro the Spanish Naval officer. His French equivalent was and François Aymar Monteil, the "Knight of Monteil." He was born in 1725 C.E. in Ardèche Durfort and died in 1787 C.E. François was an officer of the French Navy of the 18th-Century C.E. Monteil served in the Royal Navy during the second half of the 18th-Century C.E., and distinguished himself in the United States War of Independence. He was also head of the squadron of the naval armies, a Knight of the royal order of our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. Also on board was Spanish Mariscal del campo Juan Manuel de Cagigal.


A possible British squadron sighting near Cape San Antonio was reported and reinforcements had been sent to de Gálvez. The flotilla carried a total of 1,700 marineros and 1,600 soldados, bringing the total Spanish force at Pensacola to 8,000 men. De Solano made the decision to remain. He assisted de Gálvez after the disembarkation of the troops, and the two men worked closely together. De Gálvez’s large force was then divided into three Hispanic armies to move against the two strong British forts at Pensacola.


On April 24th, a third Choctaw attack caught the Spanish off guard and soldados were wounded.


In the beginning, the British were unsure whether de Gálvez planned to lay siege to the city or simply blockade it. He spent six weeks moving his thousands of troops (including 25 Américano volunteers) into position. On the last three days of April, 1781 C.E. a tunnel was dug from the Españoles line to a small hill where a battery was to be erected to bombard the British redoubt. Finally by the end of April, Bernardo had completed placement of some of the batteries within range of Fort George.


By April 30, 1781 C.E., the Spanish had moved six 24-pounders through a tunnel to a small hill within range of the British redoubt, and opened fire. Trenching continued and a larger battery was installed on Pine Hill, a more advantageous position. However, the British sallied, captured the position, and spiked the Spanish cannons. None the less, on April 30th, the Spanish batteries opened fire, beginning what was to be a full-scale attack on Pensacola.


By May 1, 1781 C.E., a battery of six-twenty, four pounders was installed. The trenching continued and another, stronger battery was installed at Pine Hill. The British successfully attacked this position, destroying the battery again. Artillery fire was exchanged fiercely over the next few days.


A hurricane then struck the Spanish ships on May 5th and 6th, causing the Spanish fleet to be withdrawn. The army remained continuing the siege in the rain which flooded the trenches. To keep the men’s spirits up, de Gálvez issued a daily ration of brandy.


Heavy cannonading then took place as de Gálvez's army battled the British troops of Major General John Campbell. The Spanish batteries were pushed forward to closer positions, despite counter attacks by British troops as the large Hispanic force prepared to move against the two strong British forts at Pensacola.


The climactic moment came on May 8, 1781 C.E. or May 9, 1781 C.E. as a Spanish howitzer shell aimed from information given by an American loyalist deserter struck and blew up the powder magazine of the British Queen's Redoubt. The battle had finally turned in Bernardo’s favor. The shelling had destroyed the position and killed nearly a hundred British soldiers.


Coronel José de Ezpeleta moved quickly leading a charge of the light infantry in to take the devastated Fort. Spanish soldados began to quickly occupy the wrecked Fort and moved forward to take possession of the position. The Españoles moved howitzers and cannons into it and soon had cannon in position to fire on Fort George from short range. They then began the heavy bombardment of Fort George. Later they opened fire on another British fort. Pensacola's defenders returned fired from Fort George, but were overwhelmed by the superior Spanish firepower. In the fierce fighting that followed, de Gálvez was wounded in the hand and stomach. Soon after being bandaged by his surgeon he returned to the battle to rally his troops to victory.


Eventually, the damage sustained by the fort left it so exposed that Major General Campbell of Strachur had a white flag run up by 3 o'clock that same afternoon. The Españoles’ naval shell that blew up the British powder magazine had changed the course of history.


The formal surrender took place on May 10th. Major General John Campbell and over one thousand British soldiers capitulated, proving crucial to the war. Florida would be España’s once again. With the capture of Pensacola, the whole coast was now in the hands of the Españoles. The British were to soon be expelled from West Florida, ridding the American Colonies of a potential southern threat from the British.


Interestingly, the Port of Mobile, Fort Charlotte’s supplies would later be used by Patriot forces against South Carolina backcountry Tories. Some of these supplies at Fort Charlotte would find their way into the Second Siege of Fort Ninety-Six from May 22, 1781 C.E.-June 9, 1781 C.E. at Greenwood County, South Carolina.


The Spanish occupied Fort George, renaming it Fort San Miguel. It was still standing in 1814 C.E. when U.S. troops under Andrew Jackson attacked the city and took possession of the fort during the War of 1812 C.E. They Anglicized the name to Fort St. Michael.


By the 1820s C.E., the fort was dilapidated and no longer of service. Abandoned in favor of powerful new fortifications down the bay, it soon faded away. The site was found by archaeologists in the 1970s C.E. A small section of the Fort was reconstructed. Fort George Park, at the intersection of Palafox and La Rua were placed displays and interpretive panels on the history of the fort. A marker detailing the Battle of Pensacola and the reconstructed section of ramparts features two 18th-Century C.E. British cannon.



Map of Pensacola Bay, 1781 C.E.


M. de Poydras celebrated the defeat of the British forces by de Gálvez in a poem published at the expense of the king of France.


That same year, 1781 C.E. España’s Observer, Francisco Rendón, offered the hospitality of his home to General Washington during Washington’s Christmas visit to Philadelphia, an invitation that Washington willingly accepted. Most probably both celebrated victories and the relief the Españoles brought to the American war effort. Undoubtedly, upper most in the minds of both men was Bernardo’s most important military victory over the British forces under British Major General John Campbell of Strachur. The attack by land and sea and the later the taking Pensacola was of great importance. The formerly Spanish possession and capital of British West Florida, and the loss of Mobile Pensacola left the British with no bases along the Gulf Coast.


After the Revolutionary War was over, it has been noted that Bernardo recommended free trade for Luisiana with all the ports of Europe and America. However, the proposition was too liberal for the Spanish ministry to accept. The Spanish government did not trust the influence that would have been brought about by these trading relationships.


In Nuevo Méjico, Juan Bautista de Anza received word of the need for more contributions for the war effort against England from España. King Carlos’s request and collection instructions from the Virrey of Nueva España came to the Borderlands in August of 1781 C.E. De Anza appointed a commission to oversee the collection at each pueblo and villa. On August 24, 1777 C.E., the Virrey of Nueva España had appointed de Anza as the Gobernador of the Provincia of Nuevo Méjico, the present day U.S. state of New Mexico. He remained as gobernador of Nuevo Méjico until 1787 C.E. when he returned to Sonora. The historical record suggests that most males over eighteen years of age contributed. This assumption is based upon the total amount collected from each province. The aggregate donation amount closely approximates an amount that the total number of un-exempted males of that age who would have contributed.


On June 25, 1781 C.E., a French force of about 20 warships, commanded by Admiral Guichen, left Brest on a coastal patrol into the Mediterranean. They were going to provide additional protection for the Port Mahón Menorca invasion fleet, but they would not be joining their Spanish allies until they were close to the target.


The Spanish Port Mahón Menorca invasion fleet was comprised of 51 troop carriers, 18 supply vessels, 3 hospital ships, 3 "viveres," 2 bombardment ships, a fireship, and 13 armed escorts. The Fleet departed Cádiz on July 23, 1781 C.E. At some time over the next few days, the Spanish were discreetly joined by the French warships.


The combined Spanish-French Port Mahón Menorca invasion fleet left La Subida on August 5, 1781 C.E.


On August 18, 1781 C.E., the combined Spanish-French Port Mahón Menorca invasion fleet was joined by another 4 warships, from Palma. The main military force was to be landed at Mesquida Bay, just north of the main target, Port Mahón. A secondary military force was to debark at Alcaufar Bay, south of Port Mahón. The other two significant Menorcan harbors on the island, at Ciudadela and Fornells were to be blockaded.


The Mesquida Bay Spanish-French military force was to move rapidly against the town of Mahón. The British Governor lived there. He was to be captured and as many British soldiers as possible taken. The Spanish-French Alcaufar military force was to block the road which led from the new British residential suburb Georgetown to Fort of San Felipe or Fort St. Philip's Castle. Simultaneously, a third Spanish-French military force was to land on Degollador beach at Ciudadela. There it was to block the main road across the Island. Another military a detachment was to be landed at Fornells and take a small artillery fort located there.


Unfortunately the large Spanish-French convoy approaching Menorca was forced by strong winds to sail around the south of the Island, rather than the north. This made the landing at Ciudadela temporarily impossible. At approximately 10:30 a.m., the fleet rounded Aire Island, located at the south-east tip of Menorca. It began its approach to Port Mahón, while the Alcaufar command was headed forward a landing.


After 11:30 a.m., the Fleet’s lead vessel, the San Pascual, passed St. Philip's Castle with its crew at battle stations. At approximately, around 1:00 PM, the San Pascual arrived at its destination, Mesquida. As the remainder of the Fleet gradually reached the objective, landing preparations began. By 6:00 PM, on the beach the Spanish flag was raised and received a traditional 23-gun salute.


The Fleet had been spotted approaching by the British who had a watchtower at Monte Toro on the south coast of Menorca. Immediately an urgent message was sent to Mahón at the center of the Island. By midday, action was being taken by the British.  British personnel around Mahón were moved inside the walls of St. Philip's Castle. A chain had been placed across the entrance to the Port. Small vessels were sunk in the narrow channel. This made entry into the Port by sea impossible.


When the Spanish soldados entered the town of Mahón the majority of the remaining population greeted them with cheers. At Georgetown only 152 prisoners were taken. The troops were then sent to Ciudadela and Fornells on August 20, 1781 C.E. Arrangements were quickly made to place the Island under a Spanish administration and letters were exchanged between the Duque de Crillon and British Governor James Murray.


By August 23, 1781 C.E. there were over 7,000 Spanish soldados on Menorca. Soon, 3,000 more soldados were to join them. The Spanish-French military forces immediately began preparing defenses against British counter-attacks.


On August 31, 1781 C.E., British dependants, including the Governor James Murray's family sailed to safety in Italy aboard a Venetian ship.


The Spanish-French Port Mahón Menorca invasion fleet left once the troops were securely established. The largest portion of the Fleet and the French Admiral Guichen arrived back at Brest on September 15, 1781 C.E.


Bernardo de Gálvez and his wife, Feliciana had three children together. One was Miguel, born at Cap-Haitien, Hispaniola, in 1782 C.E.


In 1782 C.E., the war with Britain enlarged after British forces occupied several places on the Athmtie coast.


During the American War of Independence on January 5, 1782 C.E., the British were defeated for a second time by a combination of French and Spanish forces. The Españoles regained control of the Island, after that long siege of El Castillo de San Felipe in Port Mahón, Menorca.


South Carolina’s Navy frigate, South Carolina arrived at Habana on January 12, 1782 C.E. While at Habana, the South Carolina joined a force of 59 vessels carrying Spanish forces under Bernardo de Gálvez after negotiations between the Frenchman, Alexander Gillon and the Españoles.


During the Indian, Second Anglo-Mysore War Tipu would also overcome Braithwaite at Kumbakonam in February of 1782 C.E. He would take both prisoner and remove them to Seringapatam. The British commander Sir Eyre Coote, who would later defeat Hyder Ali at the Battle of Porto Novo and Arni, would rise in prestige during this war. The War finally ended with the last British-Indian treaty. It left the Indian ruler on equal footing with the British. Peace in the Indian Maratha Empire region was finally restored in 1782 C.E.


In February 1782 C.E., the Siege of Fort St. Philip on Menorca began. The conquest of Menorca by Franco-Spanish forces over its British defenders was complete after lasting five months. The ultimate result was the ceding of the island of Menorca to España in the Treaty of Paris in 1783 C.E.


The preparations for Bernardo de Gálvez to attack Jamaica were moved to end of February 1782 C.E., to Guárico.


In March of 1782 C.E., Matías de Gálvez led an expedition along the Caribe coast that captured the island of Roatán and scattered the British settlement at Black River, although the latter was retaken by the British settlers two months later. Roatán, located between the islands of Útila and Guanaja, is the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands. The island is approximately 48 miles long, and less than 5 miles across at its widest point.


In Guatemala in 1782 C.E., Matías de Gálvez, Bernardo’s father laid the foundation of the new cathedral, after the removal of the capital from old Guatemala, which had been ruined by the earthquakes of 1773 C.E. During his short administration he had the streets of the capital cleaned and paved, and patronized the Academy of Fine Arts, for which he ordered from Italy plaster models of the principal art treasures. During his administration Alejandro Valdés began to publish "La Gazeta," the first Newspaper of Méjico. He also proposed to the home government the establishment of a bank of loans, for which he had abundant subscriptions. Although the idea was not executed in his time, he may be considered as the originator of the banking system in España’s Américas.


At Guárico about 4,500 soldados gathered in March 1782 C.E. Soon after, three regiments arrived from the Ibero Peninsula. Bernardo de Gálvez came to meet them with 9,000, though they had estimated that 20,000 men were needed to undertake the recovery of Jamaica.


French troops assigned to the operation to take Jamaica were delayed. The squadron that which would be participating in it, composed between thirty and thirty-five ships of the line, was defeated by the British on April 12 1782 C.E., southwest of the Island of Guadalupe.


On April 22nd, the Spanish expedition set sail to capture New Providence, Bahamas. By May 6th, the entire fleet had reached New Providence. Two days later, on May 8, 1782 C.E., the British colony surrendered. This became the third capture of New Providence by a foreign force during the American Revolutionary War. These were forces under de Gálvez's overall command that captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas. Frankly, Bernardo was angered that the operation had gone ahead without his permission. As a result, he arranged for the Comendador of the expedition Juan de Cagigal to be imprisoned.


From 1648 C.E. through 1973 C.E., the Bahama Islands were mainly under British colonial rule, with governors appointed by the Crown and sent to Nassau to administer domestic affairs. Exceptions to British rule were limited. From 1657 C.E. to 1671 C.E. and from 1684 C.E. to 1686, the British government abandoned the colony due to its inhospitable nature and the belief it was unsustainable.


The Españoles briefly took over again in 1684 C.E. before also quickly abandoning the colony. From 1706 C.E. through 1718 C.E., pirates controlled the colony, including the infamous Blackbeard. For two weeks in 1776 C.E., the Americans held Nassau. Another short-lived Spanish attempt at control occurred from 1782 C.E. through 1783 C.E.


The Grand Assault of September 18, 1782 C.E. had come at the last to the Great Gibraltar. The siege by España and France was an unsuccessful attempt to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. This was considered to be the largest military action fought during the war. It lasted three years and seven months and is the longest siege endured by British Armed Forces.


During the War of the Spanish Succession, an Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from España in 1704 C.E. It is located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula and has an area of 2.6 square miles. Gibraltar shares a northern border with España. At its foot is a densely populated city area.


The British took Gibraltar on behalf of the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne. The territory was later ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 C.E. Gibraltar then became a British Overseas Territory.


After a successful British resupply of Gibraltar, then under siege by Borbón forces during the Anglo-French War and the Anglo-Spanish War on October 20, 1782 C.E., Luís de Córdoba y Córdoba battled the Royal Navy to a stalemate at the Battle of Cape Spartel. The Battle of Cape Spartel was an indecisive naval battle between de Córdoba’s Franco-Spanish fleet and a British fleet under the command of Admiral Richard Howe. Unfortunately, he failed to prevent the British relieving the Great Siege of Gibraltar.


Virrey of Nueva España Mayorga had been trying to resign to return to España for several years. In 1783 C.E., King Carlos III of España finally accepted his resignation.


Matías de Gálvez successively drove the British forces from Omoa, Roatán, San Juan, Río Tinto, and Bluefields by 1783 C.E. Omoa is a town and a municipality in the Department of Cortés of Honduras. Omoa is located on a small bay of the same name 18 km west of Puerto Cortés on the Caribe Sea coast. Bluefields is the capital of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region (RACS) in Nicaragua. In recompense, he was appointed virrey of Nueva España.


By 1783 C.E., Britain and España had made peace. Matías de Gálvez was able to dedicate himself to improving the capital at Méjico City. During his brief administration, Matías worked diligently to clean the waterways and drain the lake surround Méjico City. He built bridges and a sewage system. Matías also paved the streets of La Palma, Monterilla, and San Francisco with cobblestones. He then divided Méjico City into four quarters. De Gálvez later improved the City’s police service. He then approved the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts which had been founded by his predecessor and continued the necessary work on it. 15,000 pesos were dedicated annually for this project.


Matías also directed that the reconstruction of the palace of Chapultepec be done. De Gálvez organized and implemented a subsidiary of a Spanish bank, called the Banco Nacional de San Carlos. He attempted the importation of mercury from China for use in the silver mines in exchange for furs. Matías was also able to increase government revenues to 19 million pesos annually.


By 1783 C.E., a total of 3,677 pesos (approximately $110,300) had been collected from soldados and ciudadanos in the Province of Nuevo Méjico; 247 pesos came from soldados of the Santa Fé Presidio, including the de Riberas. The donativos were shipped to Méjico, then to Habana, and later transferred to the American Colonies, via French carriers. 


Fray Junípero Serra, the famous Nuevo Mundo Catholic misión founder personally collected money in California to help the American Colonists. He and his priests went throughout the whole of California soliciting financial aid for the Thirteen Colonies. Each parish and its people gave monies to help the American Colonists. The Españoles raised huge sums to help the Américanos to achieve victory from all Virreinatos.


Supplies and aid to the American cause came from almost every part of the el Imperio Español and currently, historians and genealogists throughout España, Méjico, and the United States are reviewing historical documents in an effort to give España rightful credit for her aid to the Colonial Patriots. A potent weapon, vast amounts of money, was given by España to fill the coffers of the American cause.


In Cuba, Juan Manuel de Cagigal, an inspiring and emotional fundraiser, collected millions of dollars. As the gobernador of Cuba, he asked many wealthy Cubanos in Habana to donate funds for the British colonists. The Cubano response was overwhelming. The wealthy women of Habana donated millions of dollars worth of their personal jewelry to be sent to General Washington and General Rochambeau. These monies proved vital to the purchase of supplies for the final battle at Yorktown.


In North America, by 1783 C.E. Oliver Pollock was appointed an agent by the United States in Habana, Cuba. There he would be imprisoned for his debts a year later, amounting to $150,000. 


The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1781 C.E.-1784 C.E.) began before the Dutch could join a group of neutral countries sworn to mutual assistance. Britain declared war when it discovered that a secret trade treaty was proposed by the city of Amsterdam to the Americans. The Dutch had not anticipated such a severe reaction. The offer provided the British with a perfect pretext to reduce Dutch power even further. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War proved to be a disaster for the Netherlands, particularly on an economic level.


Since 1714 C.E., Dutch naval power had been in decline. Their navy was by then down to twenty ships of the line. This was no match for the British navy. Britain by that time had already gained supremacy of the high seas over France. This it accomplished during the Seven Years' War. The Dutch aware of British sea supremacy, between 1777 C.E. and 1789 C.E., had embarked hastily on a major shipbuilding project of 84 warships. However, due to many misfortunes (storms, collisions, and strandings) about a third of the Dutch fleet sank between 1782 C.E. and 1784 C.E. Despite this disadvantage, the Dutch fought a minor naval skirmish with the British at the Battle of Dogger Bank. However, after this it avoided any other fighting.


The Dutch experienced many problems. Coordination with its war allies, France and España, was poor. New ships necessary to prevent Britain from taking effective control of the Dutch colonies were not ready in time. The British were able to make William V a ruling puppet. His rule was only enabled by Prussian military assistance via the Triple Alliance (1788 C.E.). The Republic’s weaknesses forced it to join a cease fire between Britain and France in January 1783 C.E.


While waiting for new French forces to finally take the attack to Jamaica, Bernardo de Gálvez’s first male child, Miguel de Gálvez y Saint-Maxênt, was born in 1782 C.E. and baptized in January of 1783 C.E.


News on the peace negotiations between the United Kingdom and España that ended with the return of the Bahamas came shortly after January 1783 C.E.


03/26/2017 10:10 AM