American history remembers the French General Marquis de Lafayette and the French navy who helped win American independence at the Battle of Yorktown, but has long forgotten the Spanish General Bernardo de Galvez and the Spanish soldiers contributions in the Revolutionary war for American independence.
In Jan. 1, 1777, while serving as Spanish governor of Louisiana, Galvez corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Charles Henry Lee and agreed with our American patriots to close the port of New Orleans to British ships to deny England’s attempts to supply their soldiers.
Secretly working with Oliver Pollock, Galvez was able to smuggle arms and military supplies to the continental soldiers in the South.
On June 21, 1779, when Spain declared war on England, Galvez was promoted to General of the Spanish Army, but he badly needed cattle and horses for his soldiers. Texas vaqueros, from 1779-1782, performed major cattle drives to supply the Spanish army with over 10,000 head of cattle and 200 horses from Bexar (San Antonio) and La Bahia(Goliad) to New Orleans.
Having his army properly supplied, Galvez was able to carry out 4 masterful military campaigns against the British forts along the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
Galvez first two victories, at Baton Rouge and Natchez, freed the lower Mississippi River of British troups, and his next two victories at Mobile and Pensacola denied the British of any military bases along the Gulf of Mexico. By opening up a second military front along the Gulf of Mexico, the British army in the South was prevented from
joining up with General Cornwallis’s army at the Battle of Yorktown that General George Washington won for American independence.
After the war, General Galvez helped our American patriots write the Treaty of Paris that formally ended the war in 1783.
After the war, the American congress cited Bernardo de Galvez for his military aid that help the colonies win their independence, and Galvez rode with General George Washington in the military parade.
Galveston was named in his honor, and on July 4th, we need to remember and honor this Spanish general for his military victories against the British that helped our American patriots win our freedom and independence from England …
Jack Ayoub, Harlingen