American history has long forgotten the contributions of Spanish General Bernardo de Galvez, who helped America win its independence from England but remembers both the French General Marquis de Lafayette and the German General Friederich von Steuben.
On Jan 1, 1777, Galvez became the Spanish governor of Louisiana and corresponded with Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Charles Henry Lee.
These American patriots convinced Galvez to close off the New Orleans sea port to British ships, preventing arms and munitions to be supplied to the British soldiers in the South.
Through American agents, Oliver Pollock and Capt. George Gibson, arms and munitions were smuggled out of Louisiana to the Continental Army in the South by Gov. Galvez.
On June 21, 1779, Spain declared war on England and commissioned Galvez with the rank of general to wage a military campaign against the British along the Mississippi river and the gulf coast. But first, his army had to be suppliedwith food.
The first major cattle drive was started by Galvez with the help of Texas vaqueros and rancheros in Bexar (San Antonio), La Bahia(Goliad) and Nagatoches that supplied over 10,000 head of cattle and 200 horses from 17791782 for the Spanish army.
With his Spanish army supplied with beef and his Spanish cavalry with horses, General Galvez was able to control the Mississippi River in the South with military victories at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez.
Now, the military campaign on the Gulf Coast soon started afterward with the capture of Fort Charlotte in Mobile and Galvez most important victory of the war was the capture of Fort George at Pensacola, denying the British any military bases on the entire Gulf Coast.
His military victories on the Mississippi River and on the Gulf Coast forced the British to keep their forces in the South, preventing their southern army to unite with British General Cornwallis to fight Gen. George Washington.
Galveston was named in his honor, and on July 4, we should all honor General Bernardo de Galvez for all his military victories against the British that helped win our American independence.
Viva Galvez y Vivian Los Espanoles.
Jack Ayoub Harlingen