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Bernardo De Galvez, Viceroy of New Spain, 1746-1786  

Last Updated: May 20, 2014 URL: http://libguides.tamusa.tamus.edu/galvez Print Guide RSS Updates

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The Impact of Berardo de Galvez

Bernardo de Galvez played a pivotal role in the American Revolution. In 1777, he was appointed the governor of the Province of Louisiana. New Orleans had come under Spanish control after the French defeat in the Seven Years War (French-Indian War). As governor, he kept the port of New Orleans open which allowed aid to be shipped to George Rogers Clark fighting in the Ohio River valley.

In 1779, Spain declared war on Great Britain because of its obligations to the Bourbon compact and a perceived opportunity to weaken the British Empire. Galvez organized forces to take British forts along the southern end of the Mississippi River. But his men needed food supplies. He called upon the governor of Tejas to assist. Galvez had known about large herds cattle around the El Rincon area near the missions of San Antonio and he wanted to use these cattle to feed his men. These large herds were naturally fenced in by the San Antonio and Cibolo rivers. Cattle were driven from Texas to Louisiana. Galvez' well fed army seized forts at Baton Rouge and forced the surrender of Natchez. Because of these actions, Galvez was promoted to brigadier general.

After defeating the British along the Mississippi, Galvez' objectives were to take Gulf Coast installations at Mobile and Pensacola. On March 13, 1780, Mobile fell. Pensacola fell the next year even after a delay due to a hurricane. His next objectives were to aid the American in taking the Bahamas and Jamaica. These settlements were never fully captured because of the end of the war came in 1782.

Bernardo de Galvez ties both Texas and San Antonio to the American Revolution.

 

Commemorative Stamp

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