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This article is from a column written by Henry Wolff, Jr. of the Victoria Advocate and sent to me by my friend, Robert Thonhoff, Author and Historian.
Not only did his fifth great-grandfather, Francisco Arellano, participate in the Battle of Medina, but as a member of the Alamo de Parras Company had been involved in various other battles, including the Casas Revolt in 1811 during the Mexican War of Independence.
believed to have arrived at the abandoned San Antonio de Valero
The author and other descendants of participants in the Battle of Medina will gather on Saturday for "first time ever" Tejano Battle of Medina Memorial Services at during the annual Poteet Strawberry Festival, with the public invited to attend. The descendants will also participate in the festival parade beginning at
Tijerina, a history professor from
"Many Mexican-Americans have given their lives defending freedom and democracy," Arellano notes. "A thousand Tejanos were killed in one battle alone in defense of these causes."
The Battle of
Medina was between the Republican Army of the North consisting of 400 American
volunteers, 900 to 1,000 Tejanos and 200 to 300 Lipan, Coushatta and Karankawa
Indians, he further notes, and a Spanish army led by Gen. Joaquin de
While his ancestor fought on the side of the victorious Spanish Royalists, who lost only 55 men that day, Arellano says that he was not involved in the slaughter.
"Francisco must have been horrified at what happened," he notes. "Many of the people that were executed had to have been acquaintances."
Spanish Colonial historian Robert H. Thonhoff, editor and annotator of "Forgotten Battlefield of the First Texas Revolution, the Battle of Medina, August 18, 1813," a manuscript by Ted Schwarz, has described Arellano's book as combining "meticulous historical research with oral family history passed down to him over the generations to establish his identity (and the identity of many others) as Tejano and American.
"This groundbreaking book will enlighten many readers to the contributions of many founding families of Texas of Coahuilan and Tlaxaclan descent, who were in fact a typical American blending of ancestral backgrounds, but Tejanos and Americans one and all."
information about the book, or the events on Saturday at Poteet, the author
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at
The Battle of
Medina was near present Leming in
were difficult, and Thonhoff says they suffered one way or another.
was at the time, Francisco had already established the Arellano family's
Wolff Jr. is a long-time Victoria Advocate columnist. He can be reached at
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