The Battle of Gonzales was fought on October 2, 1835. It happened in the early morning near
Gonzales. Texas between Texan settlers and Mexican army troops. This battle was the beginning of the Texas Revolution.
In 1835, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna overthrew the Mexican
constitution and made himself dictator.
He was afraid that the “American” Texans would use this as a reason to
secede and told the Mexican military to disarm Texans when possible. When public protests followed the severe
beating of a Gonzales resident by a Mexican solider, Colonel Domingo de
Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops, feared an uprising. He
then decided to ask for the return of a cannon given to the people of Gonzales
by Mexican authorities in 1831. The
cannon was given to be used by the Texan settlers to help protect themselves
from the Commanche Indian raids. Ugartechea now feared it might be used against
them and sent Corporal de Leon to ask for the cannons return. Leon was to state that the cannon was needed
to defend the city. When Leon returned
without the cannon, Ugartechea sent Lieutentant Fransico Casteneda with 100 or
more dragoons to peacefully demand the cannon.
The dragoons were close to Gonzales on September 29, 1835 but the people
of Gonzales kept them away giving various excuses for not returning the
cannon. During this time, they were secretly
sending for help from other Texans close by.
Within 2 days, 140 Texans had gathered in Gonzales. None of them wanted to give up the cannon.
While still trying to convince the Texans to give up the
cannon, Casteneda moved his men 300 yards from the river and set up camp. When he saw that the number of Texans was
growing he moved his camp 7 miles upriver for a better defensive position. Still attempting to avoid a conflict. The Texans saw this as a threat. They thought the move was an attempt to wait
for reinforcements or approach Gonzales from another location. The colonists decided to cross the Guadalupe
under the command of Colonel John Henry Moore and make the first attack.
Around 3am on October 2, 1835 Mexican soldiers were alarmed
by a barking dog and began firing on the Texans approaching their camp. After hours of chaotic fighting, Casteneda withdrew
toward San Antonio.