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  • Item Category: Books, Paper & Magazines
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Mar 05,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction

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SEE PHOTO----- COMPLETE ORIGINAL 4 page newspaper, the Rhode Island Republican (Newport, RI) dated Nov 11, 1835. Inside page, prominent headline with news report of the BEGINNING OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, the Battle of Gonzales, TEXAS.

The Battle of Gonzales was a skirmish that took place on October 2 , 1835 , in the Mexican Texas town of Gonzales between the Texan settlers and a detachment of the Mexican army. Although it was minor as a military engagement, it marked a clear break between the American colonists and the Mexican government, and is considered to have been the start of the Texas Revolution .

The battle was the result of the attempts of the Mexican government to retrieve a small smoothbore cannon that had been given in 1831 to the settlers at Gonzales as a defense against attacks by Tonkawa Indians . After the initial refusal by the Texans to surrender the cannon, Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea , military commander in Texas, sent a force of 100 dragoons under Francisco de Castañeda to Gonzales to retrieve it. The detachment left San Antonio de Bexar on September 27 , 1835 , carrying a dispatch for Gonzales alcalde Andrew Ponton instructing him to surrender the cannon. Ugartechea, realizing the growing tension between the Centralista government of Antonio López de Santa Anna and the Texan settlers, instructed Castañeda to avoid using force if at all possible.


Two days later, on September 29 , Castañeda and his company reached the west bank of the Guadalupe River across from Gonzales but were unable to cross the ford because of high water and a force of 18 Texan militia , known later as the "Old Eighteen." The cannon in contention was probably a Spanish-made, bronze artillery piece of six-pound caliber, although a history written in 1900 identifies it as made of iron. It was mounted on the axle of a cotton wagon and taken with the militia. A wedding dress was stitched into a flag bearing a black star, a cannon, and the words " Come and take it ."

When Castañeda announced that he carried a dispatch for Ponton, he was informed that Ponton was out of town and that his force would have to wait on the west side of the Guadalupe until Ponton returned. Unable to proceed, Castañeda and the dragoons set up camp 300 yards from the ford.

Over the next few days, as Castañeda waited for Ponton to return, the Texans under Colonel John Henry Moore gatd reinforcements from nearby settlements. A Coushatta Indian entered the Mexican camp and told Castañeda that the Texan force was at least 140 men, with more expected. Castañeda abandoned his camp and set off along the river looking for alternate ford w he could "cross without any embarrassment."

On the evening of October 1 , he marched his men several miles upriver to an undefended location on the land of Ezekiel Williams. After nightfall, the Texans crossed the Guadalupe and moved upriver to the Mexican camp. On the morning of October 2 , the Texans attacked the Mexican camp. The cannon fired a charge of pieces of chain and scrap metal, credited as being the first shot of the Texas Revolution. Castañeda ordered his men to fall back behind a low rise behind the camp.

During a lull in the battle, Castañeda arranged a meeting with Moore in which he demanded to know why his men had been attacked. Moore told him that the Texans were fighting to defend the legal possession of the cannon against the government, which had violated the Constitution of 1824 . Castañeda told Moore that he was personally a federalista opposed to the policies of Santa Anna . Moore then asked Castañeda to join the fight to re-establish the federalist Constitution of 1824. Castañeda replied that he was sympathetic, but that his personal views did not matter, and that as a soldier, he was duty bound to obey ord...