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First Major Campaign of the Texas Revolution—Santa-Anna Orders the Morelos Battalion to Texas—Unknown Mexico Soldier in the Texas Revolution

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7.     [ALAMO & THE TEXAS REVOLUTION]. Collection of six manuscripts and two newspapers relating to the Alamo, the Texas Revolution, López de Santa-Anna, and Mexican generals Vicente Filisola and Adrián Woll. Various places, 1835-1849. Most creased where formerly folded, but overall very good to fine.


The collection consists of:

LÓPEZ DE SANTA-ANNA, Antonio. Document in secretarial hand signed by Santa-Anna. 1-1/4 pp. on an imprinted Ejército de operaciones bifolium letterhead. Folio (30 x 21 cm). Mexico City, June 1, 1835, to the Ministerio de Guerra y Marina ordering the Morelos Battalion to march to Leona Vicario, there to join with the presidial companies, and march thence to “Coahuila y Tejas.” Very light stain at upper right, otherwise fine.

This rare order pertains to the Siege of Bexar, which was the first battle of the Texas Revolution and led directly to Santa-Anna’s later invasion to recover the territory. The siege lasted from October-December, 1835, and was intended to dislodge Mexican General Martín Perfecto de Cos, who had fortified the town and the Alamo with about 650 troops, among whom was the Morelos Battalion. After numerous see-saw, indecisive encounters, marked in several ways by timidity on the Texan side, the revolutionaries finally proceeded to take the town, house-by-house, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat. After Cos was bottled up in the Alamo and crippled by the desertion of a large number of his cavalry, he surrendered on December 9 and was allowed to retreat towards Mexico. In the fighting, the Morelos Battalion, commanded by Nicolas Condelle, lost over a hundred men because it was the unit tasked with defending San Antonio itself and was therefore the one that bore the brunt of the Texan assault. Condelle vainly protested Cos’ order to treat for terms with the Texans, arguing that his battalion had never surrendered. The Texas success left the insurgents in complete control of Texas. One significant Texas casualty was Ben Milam, killed by Felix de la Garza, a Morelos Battalion sharpshooter. (See Handbook of Texas Online: Siege of Bexar: "The siege of Bexar (San Antonio) became the first major campaign of the Texas Revolution)." Original documentation signed by Santa-Anna concerning any troop movements during any part of the Texas Revolution is extremely rare. The Morelos Battalion returned to Texas the next year as part of Santa-Anna’s invading army.

ANONYMOUS. Unsigned statement in ink about an unidentified soldier who participated in the siege of the Alamo, the second Texas Campaign, and the Mexican-American War. 1 p. Oblong 4to (17.7 x 22.5). [N.p., ca. 1848]. Contains contemporary manuscript corrections in ink and unrelated mathematical calculations on verso. Except for some minor losses at folds, very good. The statement, although basically complete, seems to end in mid-sentence. Given the overall nature of the document, with its casual handwriting, numerous spontaneous corrections, and poor quality paper, this may have been an underlying draft for a more formal statement of services Apparently unpublished.

A highly unusual brief military biography of a soldier who fought in the Mexican Army for over a decade, participating in numerous important battles. The writer states that in 1836, “se halló en el asalto y toma del Alamo en 1836 contra los Americanos.” After the Alamo, “se unia con su ejército y marcha a los puntos de Goliad, Columbia, Brasoria en persecución por el enemigo, estranjeros, hasta la desgracia jornada a San Jacinto en que hecho prisonerio nuestro muy digno presidente su alteza el Señor don Antonio López de Santa Ana.” He afterwards joined the retreat to Matamoros, which implies that he must have been with Filisola’s column, although he again returned to action in 1841 during Woll’s occupation of San Antonio. Finally, he served during the Mexican-American War and fought at Mexico City. This document offers an unusual glimpse into the life and services of what must have been a career soldier who was basically in action during almost all the important campaigns and actions of the Mexican Army during that time. Although numerous accounts of Texan experiences during the Texas Revolution survive, first-person accounts by any Mexican soldiers are rare, eclipsed by the better known published accounts, such as those by Filisola, Martínez Caro, de la Peña, and Santa-Anna’s supporters and detractors. (For other accounts, see Todd Hansen, editor, The Alamo Reader.) This statement comes from the descendants of soldier Ignacio Rubín and may describe his military services.

WOLL, Adrián. Document in secretarial hand and signed by Woll. 1 p. on a bifolium with two printed fourth seals for 1840-1841 and two embossed blind stamps. Folio (31.2 x 21.5 cm). [Mexico City?], August 30, 1840. Light creases where formerly folded, but otherwise fine, with a dark, bold signature. Woll certifies that Lt. Col. Ignacio Rubín of the Querétaro Battalion served with distinction in the 1839 Texas Expedition and later at San Luis Potosí. Woll’s recommendation is warm and flattering in all respects. French soldier of fortune Woll (1795-1875) was in the Mexican Army most of his career after having become involved the struggle for Independence. He served as Santa-Anna’s quartermaster during the Texas campaign and retreated with Filisola after the Battle of San Jacinto. Ordered to reinvade Texas, he did so in 1842, but with only limited success. He sided with Maximilian and was dispatched to France by him on a mission to Napoleon. He never returned to Mexico. See Handbook of Texas Online: Adrián Woll.

FILISOLA, Vicente. Letter in secretarial hand signed by Filisola. 2 pp. on an imprinted Comandancia General bifolium letterhead to Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Calvo concerning the mechanism for paying for his pension according to the President’s orders. 4to (22 x 15.5 cm). Mexico City, October 10, 1839. Fine signature. Filisola (1789-1850) was born in Italy and rose rapidly in the Mexican military ranks after becoming favored by Iturbide. Named second in command of the army invading Texas in 1836, Filisola found himself in the uncomfortable position of overseeing the army’s retreat after the Battle of San Jacinto, an event that caused much controversy, including a court martial at which Filisola was vindicated. He was a major figure in Texas and Mexican military history. See Handbook of Texas Online: Vicente Filisola.

FILISOLA, Vicente. Letter in secretarial hand signed by Filisola. 2 pp. on an imprinted Comandancia General bifolium letterhead to Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Calvo expressing his frustrations that he cannot perform an administrative matter as ordered. 4to (20.8 x 14.8 cm). Mexico City, September 3, 1839. Slightly wrinkled. Fine signature.

FILISOLA, Vicente, et al. Letter in secretarial hand signed by Filisola, Manuel de la Peña y Peña , Francisco Modesto de Olaguíbel, and José Ramón Pacheco. 2 pp. to Archbishop Manuel Moreno y Poven thanking him warmly for the eloquence of a speech he recently gave. Folio (32 x 21 cm). Mexico City, February 28, 1849. A very fine assemblage of signatures of important Mexican figures. Peña y Peña (1789-1850), a prominent Mexican political figure, is best remembered in Texas history as one of the Mexican signatories to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Olaguíbel (1806-1865) served as Mexican foreign minister to France, was Governor of the State of Mexico, and formed an important book collection that he left to the Pueblo public library. Pacheco (1805-1865) held various offices under Santa-Anna and filled Mexican diplomatic posts abroad.

La Opinión. Periódico del gobierno de San Luis Potosí. San Luis Potosí: José María Infante, 1836. Two issues: September 16, 1836 & December 15, 1836. 4 pp. each in two columns. Folio (31.5 x 21 cm). Both fine.

Each issue contains extensive Texas material, mostly of the bitter-grapes variety attacking the Texas Revolution, from which the country was still reeling. Some of these articles are drawn from U.S. newspapers. One from the New Orleans Bee, for example, is printed in the September issue to prove “que la guerra de Tejas de ningun modo se ha concluido.” (See Item 535 herein for the December 15, 1836, issue.)


Sold. Hammer: $16,000.00; Price Realized: $19,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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