Ignacio Elizondo

Last updated
Ignacio Elizondo
Elizondo captures insurgents at Bajan 1910 postcard1.png
Captain Ignacio Elizondo [center horseman] captures Hidalgo, Allende and other insurgent leaders at the Wells of Bajan on 21 March 1811.
Francisco Ignacio Elizondo Villarreal

March 9, 1766
Diedc. September 12, 1813

Francisco Ignacio Elizondo Villarreal, (born Salinas Valley, New Kingdom of León, New Spain, March 9, 1766 - died San Marcos, Texas, New Spain, c. September 12, 1813), was a royalist military officer during the Mexican war of independence against Spain. He is mostly known for his capture of insurgent leaders Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, José Mariano Jiménez, and Juan Aldama at the Wells of Baján, Coahuila in 1811. Initially a supporter of Mexican independence who converted to the royalist cause, Elizondo is sometimes compared to the American Benedict Arnold. In 1813, after a successful campaign against rebel armies he was assassinated by one of his junior officers.

New Kingdom of León

The New Kingdom of León, was an administrative territory of the Spanish Empire, politically ruled by the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was located in an area corresponding generally to the present-day northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León.

New Spain viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire (1535-1821)

The Viceroyalty of New Spain was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It covered a huge area that included territories in North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. It originated in 1521 after the fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the main event of the Spanish conquest, which did not properly end until much later, as its territory continued to grow to the north. It was officially created on 8 March 1535 as a viceroyalty, the first of four viceroyalties Spain created in the Americas. Its first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, and the capital of the viceroyalty was Mexico City, established on the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

San Marcos, Texas City

San Marcos is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos metropolitan area. It is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and is the seat of Hays County. Its limits extend into Caldwell and Guadalupe counties, as well. Its population was 44,894 at the 2010 census and was an estimated 61,980 in 2016.


Personal life

Elizondo was born in the village of Salinas (now Salinas Victoria, Nuevo León). He was son of José Marcos de Elizondo and María Josefa de Villarreal. He was of Spanish and Basque ancestry. During his childhood, Elizondo lived in the village of Pesquería Grande (present-day Garcia, Nuevo León). His father owned many agricultural estates (haciendas). In 1787, at the age of twenty-one he married María Gertrudis. She died on March 6, 1797 while giving birth to his son, José Rafael Eusebio. [1]

Salinas Victoria Place in Nuevo León, Mexico

Salinas Victoria, is a municipality located to in the center of the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. It shares borders with 11 municipalities including, to the north Villaldama and Sabinas Hidalgo; to the south Escobedo and Apodaca; to the east Higueras, Ciénega de Flores and General Zuazua; and finally to the west with Mina, Hidalgo, Abasolo and El Carmen.

Nuevo León State of Mexico

Nuevo León, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo León, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 51 municipalities and its capital city is Monterrey.

García, Nuevo León Place in Nuevo León, Mexico

García is a municipality located to the northwest of the Monterrey metropolitan area in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico. García had, according to the 2005 census, a population of 145,867 persons. It borders the municipalities of Mina, Escobedo and Hidalgo to the north; to the south and east with Santa Catarina; and to the west with the state of Coahuila.

Ignacio Elizondo began his military career in 1798, after being appointed Lieutenant of Pesquería's provincial militia company. Two years later, he was appointed Captain of the Punta de Lampazos provincial dragoons, one of the largest military units in the New Kingdom of León, present day Nuevo Leon. One year later Elizondo returned again to his former position at Pesquería's provincial militia. In 1806, the governor of Nuevo León, Pedro de Herrera y Levya, appointed him to command the Eighth Dragoons, a company, which would operate in Texas against the frequent Apache attacks taking place. Elizondo requested from the Viceroy an exemption from his military command as he was having serious financial problems. He owed money to the Roman Catholic church for livestock and land he had purchased. However, Governor de Herrera, declined to exempt him from his military duties which caused friction between the two men. He subsequently married Maria Romana Carrasco and, in 1806, the couple moved to the Hacienda of San Juan de Canoas, in Coahuila state, where he also administrated the Hacienda of Alamo near the city of Monclova. [2]

A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.

Spanish Texas

Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of the Spanish colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1690 until 1821.

The Apache are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with which they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Apache people have moved throughout the United States and elsewhere, including urban centers. The Apache Nations are politically autonomous, speak several different languages and have distinct cultures.

Capturing Hidalgo

The Mexican War of Independence from Spain began with the "grito" of the Roman Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, on September 16, 1810. Initially Elizondo, stationed in Texas, took the side of the rebels in the Casas Revolt. Elizondo had the responsibility of guarding royalist prisoners in Monclova, Coahuila. There, or possibly earlier, he was persuaded to join the royalists. Some historians debate whether General Ramon Díaz de Bustamante or Bishop Primo Feliciano Marín de Porras won Elizondo over to the royalists. [3] Others believe he was converted by Manuel María de Salcedo of Texas and Simón de Herrera of Nuevo León, while the two royalist governors were his prisoners. [4]

Cry of Dolores

The Cry of Dolores is a historical event that occurred in Dolores, Mexico, in the early morning of 16 September 1810. Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his church and gave the pronunciamiento that triggered the Mexican War of Independence.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Mexican Roman Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence

Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Francisco Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor; 8 May 1753 – 30 July 1811), more commonly known as Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɣel iˈðalɣo], was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence.

Elizondo was asked to continue to pretend to support the rebels to gain intelligence about the plans of Allende and Hidalgo who were then in flight toward the United States after a military defeat in the Battle of Calderon Bridge. In March 1811, Hidalgo and Allende, rebel military leaders, and the remnants of the rebel army were in Saltillo, 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of Monclova. [5] The royalist sympathizers in Monclova included a group of large landowners of the region led by José Melchor Sanchez Navarro. [6]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Saltillo City in Coahuila, Mexico

Saltillo is the capital and largest city of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila and the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name. As of the 2015 census, Saltillo had a population of 807,537 people, while the population of the metropolitan area was 923,636 inhabitants, making Saltillo the largest city and the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Coahuila and the 19th most populated metropolitan area in the country.

Sánchez Navarro latifundio

The Sánchez Navarro latifundio (1765-1866) in Mexico was the largest privately owned estate or latifundio in all of Latin America. At its maximum extent, the Sánchez Navarro family owned more than 16,500,000 acres (6,700,000 ha) of land, an area almost as large as the Republic of Ireland and larger than the American state of West Virginia. The Sánchez Navarro latifundio was more than five times the size of the largest ranch, the XIT, in the United States and extended 350 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south. The latifundio was located in the Chihuahuan Desert, mostly in Coahuila, but also in Nuevo Leon, Durango, and Zacatecas.

Deceived into believing that Monclova was safely in the hands of rebel supporters, Allende, Hidalgo, other leaders, and 1,000 men of the rebel army departed Saltillo for Monclova. On March 21, 1811 Elizondo was waiting at the Wells of Baján with 150 men. The rebel leaders arrived first at the wells in carriages. Elizondo greeted them with an honor guard. He led the carriages behind a nearby hill not visible from the remainder of the rebel convoy. There, his men demanded the surrender of the rebel leaders. Padre Hidalgo, on horseback, drew a pistol but was restrained from firing by a royalist soldier. Allende was in the fifth carriage, and Allende opened fire. In the return fire Allende's son and several rebel soldiers were killed. The royalists tied the hands of the rebel leaders and their escorts and escorted them to a makeshift prison camp. This process of capturing elements of the rebel army continued all day long. As each new element arrived they were taken captive by Elizondo's men. By the end of the day the royalists had 893 prisoners and had killed about 40 of the royalists who resisted. The rear guard was the only contingent in the rebel army which sensed the danger and escaped capture. [7] [8]

Wells of Baján Place in Coahuila, Mexico

Wells of Baján are water wells located between Saltillo and Monclova in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. The small community near the wells is called Acatita de Baján. In the first phase of the Mexican War of Independence, revolutionary leaders Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, José Mariano Jiménez, and Juan Aldama, plus nearly 900 men in the rebel army were captured here on March 21, 1811 by 150 soldiers commanded by Ignacio Elizondo. Elizondo pretended to be a supporter of the struggle to overthrow Spanish rule, lured the rebels into a trap, and captured them with little resistance. The four leaders and many of their followers were tried and executed.

The next day Elizondo divided the prisoners into three groups: the leaders of the rebels including Padre Hidalgo; captured rebel clergymen, and the common soldiers. All prisoners were taken to Monclova first and the lesser offenders remained there for trial. Ten captured clergymen were taken to Durango and 27 military leaders and Hidalgo were taken to Chihuahua for trial. The rebel leaders and many of their followers were executed. [9]

Royalist soldier

After the capture of the rebel leaders, Elizondo was promoted to Lt. Colonel in the royalist army. Given the importance of his capture of the rebel leaders, the reward and the honors he received were modest. [10] [11]

On March 29, 1813, the royalist army in Texas lost the Battle of Rosillo Creek and on April 1 the rebels occupied San Antonio. To begin the effort to recover Texas, General José Joaquín de Arredondo ordered Elizondo to reconnoiter, but not to engage in battle with, the rebel forces of José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara in San Antonio. With a force of 1,050 men Elizondo crossed the Rio Grande on June 12 and, against Arredondo's orders, camped near San Antonio de Bexar and demanded Gutiérrez's surrender. On June 20, Gutiérrez's army of 1,500 men surprised Elizondo in the Battle of Alazan Creek and soundly defeated his forces, forcing Elizondo to retreat to the Rio Grande. [12]

General Arredondo ordered Elizondo to join him in an effort to retake the Spanish colony of Texas. With 1,830 men the two commanders advanced from Mexico toward San Antonio. On August 18, 1813, at the Battle of Medina, Elizondo led a cavalry division of the Royal Spanish Army to defeat the 1,400 man rebel Republican Army of the North, crushing the so-called Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition as well as the insurrection in Texas. [13]

Elizondo's last military service to the King of Spain was as the officer in command of a contingent of 500 cavalrymen dispatched by Arredondo from the capital at San Antonio, to chase and mop-up the fleeing survivors of the insurgent army immediately after the Battle of Medina. His last reports (before the incident that led to his death on his return from this successful mission) detail his march along the Camino Real toward eastern Texas, where he captured and executed many of the rebel soldiers at the Spanish hacienda of Trinidad de Salcedo (1807-1813) on Trinity River, which he depopulated and burned (see translation of Elizondo's final reports appended here). [14] He pursued rebel soldiers as far as Nacogdoches in eastern Texas and executed 71 rebel soldiers and took more than 100 prisoners. [15]

Elizondo's last report details reduction of Trinidad de Salcedo. Aftermath of Medina 4 - destruction of Trinidad de Salcedo.pdf
Elizondo's last report details reduction of Trinidad de Salcedo.


On September 3, 1813, Elizondo was critically wounded by Lieutenant Miguel (or Manuel) Serrano, while sleeping in his encampment at the edge of the Brazos River. He died a few days later. Many historians believe he was buried on the bank of the San Marcos River, in Texas, New Spain, where he died as he was being carried back to the capital on a litter. [16] However, if Lt. Col. Elizondo was, indeed, first interred on the banks of the San Marcos River, then his remains must have been exhumed later and re-buried in San Antonio, where on 9 October 1815, his burial was recorded in the campo santo record book at San Fernando cathedral as No. 715: "Ignacio Elizondo, Lt. Col. of the cavalry. Spanish, married to Romana Carrasco. He died of wounds received from an attack whilst he slept."

Related Research Articles

Goliad, Texas City in Texas, United States

Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It is known for the 1836 Goliad massacre during the Texas Revolution. It had a population of 1,908 at the 2010 census. Founded on the San Antonio River, it is the county seat of Goliad County. It is part of the Victoria, Texas, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Ignacio Allende Mexican general

Ignacio José de Allende y Unzaga, born Ignacio Allende y Unzaga, was a captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico who came to sympathize with the Mexican independence movement. He attended the secret meetings organized by Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, where the possibility of an independent New Spain was discussed. He fought along with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the first stage of the struggle, eventually succeeding him in leadership of the rebellion. Allende was captured by Spanish colonial authorities while he was in Coahuila and executed for treason in Chihuahua.

José Joaquín de Arredondo y Mioño (1776–1837) was a 19th-century Spanish and Mexican soldier who served during the last two decades of Spanish rule in New Spain. He was military commandant of the Texas province during the first Texas revolutions against Spanish rule.

Juan Aldama Mexican revolutionary rebel soldier

Juan Aldama was a Mexican revolutionary rebel soldier during the Mexican War of Independence in 1810.

Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition

The Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition was an 1812–13 joint Mexican-US filibustering expedition against Spanish Texas during the early years of the Mexican War of Independence.

Francisco Javier Venegas Spanish noble and general

Francisco Javier Venegas de Saavedra y Ramínez de Arenzana, 1st Marquess of Reunión and New Spain, KOC was a Spanish general in the Spanish War of Independence and later viceroy of New Spain from September 14, 1810 to March 4, 1813, during the first phase of the Mexican War of Independence.

Félix María Calleja del Rey Spanish general

Félix María Calleja del Rey y de la Gándara was a Spanish military officer and viceroy of New Spain from March 4, 1813, to September 20, 1816, during Mexico's War of Independence. For his service in New Spain, Calleja was awarded with the title Count of Calderon.

Manuel María de Salcedo y Quiroga, (Málaga, Spain,, was a governor of Spanish Texas from 1808 until his execution in 1813. Salcedo gained leadership experience helping his father Juan Manuel de Salcedo, the 11th and last Spanish governor of Louisiana,. In 1807, the younger Salcedo was appointed governor of Texas, and he officially assumed that role on November 7, 1808. As governor, he and his uncle Nemesio Salcedo, the Commandant General of the Interior Provinces, often disagreed, especially on immigration issues.

Juan Bautista de las Casas led a revolt against the governor of Spanish Texas in 1811 and served as head of the province for 39 days until he was deposed.

Battle of Calderón Bridge battle

The Battle of Calderón Bridge was a decisive battle in the Mexican War of Independence. It was fought in January 1811 on the banks of the Calderón River 60 km (37 mi) east of Guadalajara in present-day Zapotlanejo, Jalisco.

The Battle of Rosillo Creek was a conflict of the Mexican War of Independence occurring March 29, 1813 in Coahuila y Tejas, approximately nine miles southeast of San Antonio de Bexar near the confluence of Rosillo Creek and Salado Creek.

The Battle of Alazan Creek, occurred on the banks of Alazan Creek in Spanish Texas on June 20, 1813, during the Mexican War of Independence. The location is today in Bexar County, Texas, in the United States, just west of downtown San Antonio.

Presidio La Bahía

The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía, known more commonly as Presidio La Bahia, or simply La Bahia is a fort constructed by the Spanish Army that became the nucleus of the modern-day city of Goliad, Texas, United States. The current location dates to 1747.

Siege of Cuautla

coordinates 18.811810N, -98.955090W

Simón de Herrera y Leyva (1754–1813) was a lifelong political and military professional for Spain, primarily in the lands known as New Spain and at times ventured to Europe. He became an interim governor of Spanish Texas at San Antonio and a governor of Nuevo León.

Timeline of Mexican War of Independence

The following is a timeline of the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821), its antecedents and its aftermath. The war pitted the royalists, supporting the continued adherence of Mexico to Spain, versus the insurgents advocating Mexican independence from Spain. After of struggle of more than 10 years the insurgents prevailed.

Nemesio de Salcedo was a Spanish colonial official who served as the Commandant-General of the Provincias Internas, which at the time included much of modern Mexico and the Southwestern United States.


  1. "'Go Ahead, Guys' vs The Spanish Royal Army; Battle of Medina, Texas, August 18, 1813," Los Bexareños, Vol. 2, No. 1, p.11, , accessed 19 Jan 2019
  2. "Go Ahead, Guys"
  3. Las andanzas del obispo Marín de Porras y la traición de Baján : diplomáticos de la insurgencia. by A. Núñez de León. Monterrey, México : Editorial Vallarta, 1962.
  4. Harris, Charles H. (1975), A Mexican Family Empire, Austin: University of Texas Press, p. 127
  5. Almaraz, Jr., Felix D. (April 1996), "Texas Governor Manuel Salcedo and the Court-Martial of Padre Miguel Hidalgo," The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 99, No. 4, pp. 452-454. Downloaded from JSTOR.
  6. Harris III, p. 131
  7. Almaraz, Jr., pp 455-456
  8. "La Guerra de Independencia."
  9. Almaraz, pp. 456-457
  10. "Go Ahead, Guys"
  11. Santos, Richard, "Bexar county's forgotten Battle of Alazan Creek," , accessed 23 Jan 2018
  12. Santos
  13. Robert H. Thonhoff, "ELIZONDO, IGNACIO", Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 22, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  14. Bob D. Skiles, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275953010_Report_of_the_Reduction_of_Trinidad_de_Salcedo_by_Lt_Col_Ignacio_Elizondo_of_the_Royal_Spanish_Army_6_September_1813 "Report of the Reduction of Trinidad de Salcedo by Lt Col Ignacio Elizondo of the Royal Spanish Army, 6 September 1813"], ResearchGate DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2471.0562, accessed May 6, 2015.
  15. "Ignacio Elizondo," Texas State Historical Association, , accessed 23 Jan 2019.
  16. En los albores de la independencia: Las Provincias Internas de Oriente durante la insurrección de don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, 1810-1811. by Isidro Vizcaya Canales