Battle of Medina Quandry
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
August 26, 2010
This past Saturday I had an opportunity to speak at the Annual Battle of Medina Ceremony held at the El Carmen Church Hall near 281 South and 1604. Despite its obscure place in Texas history, in 1813, twenty-two years before the first battle of the Texas Revolution, the Battle of Gonzales in 1835 1,000 men went to their deaths to liberate the Province of Tejas from Spain. Revolution was in the air and after the American (1776), French (1789) and Mexican (1810) revolutions, these sons of the Spanish Province of Tejas did not want to be left behind.
Along with the Battles of Rosillo Creek and of the Alazan, the Battle of Medina stood as the giant of them all. Organizer of the event and author of Tejano Roots, A Family Legend, Dan Arrellano of Austin says, "180 valiant warriors sacrificed their lives for liberty and freedom at the Alamo, yet, as tragic as it was, sends the wrong message to the Hispanic community, when over 1000 of their ancestors were killed fighting for the same reasons, at the Battle of Medina. Few people know that this monument exists, or its location yet it's only 10 miles from the Alamo and it's what the State of Texas says they are entitled to. The State has no markers directing you to its site, as in other historical places. Not only is it a disgrace to the memory of these fallen heroes but it is an insult to the majority Hispanic community."
The monument, such as it is, is placed at the corner of 281 South and Martinez-Losoya Road near the Southside Independent School District Administrative Offices. Whatever can or can't be said about the Battle of Medina monument, much has been and is increasingly being discussed about the Battle and its obscured significance in Texas history. The Sons of the American Revolution have even jumped in hosting a special symposium on the Battle last Saturday as they claim lots of historical links with those families whose members be it in different generations, fought in the American Revolution and the Battle of Medina.
Though I have not had a chance to purchase Tejano Roots, A Family Legend, I have considered The Forgotten Battlefield of The First Texas Revolution (Ted Schwartz-Robert Thonhoff) to be the principal work on this battle. Thonhoff of Karnes City, was able to masterfully build on Ted Schwartz' manuscripts and produce a book that has so been in my qualified opinion, the principal work on the Medina Battle.
Dealing with this era, San Antonian and UTSA History Professor Dr. Felix Almaraz wrote Tragic Cavalier. This important book offers a historical account of the Mexican independence movement in Texas interpreted from the Spanish perspective.
Nowhere else but San Antonio, Bexar County: the Capitol of Texas History!