The Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition was an 1812-13 joint Mexican-American filibustering expedition against Spanish Texas during the early years of the Mexican War of Independence.
In 1811, Juan Bautista de las Casas led a revolt against Spain at San Antonio
, capturing the Spanish governor. The Spanish struck back, however, crushing the revolt and executing de las Casas. The rebels then turned to the United States
for help. Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara
traveled to Washington, D.C.
, but received little more than the knowledge that the U.S. government would not interfere with his efforts.
Gutiérrez gained the support of Augustus W. Magee and formed a force of about 130 men at Nachitoches, Louisiana. The men then crossed into Texas, where their number swelled to 300. The Spanish governor, Manuel María de Salcedo
, met the revolutionaries at La Bahia (now Goliad
) with about 800 men. Magee considered surrender, but finally decided to fight. However, Magee died on February 6, 1813, and Samuel Kemper
succeeded to the command. Kemper beat back the governor's attacks, and on March 29 defeated another Spanish army of 1,200 men at Rosilla. Governor Salcedo surrendered on April 1, 1813.
Gutiérrez now lost the confidence of Kemper and the other Americans by allowing the execution of the Spanish governor and other Spanish officials. Kemper led about 100 Americans back to Louisiana and took no further part.
Without Kemper's leadership, the rebels suffered from internal divisions. Even though they won at Alazán in June, they suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Medina in August. The Spanish captured San Antonio and conducted a brutal reprisal, executing over 300 people.
- Morón Villarreal, Jesus; Gutiérrez and Magee, Tex-Mex heroes; Houston, Tex. : J. Morón Villarreal, 1995.
- Walker, Henry P; William McLane's narrative of the Magee-Gutierrez expedition, 1812-1813; Austin, Tex. : Texas State Historical Assoc., 1962-1963.