Battle of San Patricio

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Battle of San Patricio
Part of the Texas Revolution
Date February 27, 1836
Location near San Patricio, Texas
Result Mexican victory
 Mexico  Republic of Texas
Commanders and leaders
José de Urrea Frank W. Johnson
500 men 70 men
Casualties and losses
1 killed
4 wounded
20 killed
32 captured

The Battle of San Patricio was a battle fought on February 27, 1836, between the troops of Republic of Mexico and the rebelling Mexican state of Texas.


The seizure of power by Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1833 led several Mexican states to openly rebel. One was Coahuila y Texas. The eastern Texas portion of the state had been settled mainly by immigrants from the southern United States. When Santa Anna appointed himself a dictator, suspending the Mexican Constitution of 1824, the people of Texas rebelled in defense of their civil liberties. With the fall of the Mexican strongholds in San Antonio, Goliad, and other Mexican forts and cities, to the Texas rebels, Santa Anna decided to personally crush the rebellion. He led a force called Army of Operations of about 6,000 soldiers into northern Mexico. Santa Anna divided his forces for maximum coverage. One column was led by General José de Urrea, who was ordered to march along the Texas coast to keep open Mexican supply lines by sea.


With the approval of the General Council, Texas revolutionaries James Grant, Frank W. Johnson and Robert C. Morris collaborated on plans to lead an assault on the Mexican town of Matamoros. Recruiting some 300 men, several of whom were native to San Antonio, they gathered provisions from the Alamo and La Bahia for their expedition.[1] The men needed mounts for their long journey and divided into groups as they traveled toward the coast to capture wild horses.

On February 27, 1836, Urrea's advanced reconnaissance patrol discovered Frank W. Johnson and about 34 Texians camped at the abandoned Irish settlement of San Patricio. In a surprise attack at 3:30 am, Mexican troops fired on the Texian Army and killed about 10 (seven of them Hispanics) and captured 18.[2] Johnson and four others who were captured managed to escape and rejoin James Fannin's command at Goliad. One man, Daniel J. Toler, escaped capture.[3]

Grant and Morris's party was also surprised by Urrea's army as they camped at Agua Dulce Creek. On March 2, the Mexicans surprised them, killing both Grant and Morris and twelve others. The survivors were captured and imprisoned at Matamoros.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Todish et al. (1998), p. 29.
  2. ^ Keith Guthrie, "SAN PATRICIO, BATTLE OF," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed June 9, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  3. ^ Thomas W. Cutrer, "TOLER, DANIEL J.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed June 9, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Further reading[edit]

  • Roberts, Randy & Olson, James S.; A Line in the Sand; The Alamo in Blood and Memory; Simon & Schuster; ISBN 0-7432-1233-9
  • Davis, William C.;Lone Star Rising-The Revolutionary Birth of the Republic of Texas;Free Press;ISBN 0-684-86510-6
  • Brown, Gary; James Walker Fannin-Hesitant Martyr in the Texas Revolution;Republic of Texas Press; ISBN 1-55622-778-7