URREA, JOSÉ DE (1797-1849). José de Urrea, military officer, was born in 1797 in the presidio of Tucson, Sonora (now Arizona). As acting general in July 1835, he was sent to fight the Comanches in Durango, where he was commandant general and then governor in September and October. He participated in the expedition to Texas in 1836 and was engaged in the battles at San Patricio, Agua Dulce Creek, and Coleto. In 1839 he was captured and sent to Perote Prison. Later during an imprisonment in Durango he was rescued by his partisans to take part in a revolt. In 1842 he assumed the executive power of Sonora, which he held until May 1844. In 1846 he fought against the United States in the Mexican War.
Urrea fought under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna during the Texas Revolution. Urrea’s forces were never defeated in battle during the Texas Revolution.
PRESIDIO LA BAHIA was restored in the 1960’s, and is one of the best preserved Spanish Forts in America. It stands today as a monument to the battles fought, and the lives lost in the Texas Revolution. Though originally established by Spain to protect Matagorda Bay, it was moved to its present location in Goliad in 1749.
The capture of Presidio La Bahia from Mexico on the night of October 9, 1835 was one of the first offensive actions against a Mexican military installation in the Texas Revolution. The first Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in the chapel at Presidio La Bahia. Goliad is also the site where Colonel James W. Fannin and 341 of his men were executed by General Jose Urrea’s Army in 1836 on orders from Mexican General Santa Anna.
The saga of Presidio La Bahia is a fascinating chapter of Texas’ rich and vibrant history. An hour long documentary of the history of the Presidio and its pivotal role in the Texas Revolution is now available from our online store.
Watch a sample video clip from our documentary Presidio La Bahia – Its Place in the History of Texas