Description: Costume military uniform / period of Bernardo de Gálvez. 1) Black neckpiece (41). 2). Black leather bootstraps, 2 pieces. 3). Wig: white hair with side curls and a long black braid on the back. Also included is a single hairpin with tufts of white hair.
Description: Historical Note: Bernardo de Gálvez was born on July 23, 1746, in Macharaviaya, a mountain village in the province of Málaga, Spain, the son of Matías and Josepha Madrid y Gallardo de Gálvez. During his lifetime his family was one of the most distinguished in the royal service of Spain. Following family tradition, Bernardo chose a military career. In 1762 he served as a lieutenant in a war with Portugal, after which he was promoted to captain in the Regiment of La Coruña. In 1769 Gálvez was commissioned to go to the northern frontier of New Spain, where he soon became commandant of military forces in Nueva Vizcaya and Sonora. In 1776 he was transferred to the province of Louisiana and promoted to colonel of the Louisiana Regiment. On January 1, 1777, he succeeded Luis de Unzaga as governor of Louisiana. Before Spain entered the American Revolutionary War, Gálvez did much to aid the American patriots. Spain formally declared war against Great Britain on June 21, 1779, and King Carlos III commissioned Gálvez to raise a force of men and conduct a campaign against the British along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. In order to feed his troops, Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García, with a letter to Texas governor Domingo Cabello y Robles requesting the delivery of Texas cattle to Spanish forces in Louisiana. Accordingly, between 1779 and 1782, 10,000 cattle were rounded up on ranches belonging to citizens and missions of Bexar and La Bahía. From Presidio La Bahía, the assembly point, Texas rancheros and their vaqueros trailed these herds to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and Opelousas for distribution to Gálvez's forces. Providing escorts for these herds were soldiers from Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, Presidio La Bahía, and El Fuerte del Cíbolo, and several hundred horses were also sent along for artillery and cavalry purposes. Gálvez, with 1,400 men, took to the field in the fall of 1779 and defeated the British in battles at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. On March 14, 1780, after a month-long siege with land and sea forces, Gálvez, with over 2,000 men, captured the British stronghold of Fort Charlotte at Mobile. The climax of the Gulf Coast campaign occurred the following year when Gálvez directed a joint land-sea attack on Pensacola, the British capital of West Florida. He commanded more than 7,000 men in the two-month siege of Fort George in Pensacola before its capture on May 10, 1781. On May 8, 1782, Gálvez and his Spanish forces captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas. He was busy preparing for a grand campaign against Jamaica when peace negotiations ended the war.
Citation information: ATF0214, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
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