The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara:
Caudillo of the Mexican Republic in Texas
DAVID E. NARRETT*
T HE FIRST OF APRIL 1813 WAS A TRIUMPHAL DAY FOR JOSI BERNARDO
Gutierrez de Lara, leader of the Mexican Republican Army of the
North. His forces-a motley band of Mexican and Tejano rebels, Anglo-
Americans, Indians, and others-marched unopposed into the Alamo
Mission three days after defeating royalists in a battle outside San Antonio
de B6xar. Gutierrez soon ordered the arrest of Governor Manuel Salcedo,
Col. Sim6n Herrera, and other supporters of Spanish rule. The prisoners
did not remain in custody for long. On the night of the third, Capt. An-
tonio Delgado of the local militia, aided by Tejano and Mexican rebels,
brought Salcedo, Herrera, and fifteen others to a field near Salado Creek.
The rebels then killed all their prisoners, cutting the victims' throats and
leaving the mutilated bodies to rot where they lay.1
The killings at Salado Creek were among the most dramatic episodes of
what historians have called the "Guti6rrez-Magee expedition." This mili-
tary venture aimed simultaneously to overthrow Spanish rule in Texas
and to assist the cause of Mexican independence. The expedition began
in early August 1812, when a small body of armed men crossed from
Louisiana into Texas under Augustus W. Magee, a former U.S. Army offi-
cer, who was then an ally of Guti6rrez. The expedition combined distinct
and yet overlapping elements. It was partly a filibuster-an invasion
launched by "freebooters" of U.S. citizenship, whose own nation was offi-
*David E. Narrett is associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington. The
author thanks Jimmy Bryan, Bret Carroll, Roberto Trevfio and Marcy Paul for their invaluable as-
sistance. He is also grateful to Adin Benavldes, Chris Conway, Frank de la Teja, Joyce Goldberg,
Russell Martin, Linda Pelon, Andres Res6ndez, David Weber, and the reviewers of this essay Spe-
cial thanks to Janice Pinney, copyeditor, to Maritza Arrigunaga and Kit Goodwin of UTA Special
Collections, and to Richard Francaviglia of UTA's Center for Greater Southwestern Studies.
'Julia Kathryn Garrett, Green Flag Over Texas: A Story of the Last Years of Spamn zn Texas (Austin:
Pemberton Press, 1939), 175-181 The "Green Flag" of the title refers to the Repubhcan Army's
standard Ibid., 178 There has been some uncertainty about the number of executed prisoners.
Lorenzo de la Garza presents convincing evidence that seventeen were killed. See his Dos hermanos
heroes (Mexico: Editorial Cultura, 1939), 51-52. Donald E. Chapman, Spanish Texas, 1519-i821
(Austin- University of Texas Press, 1992), 236
VOL. CVI, NO. 2 SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY OCTOBER 2002

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed April 18, 2015.