Texas would have been the last thing on the minds of the Americans who fought in the first battles of the Revolutionary War in April of 1775. It didn’t even exist as a U.S. state back then. And the patriots who fought the British to create a new nation were more than 1,500 miles away. But Texas—or the area that would one day become Texas—still played a role in the struggle.
In honor of Patriots Day, celebrated this year on April 16, let’s take a look at how.
Throughout the 1700s, Spain controlled present-day Texas, as well as other areas throughout the Americas and the world. But it lost control of many of those areas at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War, fought among major European powers at the time. When the war was all said and done, Britain took control of Spanish-held Florida.
Although Spain would eventually regain Florida for a time, the loss left a bad taste in the empire’s mouth. And it wasn’t so surprising when the country sided with colonial rebels wanting to break free of British rule.
Galvez—for whom Galveston is named—sent thousands of barrels of gunpowder, tons of lead and clothing for the first two years of the Revolution. When the British tried to stop him with troops along the way, Galvez raised an army to push them out of the region. And to feed this army, he turned to Texas.
The first cattle drive out of Texas was a result of the need to feed this army, in fact. From 1779 to 1782, almost 9,000 head of cattle were driven from San Antonio up into Louisiana.
With a steady source of food, Galvez and his men ensured General George Washington got his supplies. And they played a significant role in further weakening British forces.
From all of us here at Veteran Energy, happy Patriots Day.