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Texans oust Mexicans in battle of Nacogdoches

August
02
1832

On this day in 1832, Texas settlers refused an order to surrender their arms to José de las Piedras, commander of the Mexican battalion at Nacogdoches. The ensuing battle of Nacogdoches is sometimes called the opening gun of the Texas Revolution. Piedras had issued his inflammatory order in the wake of the Anahuac Disturbances. The ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches resisted the order, organized a "National Militia," and sent messengers to outlying settlements requesting military aid. Those who responded elected James W. Bullock their commander. On the morning of August 2 Bullock demanded that Piedras rescind his order and declare for Antonio López de Santa Anna and against the Centralist Mexican government, but Piedras refused. Bullock's men entered the town that afternoon and eventually captured the Old Stone Fort and other key locations. That night Piedras evacuated his soldiers and headed for San Antonio. A detachment of mounted Texans, including James Bowie, caught them the next day; after a running fight along the Angelina River, Piedras's men turned against him and surrendered him to the Texans. In the battle of Nacogdoches, Piedras lost forty-seven men killed and forty or more wounded. Three Texans were killed (a fourth died later) and four were wounded.

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