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Indians defeat Spanish force on Red River


On this day in 1759, hostile Indians lured a Spanish troop under Diego Ortiz Parilla into a battle near a fortified Taovaya village on the Red River near the site of present Spanish Fort. The Spaniards fought a four-hour battle against their numerically superior opponents, who also included Comanches, Yaceales, and Tawakonis. As darkness fell, Ortiz Parilla led an orderly withdrawal, though he was forced to leave a pair of cannons on the treacherous sandbank where the Spaniards had found themselves pinned down. The expedition thus failed in its objective, which was to punish the Indians responsible for the destruction of Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission in March 1759. Though Ortiz Parilla's detractors exaggerated the extent of the Spanish defeat, he was replaced as commandant of San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio by Felipe de Rábago y Terán, who held the fort on the San Saba River as a face-saving measure for almost another decade.

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