Cos, Martín Perfecto de (1800–1854)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 4, 2020

Martín Perfecto de Cos, Mexican general, the son of attorney Martín Perfecto de Cos, was born in Veracruz in 1800. He became a cadet in the Mexican army in 1820, a lieutenant in 1821, and a brigadier general in 1833. In September 1835 Cos was sent by Antonio López de Santa Anna to investigate the refusal of Texans at Anahuac to pay duties imposed after Santa Anna had established himself as president of Mexico with centralized powers (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES). General Cos dispersed the legislature of Coahuila and Texas, then in session at Monclova, landed 300 men at Matagorda Bay, established headquarters in San Antonio, and declared his purpose of ending resistance in Texas. He intended to arrest several Texas critics of Santa Anna. His demands were resisted; a force of Texans under Stephen F. Austin and Edward Burleson held the Mexican troops in the siege of Bexar until Cos surrendered after an attack led by Benjamin R. Milam in December 1835. Cos and his men were released on their pledge not to oppose further the Constitution of 1824. Texans believed the pledge was broken when Cos returned in the spring of 1836 to command a column in the attack on the Alamo. On April 21, 1836, he reached San Jacinto with reinforcements, crossing Vince's Bridge just before the Texans destroyed it. He was taken prisoner by Sam Houston in the general surrender and later released, after which he returned to Mexico and in the Mexican War commanded a post at Tuxpan. Cos died in Minatitlán, Vera Cruz, on October 1, 1854, while serving as commandant general and political chief of the Tehuantepec territory.

Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols., San Francisco: History Company, 1886, 1889). Alwyn Barr, Texans in Revolt: The Battle for San Antonio, 1835 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990).

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “Cos, Martín Perfecto de,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022,

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August 4, 2020

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