Elozua, Antonio (ca. 1783–1833)

By: Adán Benavides Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Antonio Elozúa (Elosúa), military officer of the Spanish and Mexican armies, the son of Bernardo Elozúa y Melo and Antonia Ximénez y Téllez, was born at San Carlos de Matanzas, Cuba, about 1783. On July 1, 1802, he enlisted in Havana as a cadet in the Infantry of Mexico City (Infantería de México). He was promoted to second lieutenant in 1811 and subsequently served in the Infantry of Vera Cruz (Regimiento Fijo de Veracruz). He was then appointed adjutant major of its Third Battalion and was later captain of the First Battalion from November 1812 to January 1817. Shortly after receiving orders on March 13, 1811, he was engaged in successful military campaigns under the command of Joaquín de Arredondo against insurgents in Nuevo Santander and San Luis Potosí. He accompanied Arredondo, now commandant general of the Eastern Interior Provinces, to Laredo in the spring of 1813, to prepare for the Texas campaign to avenge the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition and the executions of Governor Manuel Salcedo, Simón de Herrera, and others. He participated in the battle of Medina (August 18, 1813), at which he was the highest ranking officer (brevet lieutenant colonel) of the Veteran Infantry; his valor earned a recommendation for a promotion. While in Texas he also was engaged in two Indian campaigns. In the spring of 1814 he journeyed with Arredondo from Bexar to Laredo and arrived in Monterrey in July of that year. From early 1815 through April 1816 he led the monthly convoys to Querétaro from San Luis Potosí and participated in military actions against rebels active in the provinces of San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, and Guanajuato. He was transferred to the Eastern Provinces in early 1816 and garrisoned at Monterrey, where he was a member of the royalist forces sent to Soto la Marina in April 1817 to fight the expedition of Francisco Xavier Mina. On March 9, 1818, he was named adjutant inspector of Coahuila and Texas. He was appointed political and military governor of Coahuila on November 25, 1820, a position he had applied for unsuccessfully in 1816 and 1818.

As governor of Coahuila, on July 6, 1821, he proclaimed his support for Agustín de Iturbide's Plan de Iguala (February 24, 1821), which sought Mexican independence under a constitutional monarchy. Elozúa remained as governor until March 21, 1822, when he assumed the duties of deputy from Coahuila to the First Constituent Congress in Mexico City, which met through October 31, 1823. In October of the following year he was appointed colonel and military commandant of Coahuila and took office in Monclova in December 1824. He was appointed commander of the frontier defenses on January 10, 1826, and adjutant inspector of Coahuila and Texas when the position was reinstituted the following June. Subsequently, he was stationed at Río Grande (now Guerrero, Coahuila), Santa Rosa (now Músquiz, Coahuila), and Laredo. In September 1826 he also assumed command of the Tamaulipas presidios, and in March 1827 he functioned as interim commandant general of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas, while the titular head, Anastasio Bustamante, was in Bexar. Elozúa's final commission was the principal command of the military troops of Texas, which he assumed on December 27, 1827, at Bexar. In this position he administered military posts in Texas, received reports from presidios in Coahuila, and reported directly to the commandant general of the eastern Mexican states. Ill health forced his retirement on September 15, 1833, after thirty-one years of military service. His correspondence as a military officer from the end of Spanish Texas through early Mexican Texas (see TEXAS IN TRANSITION, 1800–1821) remains principally in the Bexar Archives. These thousands of documents are a major source for the record of Coahuilan and Texan military affairs.

He married María Luisa de Urteaga on September 17, 1825. They had two sons, one daughter, and an adopted daughter. Shortly after his retirement Elozúa died at Bexar, on November 15, 1833, and was buried two days later in the chapel of the Alamo. After his widow's death at Presidio del Río Grande in 1841, an executor sold the real estate in San Antonio for the two surviving sons.

Joaquín de Arredondo, "Report of the Battle of the Medina, August 18, 1813," trans. Mattie Austin Hatcher, Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 11 (January 1908). Adán Benavides, Jr., comp. and ed., The Béxar Archives, 1717–1836: A Name Guide (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989). Adán Benavides, Jr., The Dispersion of the Commandancy General Archive of the Eastern Interior Provinces (Later, States), 1813–1836 (M.A. Report, University of Texas at Austin, 1983). Adán Benavides, Jr., "Loss by Division: The Commandancy General Archive of the Eastern Interior Provinces," The Americas 43 (October 1986). Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Adán Benavides Jr., “Elozua, Antonio,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/elozua-antonio.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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