Piedras, José de las (unknown–1839)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: August 4, 2020

José de las Piedras was commander of the Mexican forces in Nacogdoches from 1827 to 1832. On September 27, 1827, he relieved Mariano Cosio in command of the contingent of the Twelfth Permanent Battalion of the Mexican Army that occupied Nacogdoches from the spring of 1827 until August 2, 1832. He was fairly successful in his difficult task of controlling a predominantly Anglo-American town because he paid little attention to the civil government and confined his efforts to the military command. On May 21, 1832, Piedras was ordered by the general commandant, José Mariano Guerro, to report to Anahuac to put an end to the Anahuac Disturbances, which were the culmination of the Texan colonists' grievances against John Davis Bradburn. Piedras arrived in Anahuac on July 1, 1832, placed Juan N. Cortina in charge of the Mexican garrison, and returned to Nacogdoches soon thereafter. His support of Anastasio Bustamante and his refusal to adhere to Antonio López de Santa Anna's Plan of Jalapa resulted in his expulsion from East Texas in the battle of Nacogdoches on August 2, 1832. Piedras and his men left Nacogdoches on the night of August 2, but were intercepted the next day on the Angelina River. As Piedras took refuge in John M. Durst's home, his men betrayed him, and he and 300 troops were escorted back to Nacogdoches. Piedras eventually was taken to Stephen F. Austin at San Felipe, where he received parole. He then rejoined his family in Matamoros. In the struggle in Tampico between the Federalists and the Bustamante government, the Centralist forces under Piedras were defeated, and he was killed in April 1839.

Bexar Archives, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Robert Bruce Blake Research Collection, Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Texas State Archives, Austin; Houston Public Library, Houston. John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Ohland Morton, Life of General Don Manuel de Mier y Terán (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1939; rpt., 8 pts., Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46–48 [July 1942-April 1945]). Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols., New York: Redfield, 1855).

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Piedras, José de las,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/piedras-jose-de-las.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 4, 2020

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