FERNÁNDEZ, EUGENIO (?–?). Eugenio Fernández, soldier and explorer, was part of an expedition led by Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla that left San Juan Bautista on September 13, 1766, to explore the Texas coast from La Bahía to the mouth of the Rio Grande, especially the island known as Isla de San Carlos de los Malaguitas or Isla Blanca (Padre Island). Fernández was sent with José Antonio de la Garza Falcón and Mateo Martínez, twenty-six soldiers, and nine Indians to explore the island, which they traversed from near the site of present Aransas Pass to the Rio Grande before reporting it uninhabited and waterless. Fernández was subsequently alferez at Santa Rosa María del Sacramento Presidio in Coahuila. In 1768 he served in campaigns against the Mescalero Apaches with Manuel Rodríguez, acting commandant of Coahuila. He also accompanied Rodríguez to La Junta de los Ríos and El Paso in 1769, and he was sent to Chihuahua to locate Lope de Cuellar. In 1772 Fernández was appointed to serve under Vicente Rodríguez as lieutenant of San Juan Bautista. Though Rodríguez and the governor of Coahuila supported the appointment, San Juan Bautista soldiers protested it and took their complaints to the Mexican viceroy, but apparently to no avail.
Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–1958; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1976), Robert S. Weddle, San Juan Bautista: Gateway to Spanish Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.John G. Johnson, "FERNANDEZ, EUGENIO," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffe23), accessed March 07, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.