Finding Medina: The Governor Returns

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LIDAR imagery of the Encinal de Medina showing historic road paths.

Courtesy / Brandon Seale - Google Earth

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) imagery of the Encinal de Medina shows historic road paths in red.

After capturing Father Miguel Hidalgo, Texas Royalist Gov. Manuel Salcedo returned to San Antonio in a less-than-magnanimous frame of mind. San Antonio, after all, was the town that had deposed him and the town to which Hidalgo had been fleeing. Salcedo took it upon himself to impress upon San Antonians the true cost of disloyalty to the Crown – and to him. 

The battlefield search team, meanwhile, employs some modern technology (LIDAR) and grunt work of a dedicated University of Texas at San Antonio researcher (Bruce Moses) to map out the roads into San Antonio in 1813 and, with that, the location of Gen. Joaquín de Arredondo’s camp and line of march on the morning of the battle.

Related Links:

My appearance on GreatDaySA launching the “crowdsourcing” efforts

Bruce Moses’s road theories as posted on the Alamo Studies Forum

Evolution of the Lower Presidio Road by Joseph Béxar

Joseph Bexar The Roads to History by Joseph Béxar

Cathy Brown’s Chocolate Tamales!

 

4 thoughts on “Finding Medina: The Governor Returns

  1. Your digital or electronic maps are great. This new perspective reveals more data and information to research. If only there could be a way to date the trails. I have been following your narratives and find more information that I was not aware of. Keep up the good work.

  2. It’s the greatest unsolved mystery in Texas history. I hope we find the battle site in my lifetime so we can honor our ancestors struggle for independence. Thank you Brandon. Once again great job! Oh and I love all the maps and LIDAR imagery.

  3. I am loving the podcasts! I was wondering if your research team has taken into account the horrific road conditions that accounts talk about…I have read that the roads were thick with mud and muck and that hindered the Republican forces. I know that there are several places in the area (I work in that area at Legacy HS) and after heavy rains, the ground gets to the point that movement by horse is difficult.

    IF you were to get a few volunteers and have then travel on foot and on horse and travel the suspected paths from their respective starting points, you may find the battlefield using this rustic method. You may have to do this several times and experiment. I know it sounds crazy, but it could work…and I would be willing to do it…after school lets out of course

    Godspeed.

    • Thanks Donald! You’re on to something that the battle accounts definitely capture, especially the Republican accounts, which all talk about how they pursuit “bogged” down as they tried to drag their cannon and beasts through the sandy, Encinal. Incidentally, the clue about the roads being muddy and the fact that it had perhaps rained a few days before may also play into how we think about where these soldiers were finding – or looking for! – water, for themselves, their mounts, and to cool their cannons.

      Of course, to meaningfully recreate their march, we’d have to know what road they are on! I still can’t quite conclude with certainty which path each army was on that morning: the Eastern trail I’ve been calling the Laredo Road? The more westerly Lower Presidio road? A cut-off road in between?

      Keep listening and sharing your thoughts to see if we can maybe figure something out here…

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