Vicente Filisola

Vicente Filisola

Vicente Filisola (sometimes "Vicente Filísola", with an accent) (b. ca. 1789, Ravello, Italy - d. July 23, 1850, Mexico City) joined the Spanish army on March 17, 1804, fighting in many battles of the Napoleonic Wars. He later served in New Spain (Mexico) in 1811. As a supporter of Agustin de Iturbide, who declared himself emperor of Mexico, he became a brigadier general in command of the Army of the Three Guarantees. Emperor Iturbide sent him to Central America to ensure its inclusion in the Mexican Empire. This he did, but when Iturbide fell in 1823 and Mexico was declared a republic, Central America (except for Chiapas) declared independence from Mexico.cite book
first=Lynn V.
last=Foster
year= 2000
title= A Brief History of Central America
edition=
publisher=Facts on File, Inc.
location=New York
pages= pp 135–136
id= ISBN 0-8160-3962-3
]

As a governor of Mexico, he occupied Guatemala City after the formation of the Federal Republic of Central America and was successful in annexing El Salvador in 1823, causing an uprising there. In compliance with the Mexican constitution, Filisola convened the Central American congress which forthwith declared its independence from Mexico. Filisola was not able to maintain a fighting force, and his troops were sent back to Mexico by the residents of Guatemala City who paid for their transportation.

In 1833, he became commander of the Eastern Provincias Internas (Eastern Interior Provinces) and later was granted land in Texas for the settlement of 600 non-Anglo-American families.

Antonio López de Santa Anna commissioned Filisola as his second-in-command during his fight for Texas. When Santa Anna was captured by the Texans at the Battle of San Jacinto, he was responsible for the withdrawal of the Mexican forces from Texas.

Filisola carried out Santa Anna's orders to retreat, evacuated San Antonio and "ratified", according to the Republic of Texas, the Treaties of Velasco. After both parties to the treaties broke parts of the agreement, he received instructions from the Mexican government to not retreat. Although he offered to return to Texas, the exhausted Mexican force continued to Matamoros where José de Urrea replaced Filisola in general command and Filisola resigned his own command to Juan José Andrade.

During the Mexican-American War Filisola commanded one of three divisions of the Mexican army.

Filisola died of cholera in Mexico City in 1850.

Although Filisola was accused of being a coward and a traitor in overseeing the withdrawal of the Mexican troops, he was exonerated in 1841. However forgetting his own role in the defeat at San Jacinto, Santa Anna placed the entire blame on Filisola. Filisola's dispatches to Santa Anna were captured by Sam Houston's men and this led directly to the battle.

He later published a defense of his retreat which was later translated and published in 1837 by the Republic of Texas. In 1928 Castañeda published a translation of Filisola's account in "The Mexican Side of the Texas Revolution", and his complete account of the Texas Revolution is found in "Memoirs for the History of the War in Texas", published in 1985.

Footnotes

References

*"Memoirs for the History of the War in Texas". Vicente Filisola, 1985 Eakin Press, Austin, Texas
*"The Mexican Side of the Texas Revolution, 1836". Carlos E. Castaneda, trans. P. L .Turner 1956 (reprint of 1928 ed.)

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/crispmexico/filisola.html Short biography]


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