How Were Hispanics Involved in Regional Conflicts?
Texas Revolution - Hispanic leaders served on both sides of the Texas Revolution. Erasmo Seguin and Jose Antonio Saucedo counseled Stephen F. Austin on organizing San Felipe. Francisco Ruiz and Jose Antonio Navarro signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Juan Seguin directed the burial of the Alamo dead. After the Texas Revolution, Mexican families who had supported Santa Anna kept a low profile. As a result of the U.S.-Mexican War in 1846- 48, Hispanic residents along the Rio Grande had to choose American citizenship if they wanted to stay on their land. Some returned to Mexican territory.
Civil War - 1860s Many Hispanics served the Confederacy. The highest ranking was Col. Santos Benavides who led the defense of Laredo in 1864. During the Civil War, the following men with Spanish-surnames were in the Lamar Home Guards included: Cisneros, Jose Maria Garcia, Paulino Garcia, Lionisio Garcia, Francisco Garza, J. de Leon Garza, Eloco Lamardo, Manuel Ledesma, Juan A. Ledesma, E. Ramirez, and Richardo Virizell.
Early Immigration - 1900 Around the turn of the century general immigration from Mexico was occurring. Unrest of the Mexican civil war (1911-20) caused refugees to flee to Texas. One family’s story begins with Silvestro Dominguez from Zacatecas. He married Maria Pina in Port Isabel. Several families – Dominguez, Pina and Reyes – loaded their possessions on a barge and sailed north along the shore of the Gulf. The Dominguez family settled in Rockport and lived on First Street.
World War I - Many Hispanics enlisted in the military during World War I. Others worked in industries supporting the war effort. In 1917 the construction in south Rockport of the shipyard by Heldenfels meant 900 new jobs. Joe Covarrubias hired on at the shipyard for $12 a week. He worked as a diver. His son Frank described him being in a bell helmet for the job.
As Mexican families came to Rockport in the 1920s, they lived near each other in the west part of town. Hillis Dominguez recalled neighbors – Rodrigues, Solis, Pulido and Garcia.
DID YOU have any family members in the Civil War, World War I or World War II? What did
they tell you about their service?
See the exhibit – visit the web site www.hcfriends.net where you will find photographs of
the exhibit. Friends of the History Center will also post historical vignettes on Facebook.
frequently. Watch for announcement of re-opening later in the spring.