Battle of Gonzales
The Battle of Gonzales was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution.
It was fought near Gonzales, Texas, on October 2, 1835, between rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican army troops.
In 1831, Mexican authorities gave the settlers of Gonzales a small cannon to help protect them from frequent Comanche raids. Over the next four years, the political situation in Mexico deteriorated, and in 1835 several states revolted. As the unrest spread, Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea, the commander of all Mexican troops in Texas, felt it unwise to leave the residents of Gonzales a weapon and requested the return of the cannon.
When the initial request was refused, Ugartechea sent 100 dragoons to retrieve the cannon using peaceful means. The soldiers neared Gonzales on September 29, but the colonists used a variety of excuses to keep them from the town, while secretly sending messengers to request assistance from nearby communities. Within two days, up to 140 Texians gathered in Gonzales, all determined not to give up the cannon. On October 1, settlers voted to initiate a fight. Mexican soldiers opened fire as Texians approached their camp in the early hours of October 2. After several hours of desultory firing, Mexican soldiers withdrew.
Although the skirmish had little military significance, it marked a clear break between the colonists and the Mexican government and is considered to have been the start of the Texas Revolution. News of the skirmish spread throughout the United States, where it was often referred to as the "Lexington of Texas". The cannon's fate is disputed. It may have been buried and rediscovered in 1936, or it may have been seized by Mexican troops after the Battle of the Alamo.