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Home BIOGRAPHIES Independence INDEPENDENCE / HERMENEGILDO GALEANA

INDEPENDENCE / HERMENEGILDO GALEANA

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Hermenegildo Galeana (1762 - 1814)

 

H
ermenegildo Galeana is born in Tecpan in what is now the state of Guerrero. According to all accounts, he was descended from an English sailor who shipwrecked south of Acapulco.
 
Hermenegildo Galeana (1762 - 1814)


                 When José María Morelos arrives in Tecpan on November 7, 1810, Hermenegildo’s brothers Juan José, Antonio, and Pablo Galeana join Morelos, but Hermenegildo joins the rebel forces in early January 1811.


                 Morelos makes him his lieutenant and sends him to the Bravo family hacienda in search of supplies. In addition to men and guns, he gets the Bravo brothers to join the cause.


                 He enters Cuautla on February 9 with Morelos and other rebel leaders, and distinguishes himself during the siege established by Félix María Calleja, getting water, supplies, and assitance. Calleja sends Morelos, Galena, and Miguel Bravo pardons, but they refuse them, and the siege is broken by the insurgent forces.


                 Galeana participates in taking Orizaba, Veracruz, but is defeated, together with Morelos, in Acultzingo mountains, where he almost loses his life when his horse falls down dead. Along with Morelos and other insurgent leaders, he attacks and takes the city of Oaxaca.


                 On April 6, 1813, he takes part in the attack on Acapulco. On August 20, after negotiating the surrender, he receives the San Diego Castle. He takes part in the attack on Valladolid (now the capital of the state of Michoacán). After this defeat, he goes with the rest of the rebels to Puruarán, where they are defeated again. After fleeing to his Hacienda del Zanjón, Galeana is attacked there. Under the command of Juan Nepomuceno Rosáins, he is defeated together with the Bravo brothers and Guadalupe Victoria. Uncomfortable under the command of Rosáins, Galeana thinks about leaving the movement, but Morelos puts him in charge of defending El Heladero; he is besieged there by royalist forces and forced out on May 6. He returns to the Hacienda del Zanjón on June 25. From there, he goes to Coyuca, but he is attacked again and dies in a place called El Salitral.


                 When Morelos hears about his death, he exclaims: “I have lost both my arms: now I am nothing!” referring to Mariano Matamoros’ death as well.

 

 

 


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