“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”
At the battle of Puruarán, Mariano Matamoros was captured and shot on the 3rd of February, 1814. Then Morelos, furious because of the loss of who had been his right hand, ordered Galeana to return to Acapulco and execute 20 royalist soldiers who were in jail.
Hermenegildo Galeana, after reorganizing his troops and taking the town of Azayac, left on his way to Coyuca. But on the road, close to the Salitral Bridge, his army was caught by the royalist forces and forced his troop to scatter. During the persecution Galeana fell of his horse and was badly injured by the branch of a tree. A royalist soldier by the name of Joaquin Leon took advantage of the situation and shot him in the chest.
They say that Galeana was a pillar for Morelos and that when he heard of his death he exclaimed, referring to Matamoros and Galena: “I’ve lost my two arms! I am nothing now”. The place where Hermenegildo was buried is unknown because two of his soldiers took his body and buried it covertly.
The historian Carlos Alvear Acevedo wrote about Hermenegildo: “Hermenegildo stood out because of his courage; in the battles he seemed like a real lion, his name itself was enough to terrorize the royalists and few could resist him when he presented himself holding his sword which he handled like a machete”.
It is true that this insurgent, known as “Tata Guildo”, had a great way with people and was a good natured person; he was therefore liked and respected in the region where he was born. To have both courage and a great way with people are difficult aspects to be found in only one person.
History remembers Hermenegildo Galeana as one of the most courageous men of the War of Independence. As a matter of fact on the 19th of July of 1823 Congress appointed him National Hero.
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