On Saturday August 14, the community gathered at the Lonnie Gillespie Memorial Annex of Atascosa County in Leming to commemorate the 208th anniversary of the Battle of Medina. The ceremony and symposium were sponsored by the Atascosa County Historical Commission and the Medina County Historical Commission.
The outdoor event began with Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman Martin Gonzales welcoming everyone. He thanked his predecessor Barbara Westbrook and committee members David Emery, Eric Morrell, Loma Foster, Camilla Mitchell and Bob Hancock. He also acknowledged the recent passing of Gloria Jenks, secretary of the Atascosa County Historical Commission. Marie Levy brought silver dove pins for the commission members to wear in Jenks’ memory.
Kevin Kanter, president of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), San Antonio Chapter, delivered the opening prayer.
Kanter prayed, “Help us honor and thank these brave patriots who left their homes and families and sacrificed their lives for the dream of an independent Texas. “
SAR members presented the colors, followed by the engagement with the American flag and the flag of Texas.
The Atascosa County Historical Commission presented a dedication to Judge Robert H. Thonhoff. Atascosa County Commissioner (Pct. 1) Mark Gillespie and Bob Hancock of the Medina County Historical Commission addressed the guests. Other presenters included Peggy Jared, president of the American Daughters of 1812 and former regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, San Antonio de Bexar chapter. She is also president of the American Daughters of 1812, David Crockett Chapter of San Antonio. Jared introduced Karen McCloskey, current DAR Regent, San Antonio Chapter and Debbie Mills, DAR Regent, Atascosa DAR Chapter.
The other participants were Marsha Jernigan, governor of the San Antonio Colony, Texas Society of Mayflower Descendants; David Hamaker, a descendant of Peter Sides and member of SAR and Robert Benavides of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, San Antonio Chapter.
Mescalero Apache representatives Wa-Pe Garcia and Dylan Tirado led a Native American “Four Directions of the Universe” prayer.
A representative of the founding and descending families of San Antonio spoke on behalf of Lisa Santos. Kevin Kanter led the remembrance prayer to all who died in the Battle of Medina. The ceremony ended with a musket salute led by Atascosa County Historical Commission military historian Eric Morrell.
There were also indoor seminars presented by researchers, historians and archaeologists on the Battle of Medina on August 13-14.
A tree donated by Atascosa Garden Market in Pleasanton was dedicated as a living memorial to retired Karnes County historian and judge Robert Thonhoff, whose research contributed to obtaining the historic Texas marker.
As Thonhoff once wrote, “Texas lost more than half of its adult male population and about a third of its total population in the disastrous Battle of Medina, a veritable ‘Texas Gettysburg’. The fateful Battle of Medina was a Texan counterpart to the Mexican Revolution against Spain, which began with Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s ‘El Grito de Dolores’ on September 16, 1810 and ended quietly on August 24, 1821.
Thonhoff continued, “Fought on August 18, 1813, somewhere in an area of sandy oak forests in southern Bexar County and northern Atascosa County, the Battle of Medina was the deadliest battle. and the bloodiest ever to land in Texas.
The official marker for the Battle of Medina is located at the intersection of Bruce Road and Old Applewhite Road in Atascosa County.