Birth of Bernardo de Gálvez 

U.S. #1826 honors Gálvez and the Battle of Mobile.

Bernardo Vicente de Gálvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez, was born on July 25, 1746, in Macharaviaya, Málaga, Spain.

After studying military sciences, Gálvez participated in the Spanish invasion of Portugal. He then traveled to Mexico where he fought the Apaches and was named commandant of arms of Nueva Vizcaya and Sonora.

In the coming years Gálvez joined in an expedition to Algiers and taught at a military academy before he was appointed governor of the Spanish colony of Louisiana in 1777. Soon after, he started aiding American revolutionaries.

In 1779, Spain declared war on Great Britain, and Gálvez attacked British forts in West Florida and along the Mississippi River. These actions were a great aid to the American Revolution, as they took away from Great Britain’s fighting ability. Gálvez’s efforts helped Spain gain possession of the British colonies of East and West Florida.

U.S. #1826 – Gálvez Silk Cachet First Day Cover.

Gálvez led several successful battles during the war, including Manchac, Baton Rouge, Pensacola, Mobile, and Natchez. These campaigns kept vital supply lines open for the Americans during the War of Independence. One of his most significant victories was at Fort Charlotte. After a two-week siege, Gálvez’s men overcame the last British post threatening New Orleans and its strategic port. The 1780 fall of Fort Charlotte forced the British to retreat and denied them the opportunity to encircle the colonists from the south.

Spain #1947-50 – Set of Spain stamps honoring the Revolution and Gálvez.

Gálvez returned to a hero’s welcome in Spain in 1783. In 1784, Gálvez was named governor of Cuba, Louisiana, and Florida. Then, in 1785, he was appointed viceroy of New Spain, Spain’s empire in the Americas. Gálvez died on November 30, 1786. Galveston, Texas, and St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, were named in his honor. Gálvez is also one of just eight people to be awarded honorary American citizenship.

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  1. How do you not tell us how he died when he was only 40 years old that should been a part of the story

  2. I grew up in New England, even lived in Lexington for some years, and enjoyed learning about the Revolutionary War in New England, but never appreciated the extent of that war in the other colonies until I moved to Maryland. But Gálvez I had never heard of. Thanks for a fascinating side light that was such a significant contribution.

  3. Very interesting. Little known information about the Spanish involvement in our revolutionary war. I had wondered where the name Galveston originated. Again I learned something new today.

  4. And I thought I knew my Revolutionary War history… Where was I when Bernardo Galvez was discussed… Oh, I know… he was never mentioned!

  5. OK, I am a little confused on this history. Galvez was Spanish, Louisiana was named after the king of France and the United States purchased Louisiana from France in the early 1800’s. The article states “Galvez was named governor of the Spanish colony of Louisiana in 1777” Further on in the article reads “In 1784, Galvez was named governor of Cuba, Louisiana, and Florida. When did the Spanish take ownership of Louisiana from the French and when did it revert back to the French prior to the US purchase?

  6. At the age of 82, I am still learning great truths about those who served America at a time when it needed help. E Pluribus Unum truly applied to these great, unselfish men; he truly deserved to be honored with American citizenship!

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