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José Joaquín de Arredondo (CEC)

The last commander of the Eastern Provincias Internas, Joaquín de Arredondo, spent his tenure in office fighting off the revolutionary armies unleashed by Miguel Hidalgo’s Grito de Dolores.  Born in 1768, this Spanish officer commanded the Veracruz Regiment in New Spain in the waning days of empire in North America.  Sent to govern the troublesome Huasteca region and Nuevo Santander in northeastern Mexico, his troops helped scatter Miguel Hidalgo’s insurgent army in 1810-1811 and other revolutionaries in 1812-1813.  Elevated to commander of the eastern Provinicas Internas, he took charge of the campaign to clear out all rebels north of the Rio Grande. His royalists troops, including a young officer, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, destroyed the enemy army at the Battle of the Medina on August 18, 1813 and followed up the victory by scouring Tejas of any suspected rebel sympathizers resulting in a slaughter of nearly half of its residents.

Arredondo returned to his headquarters at Monterrey in time to crush an attempt to reignite the war for independence in 1817 on the northeast coast of Mexico.  In early 1821, the fifty-three-year-old Arrendondo authorized Moses Austin to bring Spain-sympathizing American settlers into Tejas to help repopulate the region he had so recently, and severely, thinned.

Later that year, Arrendondo abandoned his allegiance to Spain and swore allegiance to the Mexican Empire then forming under Augustín Iturbide.  He left Mexico soon after and spent the rest of his life in Cuba, dying there in 1837 still loyal to the Spanish crown.