FERNANDEZ CASTRILLON, MANUEL
FERNÁNDEZ CASTRILLÓN, MANUEL (?–1836). Manuel Fernández Castrillón, major general in the Mexican army and trusted companion of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, was originally from either Cuba or Spain. His association with Santa Anna dated back to 1822, when he served as the general's agent in a campaign against a combined force of loyalist and Spanish soldiers near Veracruz. While fighting under the command of Santa Anna in 1832, Fernández was captured by government troops and imprisoned. After his release, he again served with the general and was involved in quelling various rebellions in Mexico.
During the campaign in Texas, however, Fernández frequently protested the actions of Santa Anna. He was one of the few officers who opposed an immediate assault on the Alamo; nonetheless, when the attack occurred he led a column of troops credited as the first to reach the fortress walls. As a staunch advocate for the humane and honorable treatment of prisoners, he interceded on behalf of a small group of captured Texans that may have included David Crockett. Though he pleaded for their lives, the prisoners were executed. He also protested the execution of captured Texans at Goliad (see GOLIAD MASSACRE).
Fernández Castrillón again found himself in opposition to Santa Anna's commands at San Jacinto, and when the battle began he was one of the few officers to stand and fight. Gen. Thomas J. Rusk of the Texas army reported that Fernández was attempting to rally his troops while standing fully exposed to enemy fire on an ammunition crate. After the panicked soldiers failed to respond, he slowly turned and walked away from the oncoming Texans. He was shot and later died on the battlefield. Santa Anna maintained that Fernández was not a hero but that his incompetence greatly contributed to the Mexican defeat at San Jacinto. Several days after the battle Lorenzo de Zavala, an old friend, recovered his body. Fernández was interred on Zavala's plantation across the bayou from the battlefield.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, David L. Fisher, "Fernandez Castrillon, Manuel," accessed May 05, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffetr.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles