Finding Medina



Finding Medina weaves together the events surrounding the Battle of Medina with the modern-day search for the battlefield itself. Despite being the largest, bloodiest battle in Texas history, the Medina battlefield has eluded archaeologists for more than a century. By the end of this podcast series, we hope to change that.


  • Episode 12: Is this the Battlefield of Medina?

    18/08/2019 Duration: 37min

    The trauma of 1813 stuck with Tejanos…and it emboldened them. What lessons did they draw from the Battle of Medina? What lessons should we draw today? And at long last, we point our finger to the map and ask, “Is this the Battlefield of Medina?” 

  • Bonus Episode: The Most Important Primary Account of the Battle of Medina

    12/08/2019 Duration: 36min

    Sometime in the 1820's or 30's, an anonymous survivor of the Spanish Royalist occupation of San Antonio in 1813 wrote down his (or her?) memories of those tragic events. As far as I know, it is the only contemporary Spanish-language account of these events from the Republican perspective, and our friend Joe Arciniega joins us once again this episode to read it into the historical record. 

  • Episode 11: Terror in Texas

    05/08/2019 Duration: 36min

    (WARNING: This episode contains graphic language) After defeating the Republican Army of the North at the Battle of Medina, Spanish Royalist General Joaquín de Arredondo entered San Antonio intent on teaching its citizens a lesson they would never forget. The subsequent Sack of Béxar, the execution of hundreds of Tejano men, and the imprisonment and assault of just as many Tejana women marked Texans for many generations to come…though not, perhaps, in the way that Arredondo intended. The research team makes one last effort to high-grade the various leads they have compiled over the course of the previous year to map the battle site, based sol

  • Episode 10: The Battle of Medina Revisited

    22/07/2019 Duration: 43min

    After a year of research and interviews, we sum up everything we’ve learned over the last year to recreate what happened on August 18, 1813, when 1,830 Spanish Royalists under the command of General Joaquín de Arredondo finally met up with the unbeaten 1,400 man Republican Army of the North twenty miles or so south of San Antonio. Additionally, the battlefield search team attempts to validate the artifacts they have uncovered. The results are simultaneously disconcerting, exhilarating, and confusing. 

  • Episode 9: Artifacts at Last

    08/07/2019 Duration: 27min

    On August 4, 1813, after months of plotting, José Álvarez de Toledo personally arrived in San Antonio and overthrew Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara as commander-in-chief of the Republican Army of the North. Just as the Republicans found themselves more divided than ever, their most fearsome opponent to-date – Joaquín de Arredondo – began his march up the Laredo Road to challenge them. At long, long last, our research team uncovers artifacts from the battle. Even better, we find cannonballs! And once we plot them on the map, a pattern begins to emerge…

  • Episode 08: The Battle of Alazán Creek

    24/06/2019 Duration: 31min

    After the Republican victory at the Battle of Rosillo and Texans’ bold declaration of Independence in April of 1813, a Royalist commander from Veracruz decided to take charge of the situation. While he began assembling an army to reconquer Texas, he sent forth a force of 700 men to pin down the Republicans and reconnoiter their movements. In command of that force was the flip-flopping Colonel Ignacio Elizondo, whom our listeners may remember from his ambush and capture of Father Miguel Hidalgo. The Republicans didn’t let pass the opportunity to use Elizondo’s impulsiveness against him. Back in the present, the search team uncovers our first body from the Battle of Medina.

  • Bonus Episode: The Original Texas Declaration of Independence

    17/06/2019 Duration: 21min

    For the first time that I know of, we present here to the public the original Texas Declaration of Independence in English – as performed by Joe Arciniega, a direct descendant of the men who were declaring that independence back in 1813!

  • Episode 07: The Free and Independent State of Texas

    10/06/2019 Duration: 35min

    On April 6, 1813, Texas declared its independence, having momentarily rid the province of all traces of Spanish control. Eleven days later, the new Texas government promulgated a constitution, drawing from both Spanish civil and Anglo-American natural law traditions. Unfortunately, a horrific series of executions of captured Spanish officers nearly ripped the Republican Army apart at its seams, just as a Royalist army of retribution came sneaking up the Camino Real. The research team starts digging at the suspected site of the Republican camp the night before the battle. What they learn while digging may be even more important than what they find!

  • Episode 06: The Battle of Rosillo

    27/05/2019 Duration: 26min

    In February of 1813, Spanish Royalist forces under Texas Governor Manuel Salcedo stormed the Republicans besieged in Goliad – and were resoundingly repulsed. The Republicans broke out of Goliad and pursued the Royalists all the way back to San Antonio, where Salcedo and Gutiérrez de Lara met in one final battle. We finally lay our hands on maps from the early 1800’s that might tell us where contemporaries believed that the Battle of Medina had taken place.

  • Episode 05: The March on Goliad

    13/05/2019 Duration: 28min

    In 7thgrade Texas history textbooks, Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara figures only peripherally in the events covered in this series. In reality, he may have been the great unifying figure for the Tejano, Native American, and Americans volunteers marching across Texas in the fall of 1812. Texas Governor Manuel Salcedo certainly took notice of his movements and rode out to ambush the revolutionary commander on the road to San Antonio in October 1812. It would be Gutiérrez de Lara, however, who had a surprise in store for Salcedo. The research team takes to the air to look for the “canyon” chosen by Republicans to later ambush the Royalist Army before the Battle of Medina.

  • Episode 04: José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara

    29/04/2019 Duration: 19min

    Before Father Miguel Hidalgo was captured by Royalist forces in March of 1811, he commissioned a modest but vocal supporter from the Rio Grande Valley as his emissary to the United States. With a dozen or so loyal followers, that emissary - José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara escaped Royalist capture and crossed over the Sabine, where he would spend the next two years rallying recruits and resources to the cause of Mexican independence. Multiple contemporary accounts of the Battle of Medina relate the Republican army's route to the battlefield. Unfortunately, they almost all relate it differently or contradict each other in some material point. Despite their contradictions and ambiguities, what details might they have in common?

  • Episode 03: The Governor Returns

    15/04/2019 Duration: 25min

    After capturing Father Miguel Hidalgo, Texas Royalist Governor Manuel Salcedo returned to San Antonio in a less-than-magnanimous frame of mind. San Antonio, after all, was the town that had deposed him, and the town to which Father Hidalgo had been fleeing. Governor Salcedo took it upon himself to impress upon San Antonians the true cost of disloyalty to the Crown…and to him.  The Battlefield search team, meanwhile, employs some modern technology (LIDAR) and grunt work of a dedicated UTSA researcher (Bruce Moses) to map out the roads into San Antonio in 1813 and, with that, the location of General Arredondo’s camp and line of march on the morning of the battle.

  • Episode 02: The Casas Revolt

    01/04/2019 Duration: 22min

    On September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costillas unleashed a cry of protest against centuries of Spanish exploitation of New Spain. San Antonians under a retired militia Captain named Juan Bautista de las Casas took up the cry and attached themselves to his cause. We start our search for the battlefield of Medina by dissecting the most primary account of them all: the post-action report of the Spanish Royalist commander, Joaquín de Arredondo. He gives us our first important clues for narrowing the search area. 

  • Episode 01: The Roads to Revolution

    18/03/2019 Duration: 22min

    Texas in 1800 was defined by its isolation, which Tejanos felt all the more acutely because of Spain’s restrictive trade laws and general neglect towards its most distant colonies. Tejanos began to see themselves as a people apart and to crave more autonomy and control over their own affairs. Three different battle markers claim to be the site of the Battle of Medina, though none has ever produced archaeological evidence of the battle. What can the markers tell us, however, about where the battle might have occurred? Listen to learn more.

  • Episode 00: How did we lose the site of the largest battle in Texas history?

    04/03/2019 Duration: 09min

    How did we lose the site of the largest battle in Texas history?

  • Introducing: Finding Medina

    01/03/2019 Duration: 01min

    “Finding Medina” weaves together the events surrounding the 1813 Battle of Medina with the modern-day search for the battlefield itself. Despite being the largest, bloodiest battle in Texas history, the *exact site of the* Medina battlefield has eluded archaeologists for more than a century. By the end of this podcast series, we hope to change that.   Subscribe to "Finding Medina" wherever you get your podcasts