The following story about the Battle of Santa Gertrudis was
written by Don Ernesto Garza Sáenz, cronista or historian
of Cd. Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, in his book, "Segundas
Cronicas De Camargo". I have translated the story with permission
by Don Ernesto. Santa Gertrudis is a few miles outside of Cd.
It has been centuries that the Spartan mothers would tell their sons when they went off to war: "Come back with your shield or on it".
It looks like this same phrase was received by the soldiers, under the command of General Escobedo on the 16th of June 1866, in combat on the hills of Santa Gertrudis, when they destroyed the Imperialist Army that was under the command of General Feliciano Olvera.
The attack of the imperial forces was not improvised, it was a well planned battle. It was fought body to body. The soldiers of the republic, within one hour of battle, destroyed their enemies.
This military action resulted in 368 dead enemies and 1,001 prisoners. Furthermore a convoy comprised of 200 carts that carried merchandise and supplies to the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León was decommissioned.
It was lamentable the order given to execute one of the prisoners, Colonel Iglesias, of the Imperialist Army.
With the pardon of their lives by General Escobedo the 1,000 prisoners, in gratification for his benevolence, embraced with enthusiasm the cause of the Republic by joining the army of the north.
It is undeniable that the triumph at the Battle of Santa Gertrudis consolidated the Republican Government of President don Benito Juárez.
Eight days after the defeat suffered by the Imperialists at Santa Gertrudis, we see how General don Tomás Mejia surrendered the port of Matamoros to General Juan José De La Garza, keeping the northeast of Tamaulipas in power of the Republic.
It was the custom houses of Matamoros and Camargo, considered in that epoch important ports, and now controlled by the Government of the Republic, that started to proportion cash revenue to the government of President Juárez.
Everyone knows the importance of the triumph of the Battle of Santa Gertrudis. We are conscience that we were one of the pillars that upheld the just cause of the Republic and that we contributed to the disappearance of the second ephemeral Imperial. Nevertheless, the sons of Camargo have always lamented the oversight that our federal government has had to declare June 16, 1866 a national holiday.
I'm going to permit myself to read the names of each one of the integrants of the Camargo Squadron that pertained to the Canales Brigade, everyone originally from this population.
We have been able to conserve the names of these valiant patriots
who participated in the Battle of Santa Gertrudis thanks to the
desire and care that Colonel Dionisio Rodriguez Garza, son of
the hero of our town, Commandant of the Camargo Squadron, don
Macedonio Rodriguez Garza, had.