It is a known fact now, that during the Texas Revolution many San Antonio de Béxar residents participated in and contributed to the success of that chapter in our Texas history. A great number of these young patriots were descendants of Canary Islanders.
Among these descendants were young men like Antonio Cruz de Arocha, Manuel Leal, the Flores brothers (Salvador "Chava", Manuel, Nepomuceno and Jose Maria "Chema") and so many more who were born and raised in San Antonio de Béxar and who served in the Texian Army fighting under the leadership of Captain Juan Seguin in a unit called the Tejano Volunteer Company.
Another interesting fact about this group of volunteers was that many of these Tejanos who served in the Tejano Volunteer Company, served alongside a sibling, a brother(s). These are surnames of brothers / cousins / brothers-in-law (Familia) of Tejanos who served in our Texas Revolution:
• Flores, Diaz, Curvier, Garcia, Ruiz, Salinas, Navarro, Treviño, Valdez, de la Garza, Rodriguez, Rubio, Lopez, Arciniega, Losoya, Maldonado, Martinez, Jimenez, Herrera, Hernandez, Gomez, Estrada, Contes, Castillo, Casillas, Arocha and two brothers with the last name: "de los Santos Coy". The “de Los Santos Coy” brothers came from a family that had a long history of service - since the year 1627.
• Nicolás de los Santos Coy, who was a soldier in the Domingo Ramón expedition, 1716–1717, was the first of the family to enter Texas.
• Cristóbal de los Santos Coy, who married María Curbelo, a Canary Islander, was an early school teacher in San Fernando de Béxar.
• Francisco de los Santos Coy was a soldier in Presidio San Antonio de Béxar during the time of the American Revolution, who, on the significant date of July 4, 1776, was listed on the muster roll as being out exploring for Indians.
• Pablo José Segundo de los Santos Coy was a cabo (Corporal) at Presidio de San Juan Bautista in 1805. He died about 1813, perhaps in the Battle of Medina.
And, in the winter 1835 one of the two "de los Santos Coy " brothers was involved in a fight for Texas freedom and participated bravely in the house-to-house, hand-to-hand fighting at the Siege of Béxar.
Because of their bravery, knowledge of the area, horsemanship skills and due to the fact that young vaqueros owned the areas fastest ponies, these Tejanos were chosen for the majority of the daring and dangerous recon assignments.
In late February 1836, Bowie and Travis needed military intel. Earlier that month, one of the most trusted scouts, Blas Herrera, brought intel that General Santa Anna had crossed the Rio Grande and was heading north. But, where is the General and the Mexican Army now? And, what is his approach and estimated time of arrival? Crockett pointed out that whatever plans they made depended on whether the Mexican dictator was coming to San Antonio or going around. So Bowie and Travis called on many of the Tejanos for this special recon mission.
With Juan Seguin’s recommendations several qualified scouts were sent out. According to the San Antonio Light, 26 November, 1911, Coy was one of several scouts sent from the Alamo to learn the intentions of Santa Anna’s army. For days Trinidad rode, exploring rumors, gossip, and speculations. A brave man, he preferred being back with Travis where he could defend the country he loved. But, Trinidad crushed the desire to return and continued searching the vast mesquite prairies and rolling hills for any sign of Santa Anna and his army. Trinidad knew very well that Buck Travis did not have the strength to hold off a large force, and that he would need every defender available.
But, what if at this very time the Alamo was besieged? Every mile Trinidad rode, he fought the urge to turn and race back to San Antonio and his friends. Then the trail grew warm. Rumors surfaced. People gossiped. He searched harder, but still he found no solid evidence of the Mexican dictator and his army. So finally, Trinidad decided to return to San Antonio de Béxar, putting up for the night with a poor family on their little farm. The farmer and his son greeted the patriot with a warm meal and a bed for the night.
After supper, a neighbor dropped by, informing them that Santa Anna’s army was camped only a few miles south. This is it! This is the moment Coy was waiting for and he leaped to his feet and ordered the farmer’s son to bring him his horse. Minutes later, the Tejano swung into the saddle. To his astonishment, his young, fast pony refused to move. After a few moments the horse sank to its knees. Without thinking, the farmer’s boy had placed Trinidad’s mustang in the corral into which they had thrown “locoweed” earlier in the day. Coy still had to race back to the Alamo to report his sighting. So, Coy saddled one of the farmer’s horses and raced into the night.
A few miles down the road Coy runs smack into a patrolling group of Mexican Dragoons and they immediately challenged Coy. Now, if Trinidad had been astride his own little pony, the mustang, he wouldn’t have worried. He was known for his superb horsemanship and his horse was one of the best. Trinidad’s brave horse had great stamina and heart. Once the sturdy mustang gained a lead, nothing could catch him. Coy hoped the farmer’s horse possessed the same qualities.
Leaning low over the neck of his pony, he burst through the guards, racing up the winding road for the Alamo with the news of Santa Anna. Now, the defenders would have time to make plans for the oncoming force.The farmer son's little pony soon gave out, almost coming to a complete stop. Coy scrambled into the thick briars and spiny underbrush as the sentries searched for him. Just as he thought he was free, they easily pounced on him.
Trinidad explained he was going to visit a sick sister, but the Mexican officer doubted him, and placed him under arrest. Taken back to San Antonio with the army, Trinidad was confined to a secluded room in a chapel for several days. At night Trinidad heard gunfire and cannons roar. Sunday morning, well before sunrise, Trinidad heard again canons, gunfire and then noticed that the Mexicans were gone, watching the battle. Coy freed himself and slipped from the chapel to a familiar trail that would lead him around to the rear of the Alamo.
So Trinidad ran and ran until it was morning and at the end of the trail, he pulled up in a stand of oaks. Beyond lay the Alamo. All was silent. He peered through the trees and then closed his eyes in pain when he saw the flaming pyre consuming the bodies of the defenders of the Alamo. Trinidad was too late.
Trinidad Coy then took a moment to pray and grieve for his friends and then headed to Gonzales.
So Corporal Coy started walking the 70 miles east towards Gonzales. He knew that he had to hook up somehow with Seguin and his unit; the Tejano Volunteer Company. He knew that Sam Houston and the last remnants of the Texian Army were there. He would be travelling during the day, which meant Coy had to be extra vigilant for patrolling Mexican Troops and/or bands of Indians. Like most of the other Tejanos, Coy knew the area very well and succeeded in reaching Gonzales right after dusk
What he saw upon reaching Gonzales was unreal. The entire town was in flames! He first thought was that General Santa Anna had crushed the rebellion and that Sam Houston and his surviving Army had either surrendered or worse, massacred . What a turn of events. The dream is lost.
When all of a sudden he heard a voice calling. “Quien va por ahi?”
Trinidad Coy could not believe his ears. Corporal Coy recognized that familiar voice of his childhood friend. It was Salvador (Chava) Flores with the Tejano Volunteer Company.
Chava and about 25 Tejanos had stayed behind Houston and the retreating Army to cover the retreat. So finally, Trinidad Coy was once again united with his unit.
After the revolution Trinidad served in the Army of the Republic of Texas as an officer and also served as one of the first Texas Rangers. Coy continued to serve the land that he loved – until his death in 1888. There is so much more to Trinidad Coy's life and legacy. An obituary in the December 13, 1888, issue of the Laredo Daily Times stated that Trinidad Coy died in San Antonio and fought in all the wars of Texas from the time he was seventeen years old and was wounded thirteen times.
Trinidad Coy was a true Patriot of our Texas Revolution.
This post is dedicated to all of Trinidad’s descendants living today in Texas and around the world who continue to "carry the torch” handed down to them by Trinidad Coy, a Texas Patriot of our revolution,..to the benefit of Texas.
Thank You Trinidad for your service, deeds of bravery and heroic devotion to our country — Texas!
If you love Texas and Texas history then join us in our efforts to promote both the history and the heroes of our Texas revolution. Support our efforts, stop by our virtual store and check out all the cool merchandise. Thank you for all your support. -Gonzo