On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army, led by Texas native General Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, defeated a much larger expeditionary French force near Puebla at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. The Cinco de Mayo holiday commemorates the victory and is also celebrated in Texas and throughout the Southwest. Zaragoza became a national hero in Mexico, but died of typhoid fever the following September.
The Zaragoza Birthplace State Historic Site was established near Goliad to honor the Texas-born General (Parks & Wildlife Code, Sec. 22.082). In 1961, the 57th Legislature authorized transfer of the Zaragoza birthplace site from Goliad County to the State Parks Board, and in 1971, the 62nd Legislature made the Zaragoza site a part of Goliad State Park. On September 13, 1980, the Governor of Puebla presented a 10-foot, 3,000 pound bronze statue of Zaragoza to Goliad State Park.
Ron Stone, The Book of Texas Days, Shearer Pub., 1984
Handbook of Texas Online, Texas native Zaragoza repels French army on Cinco De Mayo, May 5, 1862, Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, General Zaragoza State Historic Site, and Goliad State Historical Park
Mary Love Bigony, "Two Nations Honor Texas-Born Hero,"Texas Parks and Wildlife, December 1980
General Ignacio Zaragoza, ca. 1850-1862
Courtesy of the Library of Congress