Leroy Martinez’ book, From Across the Spanish Empire: Spanish Soldiers Who Helped Win the American Revolutionary War, 1776-1783, provides the first comprehensive list of Spanish soldiers who served in North America during the U.S. War for Independence. Separate chapters list those who served in Arizona, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas. In most cases Mr. Martinez identifies each soldier by name, military unit, rank and date, and the source, as well as sometimes by age, place of origin in Europe, theater served in, and other factors. Mr. Martinez extracted his lists of servicemen from original sources found in the Archives of Spanish Naval Museum in Madrid, the U.S. Library of Congress, and in state archives in Texas, Arizona, and California. In all the author sheds light upon 7,500 Spanish combatants who served in North America during the American Revolution, any one of whom could qualify a descendant for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution or related lineage organizations.
Besides the rosters comprising the heart of his work, the Martinez has included a number of illustrations of military uniforms, original documents, and other artifacts from the era–including the records of his own ancestors. In addition, the book contains a very useful chronology of events involving Spanish forces during the Revolution, which could trigger clues for researchers possessing Hispanic ancestors. Following the book’s publication in 2015, it was reviewed by a number of experts and received rave reviews. Here is a sampling:
“The Author presents his case not so much as a polemic but as a compendium of facts that compel attention and assent . . .the facts come from Spanish archival records that Martinez transcribed, and solidify what has been glossed over in history, or alluded to in passing. This book is a valuable source for historians and teachers. It will help them narrate a more complete account of the American Revolution for Independence.”—Paulino Lim, Jr., Emeritus Professor, California State University
“From Across the Spanish Empire reflect a studious compilation of detailed facts and figures that help the reader learn much about Spain’s involvement in the American Revolutionary war. “—Elizabeth Macey, Professor (retired), Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, California
“It seems the role the Spanish Soldiers from Texas, California, Louisiana, Arizona and New Mexico played and the contributions they made is a secret to many. The roster of presidio soldiers are laid out like a gift for the taking . . . One only has to find their ancestor(s)! A must read for historians and those whose ancestors lived in Spanish territory during the American Revolution!”—Julia Lopez, Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin, President; Daughters of the American Revolution, Balcones Chapter, 2nd Vice Regent; Member of Daughters of the Republic of Texas; Presidio Bahia Chapter
“As a descendant of Spanish Soldados who served in the Santa Fe Presidio in what is now New Mexico, Dr. Martinez has long been involved in documenting the role of Spain in the American Revolution. This volume . . . gives a brief chronology of Spain’s involvement . . . a listing of Royal Governors who served in the various parts of New Spain . . and a listing of the Presidios in each of our present day States . . . This work may provide a valuable resource for those who descend from the men recognized as Spanish patriots of the American Revolution in the applications for membership in the National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) or the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR)—Jim W. Faulkinbury, CG., Chairman NSSAR Genealogy Committee
“ . . . I am pleased to be able to recommend the book. It is an invaluable source documenting the Spanish who assisted the United States in its successful Revolution against the British Empire.”—Stephen Renouf, Trustee—Spain Society, National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
“This is a tremendous resource for anyone researching their Revolutionary War connections that might include a Spanish heritage. The lists of soldiers is meticulous and comprehensive . . . It is a must have book for genealogical libraries or lineage organizations and fills a major gap in the records . . . we have enthusiastically placed a copy in our Sons of the American Revolution Library.”—C. Bruce Pickette, Librarian General, 2015-2016, NSSAR
From Across the Spanish Empire: Spanish Soldiers Who Helped Win the American Revolutionary War, 1776-1783
Although it is frequently overlooked, the Spanish Empire, under King Carlos III, provided significant aid and support for America’s struggle for independence from Great Britain. For example, after Spain declared war on Great Britain in June 1779 (in conjunction with its familial alliance with France), the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez, commenced the military campaigns agains…