José Domingo Losoya (1783-1869)
© 1986, Corpus Christi Caller
José Domingo Losoya [often confused with his nephew, José Toribio Losoya] spent a good part of his life fighting for freedom. He was a rebel against the royalist government of Spain. He fought as a U.S. volunteer against the British in the War of 1812. And, he fought for Texas independence.
He was born a Spanish subject in San ,Antonio in 1783. It is likely he was a soldier from an early age, for San Antonio was often threatened by Comanche Indian raids, and the, able-bodied male population was needed to defend their homes.
Domingo was swept up in the Mexican Revolution against Spain and more than likely was involved in the battles and skirmishes culminating in the disastrous Battle of Medina in August 1813. General Joaquin de Arredondo crushed an army of Mexican patriots and American filibusters, pursuing and annihilating most of them to avenge the death of Spaniards killed in earlier uprisings in which a number of officers were cruelly executed. Losoya, like many other San Antonio residents, fled to the United States.
While he was in Natchitoches, La. he enlisted in the United States Army and fought under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans on January 15, 1815. Historian Jack Ivey says Losoya returned to San Antonio after Mexico won its independence from Spain.
During his long exile he had become familiar with Americans and their language. In 1834. he received a land grant on the Medina River just west of the point where it joins the San Antonio River, not far from the site of the Battle of Medina. Ivey suggests that Domingo Losoya might have used what became known as Losoya's Crossing in his escape from the battle and chose that spot for his land grant for sentimental reasons. It was here that the townsite of Losoya was established. There Domingo Losoya is buried, as is his friend Enrique Esparza, who was 7 years old when he and his brothers and sisters survived the Battle of the Alamo, in which their father, Gregorio Esparza died at his cannoneer's post atop the Alamo chapel.
Losoya had earlier owned a lot just south of Alamo Plaza where he and his young wife, Guadalupe Ramon, had lived. When General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna reversed his liberal stance and backed a dictatorial central government, Federalists in the area began to organize.
Domingo joined the original volunteer company of Juan N. Seguin and was accepted into the Texas Army by, General Stephen F. Austin on Oct. 22,. 1835, Ivey says. Domingo served under Col. James Fannin and Col. James Bowie at the Battle of Concepción on Oct. 28, and under Bowie in the Grass Fight during the November Siege of Bexar, in which some 50 Mexicans were killed. He participated in the assault on Bexar under Sgt. Manuel Flores, attacking Main Plaza and capturing the Garza House.
The battle lasted five days until Genera Perfecto de Cos, beset by the rebels on the outside and by mutiny, low provisions, low morale and federalist influence on the inside, surrendered on Dec. 10, 1835. At this time, Domingo Losoya was 53 years old and described as "a good man and an efficient soldier and a true patriot.
He joined Sam Houston at Gonzales early in 1836 and served as forage master, collecting food and supplies for the army. It was a critical service, for the army was dreadfully short of everything, and much meat and other foodstuffs were drawn from Tejano residents. Losoya served at San Jacinto,and was granted a land patent for his service. He died at his ranch at Losoya in 1869. He is another of the overlooked patriots who should be honored during this Sesquicentennial year.
Walraven, Bill. Article, Corpus Christi Caller, Jan. 13,1986. Taken from the files of the DRT Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.