Martín Perfecto de Cos

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Martín Perfecto de Cos
Martin perfecto de cos.jpg
Personal details
Born 1800
Veracruz, Veracruz, New Spain
Died 1854 (aged 53–54)
Minatitlán, Veracruz
Nationality Mexican
Profession Military General

Martín Perfecto de Cos (1800–1854) was a 19th-century Mexican general. He was born in Veracruz, the son of an attorney. He became an army cadet at the age of 20. He died in Minatitlán, Vera Cruz, on October 1, 1854, while serving as commandant general and political chief of the Tehuantepec territory.


It is generally accepted that Cos was a relative of Generalissimo Antonio López de Santa Anna, and most accounts refer to him as a brother-in-law.[1] Some early Texas accounts also credit him as being either a cousin or nephew of Santa Anna.[2] The Encyclopedia of the Mexican American War states that he was married to Lucinda López de Santa Anna, the general's sister.[3]

Military career[edit]

La Villita, San Antonio

When the Mexican government moved away from a local-level governance Federalist political ideology to creating a Centralist authoritarian government under Santa Anna, Cos became military commander the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas (Coahuila and Texas) in 1833. He initially was headquartered in Saltillo. San Antonio had always governed its own affairs and its citizens resented Cos being given power over them.[4] As tensions between Mexico City and Texas increased, Cos headed north to put down the rebellion.[5]

Cos arrived in Texas on September 21, 1835 with 300 soldiers. and proceeded to the town of Goliad on October 1, before moving on to San Antonio de Béxar. He ordered the arrest of rebel leaders. Once he was in San Antonio (Siege of Béxar), Cos was assailed by Texan forces under the leadership of Stephen F. Austin. The town was put under siege by the Texan army. After a 56-day siege of the town and Alamo mission, on December 9, Cos surrendered the town of San Antonio and weapons to the Texans,then proceeded to leave Texas. Cos and his men were allowed their muskets for protection and one four-pound cannon. Mexican losses during the siege were about 150. On his way south, Cos met up with Santa Anna's forces at Laredo marching north to put down the rebellion.[6][7]

Cos returned to San Antonio and led a column of 300 soldiers against the northwest corner of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Eventually Cos' soldiers overran the Alamo's north wall. On April 21, 1836, Cos arrived with over five hundred reinforcements for Santa Anna shortly before the Battle of San Jacinto.[8][9] That afternoon Texan forces led by General Sam Houston defeated General Santa Anna's army in a decisive victory in a battle which lasted only eighteen minutes. Generals Cos and Santa Anna both escaped during the battle; Santa Anna was captured the next day on April 22 and Cos was captured on April 24, 1836[10]. General Santa Anna subsequently surrendered his army and eventually all claim to Texas.[11]

Mexican-American War (1846–1848)[edit]

After Battle of San Jacinto, Cos remained in the Mexican Army and was given command of an army outpost in Tuxpan where he served until his death in 1854.[3]

Film depiction[edit]

Among the depictions of Cos on film is that of the Mexico City-born actor Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., in the 1956 picture, The First Texan, about the rise of Sam Houston in Texas. In the film, Cos orders the arrest of William B. Travis and directed his Mexican soldiers to scale successfully the walls of The Alamo.[12]

In the 2004 film The Alamo, Fransisco Philibert depicts General de Cos.[13]


  1. ^ Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas. New York: Southern Publishing Company. 1880. pp. 276–277. 
  2. ^ Jackson & Wheat 2005, p. 201.
  3. ^ a b Tucker, Arnold & Wiener 2013, p. 176.
  4. ^ Ramos 2008, p. 139.
  5. ^ Ramos 2008, p. 144.
  6. ^ Roell 2013, pp. 40–50.
  7. ^ Hazelwood, Claudie (12 June 2010). "Martin Perfecto de Cos". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  8. ^ Flores 2002, pp. 26–28.
  9. ^ Nofi 1994, p. 203.
  10. ^ General Samuel Houston, Report of HQ, Texian Army, published in Daily National Intelligencer, Jun 11, 1836, Vol. XXIV, Issue 7280, p.2, Washington, DC
  11. ^ Fowler 2007, pp. 171, 173.
  12. ^ "The First Texan". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Francisco Philibert". www.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved July 21, 2017.