Valdez, Jose Antonio
VALDEZ, JOSÉ ANTONIO (1787?–1846). José Antonio Valdez, priest of the Catholic diocesan church, was born outside of Texas around 1787, the son of María Gertrudis Flores and most probably Francisco Valdez. From 1794 to 1803, when Father Gavino Valdez, probably a relative, was pastor of San Antonio, José Antonio's family lived in that town. He was probably recently ordained when he returned to San Antonio in February 1811 to replace the chaplain of the Alamo Company (see SECOND FLYING COMPANY OF SAN CARLOS DE PARRAS). Since the insurgents of the Casas Revolt were then very briefly in power, it was only after the counterrevolution under Juan Manuel Zambrano in early March, which Valdez supported, that he was able to take over the Alamo Company chaplaincy. When the revolutionary forces of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition captured La Bahía in November 1812, Valdez was with the Spanish troops who unsuccessfully laid siege to that place for four months. After José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Laraqv captured San Antonio in April 1813, Valdez remained in town instead of accompanying the Spanish troops who were forced to evacuate Texas. Imprisoned for three weeks by one of Gutiérrez's Tejano followers, Valdez managed to flee and join the vanguard of the returning Spanish forces at Alazán Creek. He thus shared in the royalists' defeat at that place and their subsequent victory at the battle of Medina in August. During the next year he appears to have accompanied the Spanish troops under Joaquín de Arredondo who were eliminating the revolutionary movements in the region. He was back in San Antonio by January 1815 as one of several chaplains to the troops stationed there, but he was the only chaplain left in town by August. The pastor of San Fernando de Béxar Church for the civilians also remained, as did the Franciscans at the mission communities.