New Downtown Monument Honors Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez
There’s something new at the intersection of Palafox and Wright Streets in downtown Pensacola—a magnificent, 19 ft. monument that celebrates the heritage of both Pensacola and the United States of America. Created by sculptors Bob Rasmussen and Kathryn R. Vincze, the monument includes a bronze statue of celebrated Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez astride his horse and facing north toward the site of Fort George, his hat raised in victory.
After waiting for many hurricanes and storms to pass, Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez sailed into Pensacola Bay in 1781 to drive the British from the Gulf Coast, leading the naval charge into the well-defended Pensacola Bay in a masterpiece of military strategy that would earn him a royal patent adding the words “Yo Solo” (“I alone”) to his coat-of-arms.
His forces landed near Bayou Chico and began a steady advance towards the city’s defenses, which included Fort George on Gage Hill (Palafox Street) and its two advance redoubts. After weeks of siege, a Spanish mortar detonated the powder magazine at the Queen’s Redoubt on May 8, devastating the British fortification. Gálvez accepted the surrender of British Governor John Campbell and claimed West Florida for Spain.
By taking Pensacola, Gálvez stripped Britain of a key foothold on the Gulf Coast, which in turn benefited the American Colonists in their quest for independence. For this reason, Gálvez has been recognized by Congress as a hero of the Revolutionary War who risked his life for the freedom of the United States people and provided supplies, intelligence, and strong military support to the war effort.
SOURCE/PHOTO CREDIT: Pensacola Heritage Foundation