Dan Arellano Hispanic Heritage Month News

The Execution of Father Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla as told by the Executioner

By Dan Arellano Author/Historian
By Dan Arellano
Author/Historian
Father Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla (Public Domain)
Father Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla (Public Domain)

In the diary of the officer in charge of the firing squad assigned to carry out the execution of Father Miguel Hidalgo, Pedro de Armendariz writes that he had refused the assignment but was reminded that it was his duty as an officer to obey the order. Reluctantly, he recruits eight men who were abhorred with the idea of having to shoot a priest. As Hidalgo was being taken to the site of his execution the soldiers were nervous and apprehensive, No One Wanted To Kill a Priest!

As Hidalgo is placed on a chair he places his hand over his heart and tells the soldiers to aim at his heart, but by this time the men are nervous and trembling knowing they are about to kill a priest. Armendariz orders the first four to stand four feet from Hidalgo and gives the command, ready, aim, fire. One bullet hits the priest in the stomach and another grazes his shoulder causing the blind fold to fall revealing his big brown eyes and the soldiers could see that he was crying. Quickly Armendariz orders the next four to line up and gives the order to fire. Another bullet hits him in the stomach the rest would miss their mark, but still Hidalgo, Was Not Dead! Once more he orders the squad to line up and fire at his heart but the soldiers by this time were in tears and were shaking so badly they could not hold their weapons steady and most of the bullets would miss their mark. By know the priests entrails were in his hands; it had become a bloody and botched execution. Armendariz, quickly orders the detail forward and orders the soldiers to press their muskets point-blank right on Hidalgos heart and gives the final order. It would take sixteen bullets to finally dispose of the heroic priest Father Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla.

Editor’s note: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a Mexican Catholic priest who called for revolution against the Spanish on September 16, 1810.

About Dan Arellano – Dan Arellano is an historian and author of Tejano Roots, a book about The Battle of Medina, the biggest and bloodiest battle ever fought in Texas.

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