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Bernardo de Gálvez. Illustrious Malagueño

On November 18, 2014, Barack Obama hung a portrait of a Malaga-born soldier in the Capitol, 231 years after a promise made by Washington

Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, the 1st Count of Gálvez, born in Malaga (Macharaviaya, Málaga, 1746), was a Spanish military officer who aided the United States of America against the English in the 18th-century Battle of Pensacola. During this battle, Bernardo de Gálvez was determined to enter the bay and seize Pensacola despite its strong defence by the English fleet and the outright refusal of José Calvo, who was in charge of the Spanish fleet.

Calvo argued, not without reason, that the terrain was unfamiliar, a dangerous tropical storm was approaching, and the English fort's battery remained active. Should a ship run aground, the entire fleet could come under fire and suffer serious damage.

Our Malaga-born seafarer boarded a brig, a vessel with a shallower draft than the "San Genaro" they were travelling on, and prepared to carry out one of the greatest acts of heroism in Spanish history: entering the bay alone under enemy fire. His final words, "Let he who has honour and courage follow me," would be etched into history. Thanks to this act of bravery by the Malaga-native, this crucial battle for American independence was won.

In recognition of his heroism, a city was named after him, Gálveztown, in the state of Texas. Every year on July 4th, America's Independence Day, the Battle of Pensacola is commemorated and re-enacted in Málaga's Plaza del Obispo.

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