Spanish Fort is located in north central Montague County at the end of Farm Road 103 one mile south of the Red River. Spanish Fort began in the eighteenth century as a fortified Taovaya Indian settlement, misnamed later by Anglo settlers who found Spanish artifacts and ruins of a fort near the site. Spanish records show that between 1750 and 1757 the Taovayas established two permanent villages on opposite sides of the Red River near the site. The story is told that in 1759 Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla led a retaliation effort against Taovaya and Comanche Indians who had looted San Luis de las Amarillas Presidio. Several hundred Spanish soldiers found the Taovayan village fortified with entrenchments, wooden stockades, and a moat and protected by some 6,000 Indians flying the French flag. After a four-hour battle the Spanish retreated. They even left their baggage train and two cannon. By 1771 the Spanish had made peace with the Indians, but concern over continued theft, especially of horses, led to a visit in 1778 by Athanase de Mézières, lieutenant governor of the Natchitoches region. He named the region San Teodoro and persuaded the Taovayas to surrender the two cannon.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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