The Siege of Pensacola

On March 18, 1781, Gálvez led the naval charge into the well-defended Pensacola Bay, a feat of daring 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.

A Monument befitting a Great Street

side elevation

The Gálvez monument is located at the intersection of Palafox and Wright Streets. In 2013, Palafox was named one of America’s Great Streets by the American Planning Association.

Created by sculptors Bob Rasmussen and Kathryn R. Vincze, the monument includes a bronze statue of Gálvez astride his horse and facing the site of Fort George, his hat raised in victory. The statue sits atop a plinth of limestone featuring the Gálvez coat-of-arms cast in bronze. Around the plinth is a limestone bench surrounded by a perimeter of red roses representing the Spanish soldiers who died in the campaign.

The entire monument stands over nineteen feet tall — truly a grand entrance to downtown Pensacola.

daytime rendering
nighttime rendering