Researchers may be close to finding the location of the infamous Battle of Medina

Podcaster Brandon Seale and a group of military veteran archeologists continue to make valuable discoveries

When we last left Podcaster Brandon Seale in 2022, he and a group searching for the Battle of Medina had set their sights on Losoya Middle School in Southern Bexar County. That dig turned up nothing. But since then, the tides have turned.

It all started five years ago when Brandon Seale started a podcast about the history of the area.

“Like most history, the deeper you go in, the more mysteries you find,” said Seale.

But, there was one glaring mystery that stood out. It was a battle fought near San Antonio in 1813. It was the bloodiest battle in Texas history and a pivotal one, pitting a group of Tejano, Native American, and Anglo-Texas independence fighters against the Spanish Royal Army. Yet, somehow, the Battle of Medina gets lost in history.

”Something like a third of the non-Indian population of Texas was probably killed at or in the immediate aftermath of the battle,” explained Seale. “Five hundred San Antonio women were imprisoned, assaulted and worse. Their children ripped away from them.”

More than a thousand men died, mostly on the side of the independence fighters. It was traumatic for those who lived in and around San Antonio. So, how is it that this battle receives less attention than others?

”Because for one, it gets overshadowed by the Alamo, by the Battle of San Jacinto, by the events of 1835, 1836, which do successfully achieve Texas’s independence,” said Seale.

But it’s fair to say that this battle started the wheels turning that led to where Texas is today. That’s why Seale, along with his partners, have continued a years-long mission to find where the battle was fought. Amazingly, the location of the battlefield, much like the battle itself, was lost to history.

Now, all of the team’s painstaking work may have paid off.

”We believe that we so far have found a conflict site consistent with the archival records of the battle,” said Seale.

Members of AVAR (American Veterans Archeological Recovery) search for any clues from the Battle of Medina (Copyright 2023 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Twenty-six munitions, that date back to the time of the battle, have been found near the Medina River in Southern Bexar County.

“Half of them, compellingly, we have tied to a cannonball, a small cannonball found in the neck of a body that was found in 1968,” explained Seale.

Musketballs found a dig site, now showcased at the Witte Museum (Copyright 2023 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

That body was that of a soldier who almost certainly fought in the war based on the clothing found. We joined the group of searchers, as they analyzed an area of private land, near where they last found a potential conflict site.

”If anyone finds anything behind me, you’re going to hear a scream of ‘musketball’ from back there someplace,” said Steven Humphreys, CEO and founder of American Veterans Archeological Recovery.

A member of AVAR charts what she's found on her search (Copyright 2023 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Helping in this dig and for almost the entirety of the project are true experts on munitions: military veterans. They’re part of a group called AVAR or American Veterans Archeological Recovery. They partnered with Seale to help solve this mystery.

”What we really bring to the field is this knowledge of doing systematic metal detector surveys and the equipment to do so,” added Humphreys.

Over the last few years, they’ve found quite a bit. Some of their discoveries are now on display at the Witte Museum.

But this isn’t the end. There’s more work to be done. Conflict sites have been found, but they don’t believe they’ve located the main battlefield... yet.

”There’s just this gnawing need in your mind to really know where and to put a spot on a map,” said Seale.

About the Author

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.

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