F. 4. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza
After Beldarrain's death in September of 1759, young Juan Bautista de Anza secured his appointment as comandant of the royal fort at Tubac on February 19, 1760 (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766) at the youthful age of twenty-five. He came to Tubac from a lieutenancy in the presidial company of Fronteras where he was born in 1735. Anza descended from a long line of Spanish frontier soldiers. His father had been killed in action by Apaches after twenty years as a presidial officer and a term as interim governor. His grandfather had commanded royal forts and been an officer on the northern frontier for thirty years (Anza Apr. 1770). The young captain's family ties bound him to many of the principal officers on the Sonoran frontier, to many clergymen and prominent businessmen.
As soon as he was old enough, Anza began to learn his trade in 1753 by on-the-job training at Fronteras, where served as a volunteer, supplying his own arms and mounts for two years (ibid.). Then he was appointed lieutenant at Fronteras on July 1, 1755 (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). Whether by virtue of his inheritance or his training, Anza turned into one of the best of all frontier post commanders in the eyes of his men and his government.
These frontier captains were a tough and hardy lot-they could not have commanded the men they did under the conditions of warfare they faced day in and day out had they 243been otherwise. But of them all, Anza seems to have been the hardiest and the toughest. His military successes were compounded from sheer physical endurance, unlimited valor, instantaneous command decisions based on what appears to have been an unrivaled knowledge of enemy Indian tactics and thought-processes, plus a quality of leadership which gained him followers willing to fight with him up to the very gates of Hell if he decided to go there. Anza's leadership certainly was at least partly charismatic, yet it was based on a very firm foundation of unquestionable ability.
Captain Anza did not become entirely a paragon of virtue to his troopers, however willingly they followed him into battle. Around the post he was a hard man to live with-or more accurately it was hard to live around the post because Anza was absent so much of the time and possessed a major weakness for selecting incompetent subalterns. He failed to supervise his junior officers as closely as they needed. If Anza had a serious failing, it was this inability to find (or to countenance) subalterns as capable as he was. One suspects the great man could not brook competition in his own officer staff.
Dirty duty details such as remount herd guard were not apportioned equally among the Tubac troopers, nor with much regard to marital status. This irked the men. They also objected to unpaid service in the captain's personal household (Cota Dec. 22, 1766; J. M. Acuña Dec. 23, 1766; Martínez 244Dec. 24, 1766), but with human inconsistency they also objected to Anza's preference for one trooper in particular (Gabriel de Peralta) as his field striker (Martínez Dec. 24, 1766; Baez Dec. 26, 1766; Hurtado Dec. 27, 1766). Most irksome to the troopers were the violent punishments meted out by Ensign Huandurraga and Sergeant Marques. The soldiers particularly despised the officer for his abuse of his rank (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766).
Field Marshal Pignatelly y Rubí warned Anza that his failure to keep track of what went on at his post during his absences between officers and non-coms and the men could bring to naught all his other merits and abundant zeal (Rubí Dec. 31, 1766a).
Moreover the royal inspector ordered the captain to command the use of bare swords for disciplining troops to cease, and further ordered broken in rank any officer or non-com who continued this improper mode of punishment. The Field Marshal urged a diminution of all kinds of violent punishments and substitution of imprisonment as more effective. He restricted the use of violence to cases of forceful insubordination (Rubí Dec. 31, 1766b).
Captain Anza was not markedly better than other comandants of his time in preserving his post remount herds from Apache theft. In fact the Apache horse thieves seriously embarrassed Anza on the eve of both his California expeditions by running off his entire horse herd (Bolton 1930:I:64, 229). Soon 245after he took command at Tubac the Seris evened the score for his bravery in the 1760 campaign by running off the remount herd being conducted to his post (Anonymous n.d.:205). Anza spared little effort to replace worn out or stolen horses with good stock from big ranches farther south. Probably the Tubac soldiers were among the bestmounted troops on the Sonoran frontier during Anza's tour of command-when they had mounts!
One component of Anza's leadership was economic. Unlike other comandants who abused their commercial monopoly at their posts to gouge their troops at the highest rate permitted by royal regulations, Anza resold to his men the goods he stocked at prices significantly lower than the permitted maximum, and lower than the going rate at neighboring forts. The gratitude of Anza's troops for his economic fairness may be gauged from the size discount he gave them from the king's price scheduleas reported in December of 1766:
FORT OF TUBAC
PRICES WHICH THE REGULATION OF FORTS CONTAINS WITH EXPRESSION OFTHE REDUCTIONS MADE BY ITS CAPTAIN DON JUAN BAPTISTA DE ANZA IN THEINSPECTION REVIEW EXECUTED BY FIELD MARSHAL THE MARQUES DE RUBI
Anza's price-cutting so surprised the Marques de Rubí that he reported: "this act, which shows a generosity rare in these lands, makes this officer worthy of experiencing the effects 249of the royal gratitude" (Rubí Dec. 21, 1766). This did not by any means imply that Anza was a financial fool. Either by inheritance or his own efforts or both he was a comparatively wealthy man. During his tour at Tubac, he operated ranches at the former Indian rancherí a at Sópori (Narbona May 14, 1810:19), Sasabe, Divisaderos, Santa Barbara, Síbuta and Sicurisuta near the present international boundary as well as the old family holdings at Santa Posa de Corodéguachi (Yslas July 18, 1810:20). He could pay a thousand pesos for the captain's quarters which his predecessor had built (Croix Dec. 23, 1780). He imported and employed many Yaquis (Santos Angeles de Guebavi, Libro de Bautismos, p. 132).
The accounting required by all these commercial operations was staggering, but Anza supervised bookkeepers who kept perfect books. "Neither from the declarations which have been taken from everyone present in this company, nor in my own examination of its account books of everyone for all the time this company has existed in charge of this captain, has there been encountered the very least suspicion of prejudice to the company by overcharging, contrivance nor discounting, from which the least grievance could arise. On the contrary..." reported the Marques de Rubí (Dec. 21, 1766) with evident pleasure.
Another component of Anza's effectiveness was his realistic appraisal of the proper strategy and tactics for fighting Indians. Anza was a firm believer in using Indian 250auxiliaries in fighting either Apaches or Seris. He made every effort to employ Pima Indians during his campaigns (Anza Mar. 17, 1766:109 against Apaches; Anza Nov. 10, 1769:116 against Seris), and eventually succeeded in having ten Opatas attached to the Tubac garrison as permanent Indian scouts. He also recruited twenty additional Opatas during the Seri War (Medina May 3, 1779 No. 3). This unprecedented extravagance Anza had to defend against all the doubts of higher officials with less perception of the requirements of Indian warfare (O'Conor Aug. 10, 1775), but the Opata scouts remained part of the company until it was relocated at Tucson and Anza was governor of New Mexico. Then the Adjutant-Inspector ordered all thirty Opata scouts demobilized, an action approved by the Comandant-General of the Frontier Provinces (Medina May 3, 1779 No. 3 and annotation).
A related aspect of Anza's command capacity was a thorough knowledge of the Sonoran terrain. Anza was young as fort commanders went, but when Colonel Domingo Elizondo arrived in Sonora in 1768 with regular army troops to break the resistance of the Gulf Coast Indians, he found Anza's acquaintance with the country was the most extensive of all the frontier officers (Rowland 1930:141). Anza's later success in taming hostile Indians while governor of New Mexico proves that the secret of this knowledge was quick learning and earnest study, for Anza had not served in New Mexico before going there to govern the province.
251The forebears of Juan Bautista de Anza were devout Roman Catholics and he seems to have been no exception. His father had been a great help to the Jesuits in establishing their new missions in 1732 (Hammond 1929:228) and four years later offered to take the elderly pioneer Jesuit Joséph Agustin de Campos into his home when the old man was removed from his mission at San Ignacio under canonical obedience (Dunne 1941:57).
The third Juan Bautista de Anza took the spiritual welfare of his troops seriously. He had married a girl whose brother was a priest, and Anza induced Joséph Manuel Díaz del Carpio to come to live at Tubac as a presidial chaplain, paying him with a special tithing arrangement under which each soldier contributed a percentage of his pay (J. M. Acuña Dec. 23, 1766; Cota Dec. 22, 1766; Martínez Dec. 24, 1766; Hurtado Dec. 27, 1766). This proved to be only a temporary solution, and most of the time the fort personnel depended upon the missionary stationed at Guebavi and later at Tumacacori.
Captain Beldarrain may have been less churchminded than Anza despite his close relationship with Father Francisco Pauer, or he my not have wished to spend his own money to provide the post with a church building. In any event Anza and his brother-in-law started the first church building at Tubac (Tamarón 1937:305 & Urrutia 1766) very likely at Anza's expense.
252Captain Anza's merits were appreciated by colonial officials long before he achieved fame by his Californian expeditions. The Marques de Rubí reported to the king's secretary after his 1766 inspection:
As for the conduct of the first two [Anza and Bernardo de Urrea] it seems that the voluntary proof of their fairness makes them very commendable, especially Don Juan Bautista, whose creditable quality has been found very well illustrated in the review of his company, adding his good will, application, and well known valor, which make him worthy not only of being given the commission which he does not have as captain, but also of being preferred in the thanks which His Majesty may deign to dispense to him (Rubí Feb. 21, 1767).
The king's inspector of frontier posts was so impressed with Captain Anza's merits and good intentions that he took the trouble to write him a long letter of instructions and almost fatherly advice on matters military (Rubí Dec. 31, 1766a).
Juan Bautista de Anza's opening of a land route to California and colonization there are summarized below, and have been published upon in detail by Herbert E. Bolton. His career as governor of New Mexico has been adequately reported by Alfred B. Thomas. The story of his later service as Comandant of Arms in the Frontier Provinces remains to be pulled together from Spanish archival sources. Inasmuch as these later periods of Anza's life involved a much broader field of action than Tubac, they are not discussed here.