Published Date

May 1, 2004

Resource Type

Primary Source

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “The Conquest of Mexico” by Nancy Fitch.

From Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Historia Verdadera, Volume 2, Chapter 122

[Narváez recognizes that Cortés’s army is outside the tower in which he is staying.]

“To arms, to arms” Narváez called to his captains, and our [Cortés’ army] charging with our pikes and engaging the artillery, happened simultaneously, and the gunners had time only to fire four shots, and some of the balls passed overhead but one of them killed three of our comrades.

At that moment all our Captains came up with the fife and drum beating the charge, and as many of the followers of Narváez were mounted, they were delayed for a few moments by them, but they promptly unhorsed six or seven of them. Then we who had seized the guns did not dare to leave them, for Narváez was shooting at us with arrows and muskets from his quarters and wounded seven of us. At that moment Captain Sandoval arrived and made a rush to scale the steps, and, in spite of the strong resistance, which Narváez made with muskets, partisans and lances and flights of arrows, he and his soldiers still gained ground. Then as soon as we saw that the guns were ours and no one was left to dispute possession of them, we gave them over to our gunners already named by me, and Captain Pizarro and many of us went to the assistance of Sandoval, for the soldiers of Narváez had driven them back down two of the steps. On our arrival, he turned to ascend the steps [again] and sometimes fighting with our pikes which were very long, and when it was least expected, we heard Narváez who cried ” Holy Mary protect me, they have killed me and destroyed my eye.”

When we heard this we at once shouted “Victory, Victory.”