Muñoz, José Trinidad (?–1855)

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Muñoz, José Trinidad (?–1855)

José Trinidad Muñoz (d. 18 August 1855), Nicaraguan military officer. Muñoz, a veteran of the Central American civil wars of the 1840s, received military training in Mexico under Antonio López de Santa Anna. He established a military academy in León, Nicaragua, and gained a reputation as the best tactician in Central America. On 4 August 1851 Muñoz overthrew the government of José Laureano Pineda in León but was subsequently ousted and left Nicaragua.

This large, handsome, but egotistical officer was generally on the Democratic (Liberal) side, but he was less ideologically committed than many of his contemporaries. After Máximo Jerez retreated from Granada in early 1855, Francisco Castellón, head of the Democratic government at León, brought Muñoz back to relieve Jerez as commander of his army. William Walker arrived to support the Democrats soon afterward. Seeing Walker as a rival for power, Muñoz took an instant dislike to him. They argued over strategy and tactics, and Walker accused Muñoz of sabotaging his campaign.

Some Nicaraguan historians have viewed Muñoz as a defender of Nicaraguan sovereignty in his efforts to undermine Walker while also opposing the Conservative forces that came from the other Central American states to fight against Walker. Muñoz sought a peaceful settlement between the legitimistas (Conservatives) and democráticos (Liberals). His death in August 1855 at the battle of El Sauce, where he had defeated Santos Guardiola, opened the way for Walker to become the Democrats' leading general.

See alsoNicaragua; Walker, William.


Albert Z. Carr, The World and William Walker (1963), pp. 122-128.

Francisco Ortega Arancibi, Cuarenta años (1838–1878) de historia de Nicaragua, 3d ed. (1975).

Marco A. Soto Valenzuela, Guerra nacional de Centroamérica (1957).

William Walker, The War in Nicaragua (1860), pp. 35-85.

Andrés Vega Bolaños, Gobernantes de Nicaragua: Notas y documentos (1944), pp. 157-209.

Additional Bibliography

Burns, E. Bradford. Patriarch and Folk: The Emergence of Nicaragua, 1798–1858. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.

Montúfar, Lorenzo, and Raúl Aguilar Piedra. Walker en Centroamérica. Alajuela: Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría, 2000.

                              Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.

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Muñoz, José Trinidad (?–1855)

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