Revolutionary War Battle



Battle Summary
Details Stats Colonists/Allies British/Allies
Name: Spanish Capture of British Settlement Saint George’s Caye Total Forces:
Date(s): 09/15/1779 Killed:
Location: Belize Wounded:
Duration (days): 1 Captured: 390
Victory: Spanish Total Ships:
Col./Ally Cmdr.: Ships Lost:
Brit./Ally Cmdr.: Ships Captured:


The Capture of Cayo Cocina (also known as Saint George’s Caye) was the result of a Spanish military operation on 15 September 1779 against a British settlement on Saint George’s Caye, just off the coast of present-day Belize, during the American War of Independence. The settlement was at the time the major British population center in the area, and was attacked by Spanish forces from the Captaincy General of Guatemala.

The entire population (140 Baymen along with 250 of their enslaved population) were removed, forced to march overland from Bacalar to Mérida and then transported by sea to Havana. Settlers who had been working on the mainland eventually made their way to other nearby British settlements at Roatán or Black River. In 1782 the prisoners were released and sent to Jamaica. The entire Belizean territory was abandoned until 1784, after British logging rights were confirmed in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.