TotalCon 36

Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt

Scenario E: June 28, 1520 – Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt (Cortes is surrounded in Tenochtitlan and makes his first attempt to break out to the causeways using his war wagons).

Read more »

Hosts
Event Number 414
Event Type {{event.properties.type.name}}
Maximum Tickets 11
Spaces Needed 1
Age Range {{ event.properties._options._age_range[event.properties.age_range] }}
Time Zone America/New_York (UTC {{ '2022-02-26 13:00:00' | timezone_offset: 'America/New_York' }})
Start Date & Time Saturday at 8:00 AM (local to convention)
Duration 5 hours
End Time {{ event.properties.end_date | amDateFormat: clock_format }} (local to convention)
Cost $0.00
Room Salon B,C,D&E
Space Table 1
Special Event Designation
Has Special Requests
{{ request }}
Email Notification for Tickets List {{event.properties.wait_count}} will be notified by email of available tickets

Tickets

Thanks for hosting! Your ticket is available! Your reserved ticket is available! This event is reserved. {{ event.properties.available_count }} tickets available at $0 per ticket.

Manage Friends
Your friend {{ friendships.get_object( giving.to_friend ).properties.myfriend.real_name }} has a reservation for this event.
You must have a badge to purchase tickets.
Your friend must have a badge for you to purchase tickets for them.

My Existing Tickets For This Event

  • {{ticket.properties.badge.name}}
My Schedule

You must log in or create an account to purchase tickets.

While Cortes was away confronting Narvaez at the Battle of Cempoala, some of his troops under the command of Pedro de Alvarado had remained in Tenochtitlan. Cortes had previously bloodlessly seized Montezuma as his prisoner/puppet, so he felt relatively secure to make the trek to Cempoala.

This was not the case with Alvarado. He feared that the Aztecs were planning to surprise his troops and massacre them; thus, he decided to strike first.
At the Feast of Toxcatl (an annual Aztec religious festival), hundreds of the political and military elite of the Aztec Empire were participating in the “Serpent Dance” – and were unarmed. Alvarado took the chance and attacked all of those celebrating with no quarter. Most were murdered and some were captured. The warriors killed by Alvarado and his men were among the best in the Aztec Empire. Still, the Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies were far outnumbered in Tenochtitlan, and they now faced an entire city that was rising up against them. Cortes returned from the Battle of Cempoala. His forces were reinforced by the men and equipment of Narvaez who had defected to Cortes’ banner. He was able to enter Tenochtitlan with his men, and soon learned of the general uprising. As a goodwill gesture, yet a strategic mistake, he released Montezuma’s brother, Cuitlahuac – who had been captured by Alvarado at the massacre. Cuitlahuac almost immediately became the leader of the Aztecs, effectively becoming the new Emperor – and Montezuma’s replacement. The siege of the Spanish began in earnest.
The Spanish had occupied the Palace of Axayacatl, were without water, and were coming under increasing attack. The Aztecs even tried to burn the palace down around the Spanish, but were stopped with artillery, crossbow, and arquebusier fire.
Cortes tried to use Montezuma one last time – to see if the Aztecs surrounding them would stand down. Montezuma was brought out at the Palace of Axayacatl try to get the attackers to stop their assault. Montezuma’s exhortations not only failed to sway the crowd of enraged Aztecs, but he was hit in the head by a rock from an Aztec sling. That wound would incapacitate him. Shortly afterwards, he died. The cause of his death was the slung stone or perhaps he was murdered later by the Spanish as he lay unconscious – the truth is forever lost to history. In the end, Cortes realized that he had no safe escape route to the causeways. In any such attempt, his troops would be vulnerable to a massive volume of missile fire. Cortes ordered his men to tear out any lumber available from the palace to build a number of war wagons.
These would serve as similar devices to the Hussite war wagons of the 15th Century, but would be moved by humans, not horses. Cortes hoped that they would hopefully provide cover for his own missile troops from withering Aztec missile fire – and therefore help his forces make it to the causeways. With these war wagons, Cortes launched an escape attempt that he hoped would be able to punch through the Aztecs and escape to the causeways – and then onto the safety of the mainland and the his Tlaxcalan allies.