After the insurgents' defeat at the Battle of Calderon Bridge, the insurgent army was diminished, fled north, and Ignacio Allende and other insurgent leaders took military command away from Miguel Hidalgo, blaming him for their defeats. Hidalgo remained as head politically but with military command going to Allende.
Insurgent leaders Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Jose Mariano Jimenez, and others fled northward while en route to the United States through the northern state of Coahuila, hoping they would receive military and financial support from the young, independent nation. Royalist general Ignacio Elizondo pretends to join the insurgency but he betrays and captures them on 21 March 1811. After apprehending them, the insurgent leaders were taken to the nearby province of Nueva Vizcaya, first to Mapimí where they were jailed and later on Chihuahua where they were tried.
After receiving the news that the insurgent leaders were captured, Ignacio López Rayón, Miguel Hidalgo's secretary who remained in Saltillo, Coahuila during their march north, assumed control of the insurgent army in the city which numbered about 3,500 men and 22 cannons and fled southward on 26 March 1811. López Rayón would go on to meet with Jose Maria Morelos and other insurgent leaders to establish a prototypical governing body known as the Council of Zitácuaro for the nation, inasmuch as it did not recognize the subjection to the vice-regal structure.
Allende, Aldama, and Jimenez were tried and found guilty in May 1811, and executed by firing squads and decapitated on 26 July 1811, with the exception of Mariano Abasolo, who was instead sentenced to life in prison in the Santa Catalina Castle at Cádiz, Spain, where he died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 14 April 1816. Hidalgo was tried by the Mexican Inquisition by the bishop of Durango, Francisco Gabriel de Olivares, for an official defrocking and excommunication on 27 July 1811. He was then tried by a military court that found him guilty of treason and was executed on 30 July 1811. There are many theories about how he was executed, the most famous that he was killed by firing squad and then decapitated on 30 July at 7:00 in the morning. Before his execution, he thanked his jailers, two soldiers, Ortega and Melchor, for their humane treatment. At his execution, Hidalgo stated, "Though I may die, I shall be remembered forever; you all will soon be forgotten."
The four heads were hung from the corners of the Grain Exchange Alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato, to discourage other independence movements. The heads remained hanging for ten years, until Mexico achieved its independence in 1821. Their bodies were then taken to Mexico City and eventually put to rest under el Ángel de la Independencia in 1910.