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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

Lakes,[19]  in Refugio County about nine miles north of Refugio, two Anglo-Americans and three Mexicans, including Rafael Herrera of Béxar, with four carts and one wagon loaded with clothing and provisions valued at several thousand dollars. The attacking party killed one of the Americans, who sought to use his arms, and wounded the other, who died several days later. The three Mexicans, who had made no resistance, were bound and taken with the carts and wagon to the Mexican camp, which was some distance from the point where the attack had occurred. The Mexican force, when united, consisted of approximately a hundred regulars and rancheros and twelve Indians under Captain Manuel Savariego. Savariego reproached the soldiers who brought the wounded American into camp. The other two Americans convinced the Captain that they were citizens of the United States, and he released them, but their goods were not restored. They demanded to be taken to Matamoros where they could protest this insult to the citizens of a friendly power, and so frightened the commander that he ordered their property restored to them at once. The day following the arrival of the prisoners in camp, the contents of the carts and wagon that could be carried were distributed among the troops and the remainder was destroyed. Savariego then released the empty vehicles and freed the wounded Anglo-American, Herrera, and several others whom units from his command had captured during the last few days. Three of the prisoners, however, were not released, because, he claimed, they were wanted by the authorities, and another, because, it was said, he owed more than $100 to a person named Falcón to whom he was a servant. The Mexican force then proceeded in the direction of Matamoros, having been unable to locate the party of Tahuacano Indians, who, they said, had stolen a caballada[20]  and committed other damage.[21]  This was the second outrage committed in 1838 by the Mexicans upon the western settlements, and with their plunder the marauders had gone off unmolested and, no doubt, elated with their success. Between Indians and Mexicans, wrote William McCraven from San Antonio in July 1838,

19. The rising ground near the San Nicolás Lakes was a favorite camping ground for the Karankawa Indians. Handbook of Texas, II, 559.

20. A caballada was a herd of horses.

21. Erasmo Seguin, J[ustice of the] P[eace], al Señor Secret[ari]a de Estado, Béxar, 30 de Junio de 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 7, 1838; Matagorda Bulletin, July 5, 1838, reported that seven carts of goods and stores were seized.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963