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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

considered "the Americans engaged in robbing the Mexicans . . . much the most reprehensible parties engaged in the business and that they would recommend that they be brought to justice as speedily as possible."[46] 

The reaction of the Tonkawas to the conduct of the Tower's party was the commission of several murders among the whites living near the headwaters of the Lavaca. As a result of these murders, a large body of the citizens in the Goliad section were soon in arms and were said to be declaring it their intention to exterminate the remnants of the Tonkawa tribe.[47]  The main body of the tribe was living at the time at the mouth of the San Antonio River and numbered about two hundred warriors.

Savariego continued to operate below the Nueces. In late September or early October 1838, a party of Texans who had crossed the Nueces met a party of Mexicans near Lipantitlán, who were driving a number of mules loaded with provisions, presumably for Savariego's men. Upon seeing the Texans, the Mexicans took flight, abandoning the mules and provisions.[48]  In October Savariego and his party again entered Texas -- this time from Laredo and visited Alexander's ranch, situated about twenty miles southwest of Béxar and carried away all movable articles of value, even taking the rings off of the young ladies in the house.[49]  Alexander and a Mr. Bull were taken prisoners and subsequently murdered by their captors near the Nueces.

Three of the Texans captured near the Nueces earlier in the year effected their escape from the Mexican prison at Matamoros and arrived at Goliad with horrible tales of their confinement. Among these was Cairns, who had been rumored previously to have been killed at one of the small towns on the Río Grande. The escapees reported that William Brennan, the former representative from Goliad who had been captured several months past near San Patricio, was still in prison at Matamoros.[50] 

Among the Texan "cow-drivers" were a number of unscrupulous men who sought easy gain. They not only drove off cattle belonging to law-abiding citizens of the Republic, but also plundered the traders on the

46. John D. Morris to R. A. Irion, Secretary of State, San Antonio de Béxar, Oct. 15, 1838, in ibid.

47. Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 29, 1838.

48. Ibid., Oct. 13 and Nov. 3, 1838.

49. Ibid., Oct. 20 and Nov. 21, 1838.

50. Ibid., Oct. 20, 1838.

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