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Mexican Threats of a New Campaign

emphatically on February 26 that "the President will not change the frontier line, or reinforce General Johnston with militia."[28]  On the same day Bee, referring to the poverty of the nation, informed Johnston, "as we have not a dollar in the Treasury, we must be content to fold our arms."[29] 

As it was, the Mexican army of invasion turned out to be nothing more than "a marauding party of fifty Mexicans from Matamoros" who were discovered in the vicinity of San Antonio, "stealing cattle . . . which they succeeded in doing," said Brent;[30]  according to the United States diplomatic agent in Texas, the marauders "sought to retake some horses which the Texians had driven from the Río Grande."[31]  The Mexicans surprised two men eight miles below San Antonio guarding a caballada of horses, took one of the men prisoner and shot the other. They even drove off some horses belonging to Colonel Henry W. Karnes.

Immediately upon receiving word of the attack, Colonel Karnes gave pursuit, but after going some eight or ten miles, he lost the trail of the marauders and returned to Béxar.[32]  While Karnes considered the incident nothing more than a retaliatory raid, and possibly one by the same party that had recently visited San Patricio,[33]  he thought the Mexicans were preparing for an early campaign in Texas. In this conclusion he was mistaken. The raids were retaliatory and were intended to repossess property taken by the cowboys and other Texan raiders. A small party of Texan cattle drivers below San Patricio in December 1837, captured three Mexicans, "who had written orders from General Filisola to drive in all cattle between the Nueces and the Río Grande," so troublesome had become the Texan cowboys who had been constantly engaged during the summer in stealing cattle near the Río

Samuel Maverick, Texan, 1803-1870; A Collection of Letters, Journals and Memoirs, pp. 63-64.

28. Quoted in Johnston, Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, p. 87.

29. Quoted in ibid.

30. W. T. Brent to James H. Brent, Roseland, Va., [dated:] Velasco, Texas, Jan. 23, 1838, in Houston, Unpublished Houston Correspondence, 1837-1841, vol. II, ms.

31. Alcée La Branche to John Forsyth, Legation of the United States, Houston, Jan. 1, 1838, in Correspondence and Reports of American Agents and Others in Texas, 1836-1845, Justin H. Smith, "Transcripts," vol. V, ms.

32. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 30, 1837.

33. A marauding party visited San Patricio about December 9, 1837. Ibid., Jan. 6, 1838. See p. 49 of this work.

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