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Federalist Wars: First Phase

and, for a while because of their control of the hinterland around Matamoros, the Federalists were able to intercept the valuable export trade through that port, consisting of hides, horns, mules, ebony, dye-woods, and considerable quantities of specie. In the meantime, General Filisola ordered the fortifications at Brazos de Santiago, erected in 1836, demolished and the artillery spiked and thrown into the sea[30]  to prevent it falling into the hands of either the French or the Federalists. The fall of San Juan de Úlloa to the French on November 28 with its attendant effect upon Vera Cruz, coupled with the Federalist military successes at Tampico, caused numerous pronunciamientos in favor of Federalism to be made by the towns of the north late in 1838 and early 1839.[31]  Antonio Zapata defeated Francisco Pavón at Mier in late November or early December, and the latter fled to Matamoros pursued by Méndez and Zapata. As the government troops were forced out of the northern towns, many of them took refuge in Matamoros, so that by December 28 when Jacob ("Jake") Hendricks and _______ Davis, Texans imprisoned at Matamoros during the past year, made their escape, fifteen hundred soldiers had congregated there, swelling the garrison to two thousand men under General Filisola. These troops were encamped in the public square which had been enclosed with pickets. Nine pieces of artillery were mounted "at each of the principal streets leading to the square."[32]  Canalizo succeeded Filisola as commandant of the north on February 7, and took over command of the defenses of Matamoros.[33]

General José Antonio Mejía and Colonel Martín Peraga, from New

30. Tampico Telegraph, Feb. 9, 1839, quoted in Telegraph and Texas Register, March 6, 1839.

31. Declarations in favor of the constitution of 1824 were made at Ciudad Victoria (Dec. 12), Santa Barbara (Dec. 16), Burgos (Dec. 18), Mineral de San Nicolás (Dec. 18), Palmillas (Dec. 19), Bustamante (Dec. 21), Morelos (Dec. 23), Laredo (Jan. 5), Soto la Marina (Jan. 9), Monclova -- where the inhabitants were dissatisfied because the capital of Coahuila continued to be located at Saltillo -- (Jan. 15) and numerous other places. El Centinela de Tamaulipas (Ciudad Victoria), Jan. 10, 1839, Jan. 17, and Feb. 14, 1839; Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas, II, 205; Resolution passed at a Meeting of Citizens, Laredo, January 5, 1839, in Laredo Archives; José Ma. Ramón, Justice of the Peace, to the Political Chief of the Department of the North of Tamaulipas, Laredo, Jan. 5, 1839, in ibid.

32. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 18, 1839.

33. Valentín Canalizo. El General en Gefe de la Division del Norte á los Tropas de su mando y á los habitantes, Febrero 7 de 1839, in El Ancla (Matamoros), Feb. 15, 1839,

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