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Federalist Wars: First Phase

Orleans where Mejía had been in exile, were landed on the last day of December, 1838, by the American schooner Sarah Ann at Tampico, where they discussed with Urrea, Anaya, and other prominent Federal leaders the military situation and future plans. It was determined to divide the Federal forces in the northeast into three divisions:[34]  the first division, commanded by Mejía, was to advance into the interior toward Mexico City; the second division, commanded by Urrea, was to operate against San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, and the adjoining states; and the third division was to be commanded by General Pedro Lemus, but until he could take charge, Canales was to assume the command. The third division was to advance upon Monterey and Saltillo. The three columns were to begin simultaneous operations by February 1, 1839. On January 6, 1839, Urrea and Mejía issued a joint proclamation to the Mexican people setting forth their reasons for taking up arms against the government and appealing for united support of federalism.[35]

An express was sent to the government of Texas, where it arrived in Houston on January 8 and a cabinet meeting was summoned at once. It was conjectured that the express contained "overtures from the liberal party of Mexico, for assistance from Texas in putting down the Centralists, and offering, as inducements, to unite with this Republic under a government similar to our own," declared the Civilian and Galveston Gazette,[36]  "or to recognize our independence." The warmongers in Texas were already active. Major General Felix Huston was said to be "endeavoring to ape Charles the Twelfth by getting up an army against Mexico."[37]

It was reported in Mexico City on February 5 that Mejía accompanied by General Urrea and Captain Ribaud, a French sea captain and friend, visited Admiral Baudin in January at San Juan de Úlloa in an effort to promote cooperation between the Federalists and the French. It was said he sought to have the fortress of San Juan de Úlloa turned over to Urrea.[38]  The Centralist paper, El Iris, stated that Baudin agreed to supply Urrea with 200 guns if the Federalists would agree

34. Huson, "Iron Men," pp. 25-26.

35. Proclamation of José Urrea and José Antonio Mejía to the Mexican People, Headquarters of the Liberating Army, Tampico, Jan. 6, 1839, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 30, 1839.

36. Jan. 11, 1839.

37. James H. Starr to Pamela O. Starr, Dec. 2, 1838, in James H. Starr Papers, ms.

38. El Mosquito Mexicano (Mexico City), Feb. 5, 1839.

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