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Federalist Wars: First Phase

"but no sooner had the colonel [Ampudia] turned his back than the latter reconsidered the situation and surprised the poorly defended Monterey" and took it.[46]  Soon (May 24) Saltillo also fell into the hands of the insurgents under Lemus. A number of Texans participated in the battle of Monterey on the side of the Federalists. Among those taking part were Ewen Cameron, a cousin of Dr. John Cameron of Monclova, and about twenty-five others, including John R. Baker, George Lord, Benjamin F. Neal, John W. B. McFarlane, Alfred A. Lee, Hugh Cameron, Henry Whalen, and others who distinguished themselves.[47]  Many of these were later members of the Texan Mier Expedition. The number of Texans in the Federal service was to grow with the discharge in January 1839, by the Texas government, of all men in the First and Second Regiments of Permanent Volunteers, except the troops at Galveston and San Bernard, who were to remain until they could be relieved by other troops.[48]

In the meantime, the Federalists who appeared before Matamoros to demand Filisola's surrender were pictured as numbering a thousand men, defying with cries of "Federation or Death!" the Centralist leader's demands to return to obedience to the established authorities. During the excitement attendant upon the Federalist siege of Matamoros, William Brennan, former Texas congressman, effected his escape from prison in the beleaguered city early in February and arrived in Texas to report a large Federalist force investing the place when he left.[49]

The Federalists were found to be cooperating with the French, who not only gave them arms but also permitted them to run the blockade at Tuxpan, Soto la Marina, and Tampico. The tariff was reduced to a mere fraction of the usual rates, and large quantities of goods entered the ports under Federal domination, for on February 17 the French opened to foreign vessels the upper ports on the gulf, then in the hands of the Federalists. Whether or not this helped the revolutionists' cause, it is difficult to say; "the price they [the Federalists] had to pay for

46. Bancroft, History of Mexico, V, 209.

47. Huson, "Iron Men," p. 9.

48. A. Sidney Johnston to _______, War Department, Jan. 1, 1839, in Matagorda Bulletin, Jan. 31, 1839. Although dated January 1, 1839, the order seems to have been written January 29, 1839. The discharge of the First and Second Regiments was in accordance to a Joint Resolution of Congress.

49. Telegraph and Texas Register, March 29, 1839; Matagorda Bulletin, April 4, 1839.

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