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Federalist Wars: First Phase

his troops at Tampico on February 18, urging them to remain true to the cause of liberalism and new freedom, after which he marched with the main unit of his forces into the interior.[81]  En route to San Luis Potosí, where Bustamante had taken up his position, he was defeated by the Centralists under Manuel Romero,[82]  but succeeded in effecting a junction with Mejía's forces on March 25 at Tuxpan. The same day General Arista,[83]  leading troops from Mexico City, took Tula de Tamaulipas, and the vanguard of his command under Benito Quijano entered Ciudad Victoria on March 27.[84]  Soon Linares and Santa Barbara fell, and by the end of May 1839, the state of Tamaulipas was rapidly submitting to the Central authorities.

General Cós was entrusted by Bustamante with an expedition against Tuxpan, but was routed on March 15[85]  by the Federalists under Mejía after a heated engagement of three and a half hours. In preparing now to assume the offensive, Mejía looked to Tampico for re-enforcements. Five American merchant vessels lying in the port of Tampico at the time were impressed to transport them. An agent of General Peraga[86]  offered the captains of the Andrew Jackson, Creole, Francis Amy, Tenesaw, and Jane a twelve day contract each at $63.50 per diem, payable in advance, to carry munitions of war and troops to an unnamed destination. Upon their refusal to accept such an arrangement on any terms, they were given to understand distinctly that if they did not accept the offer they would be forced to do so. In order to meet the time schedule that had been set up for the movement of the Federalist troops, it was necessary to march a portion of the Tampico troops overland to Tuxpan, while the vessels on April 9 and 10, loaded with troops, arms, provisions, and other effects, proceeded along the coast.

81. Address of José Urrea, General in Chief of the Mexican Army of Liberty, to the Federal Troops under his Command, Garrison in Úlloa, February 18 [1839], in Telegraph and Texas Register, March 6, 1839.

82. El Mosquito Mexicano, April 26, 1839; Telegraph and Texas Register, March 6, 1839.

83. Itinerario de las campanas en Tamaulipas, Coahuila y N. León, desde 23 de Febrero de 1839 hasta hoy 28 de Marzo de 1841," in El Ancla, March 29, 1841.

84. La Concordia, April 4, 1839.

85. José Antonio Mejía's Report of the Battle, Tuxpan, March 15, 1839, in Morning Star, April 11, 1839. Cós lost all of his artillery, mules, baggage, 350 muskets, and many other items.

86. Although the name is reported as Pedraza by Captain Meldrum, apparently the person referred to was Martin Peraga, who had only recently landed at Tampico with Mejía.

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