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Federalist Wars: First Phase

where many adherents stood ready to rise. At this point, Provisional President Santa Anna, with reluctant permission from the Council, seeing the Federalist threat to Puebla and Vera Cruz, which Mejía doubtless had in mind seizing upon the withdrawal of the French troops from San Juan de Úlloa, quickly left Mexico City with a sizable force to impede Mejía's march. Santa Anna reached Puebla on April 30, and prevented it from rising to join the approaching Federalist forces. Three days later, on May 3, Mejía and Urrea were intercepted at Acajete, near Puebla on the Puebla-Vera Cruz road, by General Valencia and defeated on the plain of San Miguel.[90]  Mejía was captured and executed within half an hour of his capture.[91]  In the eyes of his countrymen he had been guilty of unpardonable treason in bringing foreign adventurers into the country.[92]

Urrea escaped capture and with three hundred followers fled to Tampico, which was well fortified and supported by a number of small gunboats. The commander of the gunboats, Barbarena, however, soon joined the Centralist side, thus depriving the city of supplies and exposing it to attack from its most vulnerable side. The city fell on June 6 without bloodshed to General Arista who had invested it since May 26,[93]  but Urrea was able to slip out before its surrender. He fled to

90. Proclamation of Anastasio Bustamante to the Soldiers, Ciudad-Victoria, May 10, 1839, in Telegraph and Texas Register, July 3, 1839; D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, May 17, 1839, no. 156, in Consular Dispatches (U. S.), 1837-1839 (Matamoros), ms., microfilm.

91. Rives, The United States and Mexico, I, 450; Supplement to Diario del Gobierno (Mexico City), May 4, 1839; H. Yoakum, History of Texas from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its Annexation to the United States in 1846, II, 274. Mejía was unable to effect his escape because of wounds, and was captured and executed by order of Santa Anna. It has been said, probably on insufficient authority, that Santa Anna after the battle of Acajete, on May 3, 1839, "sent Mejía a message that he was to be put to death in half an hour. 'He is very kind,' was the alleged reply, 'but if I had taken him, I would have shot him inside of five minutes.'" Rives, The United States and Mexico, I, 450.

92. Manuel Rivera, Los gobernantes de Mexico, II, 220.

93. The Articles of Capitulation of Tampico, June 4, 1839, are printed in the Telegraph and Texas Register, July 3, 1839. The surrender was effective June 6, 1839. It will be of interest to Texans to know that the Federals used the former Texan war schooner, Independence, captured by the Mexicans on April 17, 1837, in the defense of Tampico, but that its crew was surprised by 600 infantrymen under Arista from Altamira who arrived on the night of May 27, 1839, and captured it in a few minutes. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 17, 1839.

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