Go to Page | Index | Contents 185     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Federalists Seek Support in Texas

numbers, and that it was impossible for the local inhabitants to devote all of their time to defense, it being necessary for them to make a living.[30]  The Brisa (Matamoros) pointed out in September that the Texans, supported by citizens (Mexicans) from La Bahía del Espíritu Santo [Goliad] frequently raided the ranches on the north bank of the Río Grande, driving off large numbers of all specie of livestock; they also dealt in contraband, including tobacco and other merchandise.[31]

At Matamoros, a number of volunteers and a few regulars were organized into a company, known as the "Volunteers of La Bahía,"[32]  to follow the Texan marauders with tenacity. From time to time, they recovered considerable quantities of tobacco and quite a few horses. Captain Manuel Savariego in one of his expeditions approached the San Antonio River, where he defeated a party of "colonists," capturing some and killing others. General Filisola sent five hundred men under Colonel Rafael Vasquez, who reached the Nueces River, and succeeded in recovering "a great quantity of livestock which the Texans had collected there belonging to the inhabitants" of the Río Grande towns.[33]

While one of the Texan raiding parties was endeavoring to return to the settled area of Texas, it was overtaken and defeated on August 14 by Captain José María Villareal, in command of twenty-one regular cavalry and seventy-five rancheros, in the rodeo[34]  just below the Carricitos.[35]  Five of the party of thirteen Texans were killed, three made prisoners, and the others escaped on foot and without arms through the dense woods. The Mexican losses were reported as only two horses wounded. The Mexicans effected the release of 280 head of cattle, 75 wild mules and horses, 24 burros, 19 tame horses, and 3 tame mules, all of which they claimed had been taken from the frontier ranches. The 19 or 20 horses belonging to the Texans, their saddles,

30. La Brisa (Matamoros), Aug. 30, 1839.

31. Ibid., Sept. 6, 1839.

32. Quite a number of the volunteers came from the area of La Bahía del Espíritu Santo (Goliad), who remained loyal to Mexico during the Texas Revolution and found it necessary to get out of Texas when the Mexican troops were withdrawn, or who because of threats, discriminations, and appropriation of their property by greedy, designing, and unscrupulous Anglo-Americans sought safety beyond the Río Grande.

33. La Brisa, Sept. 6, 1839; Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Aug. 1, 1839.

34. As employed in this sense, the term "rodeo" was a corral used for catching wild horses and cattle.

35. La Brisa, Aug. 30, 1839.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 185     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

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