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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

or ten minutes, then fell back once more under the protection of their artillery. Jones of Lavaca was the only Texan killed in resisting the Centralist charge.[106]

The second charge soon made by the Mexican infantry was likewise repulsed with considerable loss to the Centralists, and again they retreated to safety behind their artillery, which played on the arroyo for some time without injuring anyone. Ross is alleged, at this point in the fight, to have sent a courier to Canales, saying that he could not hold his position much longer under the punishing artillery fire of the enemy. The courier returned to report that Canales would move soon to the Texans' relief, but as it turned out he remained inactive.[107]  Growing tired of waiting. Ross now dispatched an officer to urge Canales to come forward, but to no avail.

Perceiving the continued lack of cooperation among his opponents, Pavón launched a third and what was intended to be an all-out attack upon the Texan line. With their cavalry in the lead, Pavón's men charged with great intrepidity. While the battle raged, Zapata, becoming disgusted with his cowardly chief, led twenty-five Mexicans under his immediate command into the ravine to aid the Texans, and was followed by a few men under Carbajal and by the Carrizo Indians, who fought bravely. Except for the few men under Zapata and Carbajal, (whose left arm was broken by a bullet during the engagement), a majority of the Mexican troops at the rear under the leadership of Canales remained idle spectators of the scene, having rejected the repeated appeals of Ross and Zapata for help. During the Centralist assault, "Canales sounded his horn and galloped about in the chaparals about 1/2 mile from the enemy."[108]  Between the hours of 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon the Centralist cavalry charged the Texans in the ravine, but hastily withdrew when its commander was killed by Private Bowen of Price's Company, who leaped to his feet, crying out, "Boys, by God, I have knocked him over, and now let us charge them."[109]  A general shout now resounded down the Texan line, and the Anglo-Saxons who had grown restless from inactivity charged from the arroyo in wild zest and, being joined by a portion of the main body of Federalists, dashed up the hill after the retreating Mexican column as it wavered under the concentrated fire of Ross' men. Thereafter, a

106. Ibid.

107. Huson, "Iron Men," p. 91.

108. "Information from Major [Richard] Roman," in Lamar Papers, VI, 137.

109. Quoted by Captain Benjamin Hill, in ibid., VI, 135.

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