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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

bitter hand to hand fight ensued which lasted until near sunset. "The impetuosity of the Texans broke through all restraint, and completely deranged and destroyed the plan of battle."[110]  The Texans, however, were checked within ten to fifteen steps of the enemy's artillery and were forced to seek the cover of the ravine. Part of the Texan difficulty resulted from a conflict in orders. Great confusion ensued when, in the charge upon Pavón, Hagler called for a retreat.[111]  Ross, Jordan, and other officers exerted themselves in vain to enforce order among their men; but the Indians and a few of the Texans could not be checked and "every man was an officer and a host within himself, and fought on his own account." In the assault, the Federalists had two killed, both Texans, and sixteen wounded.[112]

No sooner had the Texans gained the protection of the ravine than the Centralists blew a charge, but their men could not be brought to the attack. Their artillery continued to play upon the Texan position until near dark, when both parties drew off for the night -- the Federalists to the water on the right and the Centralists half a mile farther up the hill. The fire of the artillery gradually subsided; the sun went down; the heavy and reverberated report of cannon came at longer and more uncertain intervals; finally, it was hushed; a profound and painful silence descended, and the cold, deepening shadows of evening crept silently over the field. The two armies were still there, and were still regarding each other face to face, awaiting the coming of day to renew the struggle.

That night the two armies lay camped in close juxtaposition, about two miles apart; but an hour or two before day, before their movements were known, the Centralists were on the march. The mounted Texans, however, were soon in quick pursuit, leaving the Federalist infantry to overtake the enemy's rear guard and baggage. Pavón sent a white flag to the Federalists at 8 a.m. as a ruse to hold them in check while his artillery and infantry moved towards water, his forces having been without water all night. Perceiving the object of his opponent, Canales sent forward a battalion of cavalry (about 160 men) and the whole body of Texans to head him off. Thus, on the morning of October 4, finding himself cut off from water and perceiving the Texans out in front, Pavón surrendered at discretion after a brief, but spirited

110. Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 275.

111. "Capt. Newcomb's Recollections," in Lamar Papers, VI, 123.

112. Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Jan. 4, 1840. Jacob ("Jake") Hendricks and _______ Hammons of Lavaca were the two Texans killed in the charge and repulse.

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