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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

river and inland caught their breath and had time to prepare their defenses, and the Texans fumed at inactivity; some of them went home.[118]

The Federalists rested at Mier forty days,[119]  augmented their forces, and finally took up the line of march for Matamoros via Camargo and Reinosa, leaving Dr. Felder behind to administer to the Texan wounded until they could be removed with safety to Matamoros. Upon rejoining the army before Matamoros, Dr. Felder procured a guard of seventeen men and proceeded with the wounded to the settlements on the Guadalupe.[120]  From thence, Felder reported, he went to Austin early in January 1840, to make his report to the adjutant general. At Austin he learned that he, and the whole of Ross' Company had been stricken from the service rolls, and their names published in every paper throughout the Republic as deserters;[121]  nevertheless, "scores of hardy riflemen" were said to be hurrying westward to join the Federalists on the Río Grande and to assist in seizing Matamoros, which for so long had been the ambition of many Texans.[122]  The Telegraph at Houston pictured the Texan adventurers as the nucleus around which the Federal Mexicans were rallying,

. . . with a confidence not unlike that with which the Tlascalans formerly rallied around the adventurous band of Cortéz; and a panic like that which preceded him wherever he turned his citorious standard, now spreads in the van of the Federal army. . . . Scores of hardy riflemen are hurrying to join them; and it is not improbable that this now apparently rash and imprudent expedition may eventually terminate in the downfall of the present Mexican dynasty.[123]

118. Horgan, Great River, II, 563.

119. Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas, II, 216.

120. Petition of Dr. Felder, Military Affairs Committee, Dec. 30 [1840], in Memorials and Petitions (Texas), ms.; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 8 n.

121. In January 1842, a Joint Resolution passed Congress requiring the Secretary of War to give E. J. Felder an honorable discharge from the muster roll of the Texas Volunteer Service, without receiving any pay for his services. President Houston permitted this resolution to become a law without his signature. There was no general law enacted to cover Ross' men in the same way. Ibid., III, 476; II, 197, 197 n.

122. Telegraph and Texas Register quoted in Colorado Gazette and Advertiser, Dec. 7, 1839.

123. Ibid.

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