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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

erals.[134]  The rancheros who had been called by Canalizo to defend the city, now returned home, leaving only six hundred Centralist troops to hold Matamoros.[135]

Canales' timorousness proved disgusting to more than one Texan, including Ross, who had other cause, too, for dissatisfaction. Disgruntled by Canales' procrastination on launching an attack upon Matamoros and repudiated by his own men who elected Jordan to command them, Ross returned home accompanied by Sweitzer,[136]

134. James Treat to Col. James Love, [Mexico City, Dec. 17, 1839], in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1908, II, 512; A. S. Wright to William Bryan, Mexico City, Dec. 25, 1839, in ibid., 1908, II, 518.

135. Report of Reuben Ross and Alonzo B. Sweitzer upon their arrival in Austin. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 25, 1839.

136. Alonzo B. Sweitzer, an Ohio physician of considerable literary ability, arrived in Texas after the battle of San Jacinto; served as a captain in the Texan army from May 15 to December 17, 1836, and thereafter until July 31, 1837, as a lieutenant colonel in the 1st Regiment, Permanent Volunteers. While stationed on Galveston Island in 1836, Captain Sweitzer forcibly, through the seizure of the fort and the training of its cannon upon the ships in the harbor, prevented the Secretary of War and the Army Quartermaster from transferring to Velasco for the use of the main army recently arrived supplies of clothing, provisions, and other items until his men first had been properly supplied.

In 1837 Sweitzer was sent by General Felix Huston to destroy the fortifications at Béxar, but was prevented from doing so by Colonel Juan N. Seguin. From August 24, 1837, to June 24, 1838, he was a special agent to treat with the Comanche Indians. From November 6, 1838, to January 24, 1839, he represented Gonzales in the Third Congress; and in the campaign for re-election he accused Ben McCulloch of being a moral coward for his refusal to debate him in the campaign; McCulloch won the election by a large vote. In the pursuit of the Comanches following their raid on Linnville in August 1840, Sweitzer accused Ben McCulloch of trying to lead the Texans off the trail of the Indians for which McCulloch challenged him to a duel and again later on the Blanco River after the pursuit of the Indians, but Sweitzer backed down. Later, at Gonzales, reported Captain Benjamin Hill, Reuben Ross bore a challenge to Benjamin McCulloch from Sweitzer, "a d____d mean man, . . . although unworthy of the friendship of Ross," whom he tried to supplant in the command at Matamoros. "Ross took the place of his friend [when McCulloch refused to meet Sweitzer] and wounded McCulloch at their meeting" at Gonzales September 19, 1840, in the right arm. Ross was a gentleman and offered the services of his own surgeon, which were received. "This [fight] rankled in the breast of the McColoughs [McCullochs]," reports Hill; "and one of them, Henry McColough, subsequently [at a Christmas party the same year] at Gonzales sought an occasion whilst Ross was drunk, to provoke a controversy, and shoot him." Mortally wounded, Ross died early in January 1841. Sweitzer was finally killed by Major R. S. Neighbors while Neighbors was performing his duties as quartermaster. "Information from Capt. Benj.

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