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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

attack, but held his men formed for battle. That night the two armies camped near each other, and maintained careful vigilance.

Throughout the next day an intermittent cannonade was kept up between the two sides, but Arista showed little desire to come to grips with the revolutionists. A small hill separated the two contending forces. Late in the afternoon a few of the Texas cavalry spied out the location and number of the enemy, after which the four pieces of Federalist artillery[163]  were moved to the top of the hill. With the enemy now in full view, the Texans intensified their cannonade. Their fire proved so effective that the enemy became discomfited. The artillery duel ceased at dark, and during the night Arista retreated to Monterey, pursued by the Federalists, who took up a position in an unfinished church (Bishop's Palace on Independence Hill at the western edge of the city) and trained their cannon upon the city. Arista's official version of this episode was that during the night Canales sought to impose himself between Arista's position and the city, thus causing Arista to withdraw his army hurriedly toward Monterey on the 31st to protect the city.[164]  The fact remains, however, the Federalists succeeded in establishing themselves in a suburb of the city, and during the night and most of the next day an ineffective cannonade was kept up on both sides, the Centralists using a seven-inch mortar which they had placed during the night on the roof of a house.

About 4 p.m. the enemy cavalry and a portion of his infantry sallied forth from the city. The Texans were anxious to leave their positions to give them battle, but Canales, ever suspicious, superstitious, and cowardly, forbad an attack, claiming that the enemy had extensive reserves and was only attempting to decoy him from his stronghold. Canales, related Anson G. Neal, "was not disposed, personally to leave his place of safety, and wanted the Americans to remain with him."[165]  Instead, he sent Zapata out with a detachment of cavalry to reconnoiter. Upon coming in contact with the Centralist cavalry, Zapata charged fiercely, and found no great difficulty in putting them to flight.[166]  "His

163. One nine-pounder, two six-pounders, and one nine-inch mortar. Lamar Papers, VI, 102.

164. Alessio Robles, Coahuila y Texas, II, 217 n.

165. "Information derived from Anson G. Neal, May 30, 1847," in Lamar Papers, VI, 103; El Ancla, March 13, 1840.

166. "Itinerario de las campañas en Tamaulipas, Coahuila y N. León, desde 23 de Febrero de 1839 hasta hoy 28 de Marzo de 1841," in El Ancla, March 29, 1841, says the Centralist cavalry defeated the enemy.

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