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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

name was sufficient to do this," declared Neal. The enemy infantry, perceiving the retreat and confusion of their cavalry, instead of rendering assistance fled in disorder toward the city. This brief, but decisive victory was marred by the refusal of nearly one-fourth to one-third of Zapata's men under Colonel José María González to charge and by the flight of one or two of the Federalist cavalry companies, which took advantage of the excitement to desert to the enemy. "The gestures were all fierce -- the spirit, if not frivolous, then preoccupied. The Texans again were scandalized."[167]

While this brief battle was being enacted without the city, some of Pavón's infantrymen deserted into the town and informed Arista of the number and condition of the Federalist forces. "An officer in the Federal Army," reported later that a colonel of infantry was bribed as well as a Major General López, "the best skilled officer in the force."[168]  With the aid of the deserters, Arista planned to encourage the remainder of the Pavón men to betray their new-found friends, "to steal the ammunition; and when he . . . should give the appointed signal to turn upon the Federalists & slaughter them," narrates Neal. On the night of the 1st Arista sent agents among the Federalist bivouacs. "The plan was all arranged -- and . . . [might] have succeeded, but that a Letter was rec[eive]d by Canalis, late at night, from a friend in the City, apprising him fully of the treachery." Early the next morning, Canales assembled his troops and prepared to retreat. "The treacherous soldiers of Parbone [Pavón], suspecting that their designs were detected, broke precipitately from the garrison & made for the City."[169]  Finding his ranks suddenly reduced to approximately four hundred men by treachery, desertion, and bribery, Canales fled hurriedly in the direction of Marín twenty-five miles to the north.[170]  Canales, himself, proceeded in advance "with a company of Life Guards commanded by the notorious Dr. [Horatio Alexander] Alsbury of San Antonio -- Zapata brought up the rear, with Captain Price.[171]

167. Horgan, Great River, vol. II, p. 564.

168. Morning Star, March 31, 1840.

169. "Information from Anson G. Neal, May 30, 1847," in Lamar Papers, VI, 103-104; Bustamante, El gabinete mexicano, II, 39-40; Supplement to El Diario del Gobierno, Jan. 12, 1840, gives Arista's report of the battle.

170. The literature of the time often uses the word "Maríno" and "Marín" interchangeably.

171. "Information from Anson G. Neal, May 30, 1847," in Lamar Papers, VI, 103-105; Petition of Juana Navarro Alsbury to the Legislature of the State of

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