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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

to Laredo. I shall wait here only the general orders of the Government. Meantime the pretentions of the Federalists to the territory between the Nueces and the Río Grande have wounded the feelings of the President and have also excited the indignation of the people. The line of demarcation having been established by the first Congress of Texas, the President considers the preservation of the said boundary as one of his constitutional duties, and with the view of preserving the said law inviolate, he has ordered a large regular force thereto, under the command of Col. Cooke. Should this difficulty not be arranged before taking up the line of my march, I shall proceed to Laredo and thence along the Río Grande to its mouth, and plant the standard of Texas on its eastern bank. But should the boundary line be recognized as defined, then the Government of Texas will give you all the succor which may be in its power for the glorious cause you defend. Having been a defender of liberty from my youth up to this day, you may with certainty infer that all my sympathies are united in your favor, and if I am not found battling by your side, it is not because your cause is less pleasing to me, but because I prefer that of my own country. In a word, my friend, some guarantee must be given before an union is formed, or before we enter into any mutual combination.

Should you coincide with me in sentiments, and be willing to enter into stipulations with my Government, and should you think convenient to propose to the President to invest one with plenary powers to settle the matter, I would proceed to any place you may point out on the Río Grande, and I should be much pleased to act the part of a peacemaker in this important crisis. Our united efforts this time, in my humble opinion, will place your liberties upon a permanent basis, while disunion may lead it to dissolution and death.

In conclusion, Karnes stated that in a few days he would be in need of beef for the troops that were to assemble at San Antonio, and since many of the Mexican ranchers around Béxar were Centralists, he asked Canales if he could furnish him with 150 to 200 beeves. He was authorized to pay for them by drafts on the Treasury Department, "but should you not be able to furnish them, I shall be compelled," he wrote, "to take them from the citizens by consent or by force." He also requested of Canales eight or ten good horses for gathering cattle.[19]

Canales was indignant that Karnes should presume he had so little honor,[20]  and hastily informed him that the Federalists had

19. Ibid.

20. Lic. [Antonio] Canales to Col. H. W. Karnes, Lipantitlán, Aug. 4, 1840, in ibid., Aug. 31, 1842. Translation by George Fisher. It is most doubtful that

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