and since they had encountered no troops there were no "spoils of war." But the Texans, he continued, insisted that all those who had not taken up arms for the Federation were Centralists and that they must sack the towns, haciendas, and ranches and distribute to themselves what was captured. To this Molano is alleged to have replied that he did not come to make war against his own country; that he had never offered them such spoils; and that he had rather lose his life first than consent to such infamous conduct as they wished to follow, which would be extremely prejudicial to the cause which the Federalists were defending, "for our depredations," he said, "would form a contrast before the eyes of the people with the severe discipline maintained by the troops of General Arista and his constant system of respecting the persons and goods of all peaceful inhabitants." The reaction to the Federalist seizures of property and mistreatment of the inhabitants was daily becoming more evident as "an insuperable barrier to the progress of the revolution."
In view of this attitude, the Texans held a council and agreed to separate from Molano's command and not to continue forward; but as "they observed my cheerful compliance," reported Molano, they sent a commission to me "to tell me that they had changed their opinion [mind] and were determined to follow under my orders." Thus the Mexicans and Texans continued to operate as a combined unit; but, Molano later seeking to justify his betrayal of the Texans and make a secure place for himself in Mexico, declared, "vengeance lodged in their hearts" and the Texans intended to separate from us "at the best opportunity." In the meantime, he said, they introduced discord among the Mexicans and conspired against his person, "under the pretext that I did not have the necessary energy to provide myself resources." Since the threatening reply of Colonel Karnes to Canales, discussed earlier, he said, he had opposed the use of foreign troops, being "convinced of their ambition and perfidious intentions" and had concluded that the Federalists must choose between the extremes of having a country badly governed, or of "losing it forever and bending . . . beneath a strange and ominous yoke."
Thus from the time of the incident at Villagran, Molano determined to put an end to the horrors of war, especially as he saw no hope of
64. Juan Nepomuceno Molano á Señores Editores del Ancla, Matamoros, Marzo 1o de 1841, in El Ancla, March 15, 1841.