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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

Telegraph and Texas Register,[132]  represented "that the whole of the foreigners (Texians) were slain!" Such was "the sacrifice and slaughter of our misguided citizens," wrote James Love of Galveston, "who were rash enough to put faith in a misguided Mexican."[133]

Night descended. All was now so calm. Indeed, hardly a sound could be heard, save the cries of the wounded and the occasional dismal flapping of the wings of the fierce zapalotes,[134]  now hovering over the Pass, or the distant and almost human yell of the hungry wolves, answered by others away in the gloomy recesses of the surrounding mountains. They were already beginning to gather in their horrible repast.

During the night the little band of Texans gathered up what personal gear they could take with them, destroyed the remainder,[135]  collected their nine wounded, gathered arms and munitions from the enemy dead, mounted their horses and sought to escape through a pass in the mountains. As they entered the pass, the Texans found the Mexican cavalry and infantrymen planting a cannon there. The Centralists made a desperate charge, but once more fled under a hot and galling fire from the Texans, which caused many to fall, including their commander. Jordan's men turned and ascended a mountain ordinarily deemed impassable. Volunteer enemy troops from Saltillo, consisting of men, women, and children, according to one eye-witness account, stationed on the brow of the mountain rolled stones down upon the Texans[136]  and received the "gringos" with a concentrated fire of muskets, but one well-directed fire from Jordan's men felled

reported to Washington that the Texan losses were six or eight killed and wounded. D. W. Smith to John Forsyth, Matamoros, Nov. 12, 1840, in Consular Dispatches (Matamoros), 1840-1848, ms., microfilm; José Cayetano de Montoya, Comandancia militar de Saltillo. Á Señor Goneral [sic] en Gefe D. Mariano Arista, Saltillo, Octubre 30 de 1840.

132. Dec. 23, 1840. It was reported here that Jordan's command numbered 114.

133. James Love to Dr. Anson Jones, New Orleans, Nov. 30, 1840, in Anson Jones, Memoranda and Official Correspondence Relating to the Republic of Texas, Its History and Annexation: Including a Brief Autobiography of the Author, pp. 156-157.

134. The zapalote (za-pa-lo-te) is a specie [Ed: species] of vulture with black body and wings. The head, tail, and tips of the wings are white. They fly by night as well as by day, and are very fierce.

135. The Austin City Gazette, Dec. 2, 1840.

136. "Statement of Mr. P. F. Bowman, Buffalo, N. Y.," in Lamar Papers, IV, Pt. I, 238.

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