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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

many and put the remainder to flight. During the brief engagement, P. F. Bowman stopped to fix his gun, during which time a concealed Mexican snapped his gun at him three times, before a man named St. Clair[137]  from Houston shot the Mexican in the head. The passage was now open to them and the Texans succeeded in crossing the mountain during the night, but in the dark and without a guide they got lost. They reached a valley where they found several boys herding sheep, but could gain no satisfactory information from them. A short time later while passing through a corn field, they heard the enemy cavalry approaching. As the popping of the cornstalks grew louder with the enemy's approach, Jordan's men dismounted and waited until they came within twenty paces before their captain ordered them to fire. Forty Mexicans fell, killed and wounded, and the remaining enemy cavalry fled hastily from the field. One Texan was killed.

Early the next morning the Texan vanguard learned at a rancho that they had been wandering circuitously and were only seven miles from Saltillo. They obtained accurate information from persons at the rancho, and pushed on as rapidly as possible, with the Mexicans following in their rear.[138]  When the Mexican cavalry came in sight a man by the name of Mustard Walsh dismounted and fled to the mountains never to be heard from afterwards. As the Mexicans continued to draw closer, Grisenger, a German tailor from Austin, whose horse gave out, took off the bridle and saddle of the animal and shouldering them sought to follow his comrades on foot. He was advised to throw the equipment away as it would impede his travel, but he refused to do so. Soon he was taken captive by the Mexicans, and eventually taken to Arista's headquarters, where he was interrogated and, after being warned not to come to Mexico again to fight, was given ten dollars and told to go home.[139]

The next day the Texans succeeded in reaching the Monclova road under the guidance of a peon whom they had captured after leaving the rancho. Upon reaching the Monclova road, they found three of González's men, who had been left hidden in the chaparral along the road to assist those who might escape from the battlefield below Saltillo.

137. Bowman gives the name as "Sinclair." Ibid.

138. Ibid.; S. W. Jordan to Gen. Lic. Canales, Laredo, Nov. 2, 1840, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 16, 1840.

139. "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