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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

The Centralists pursued closely, and it was no easy matter for the Texans to fight their way out of Mexico. However, warding off enemy cavalry attacks, they followed the Monclova road for some distance, and then turned eastward toward Candela, and thence northward through Santiago, La Presa, and Lampazos to Laredo. During the retreat they unexpectedly came upon 1,200 Centralist troops headed for Saltillo, who did not attack them but doggedly pursued them to Candela.[140]  At Candela the Texans were joined on the 28th by González, who accompanied them to Laredo, where he resided. The enemy pursued them as far as Lampazos, a small town between two mountains,[141]  seventy-two miles below Laredo; thereafter, without further molestation the Texans reached the Río Grande on the 31st and crossed to Laredo -- their escape was an achievement which has been likened to that of Xenophon. At some forty miles below Laredo, Jordan's men were met by two small companies under Antonio Pérez and J. M. Menchaca, totalling some thirty or forty in number,[142]  which in name may have been "a regiment," but in numbers was far from it. Pérez and Menchaca were sent from Laredo by Seguin, who had arrived on the frontier at that point, where word had been received of the betrayal of the Texans and of their flight.[143]  In the retreat through the mountains of northern Mexico, Captain Lari of Zacatecas and Ewen Cameron led the way, and, "becoming separated from the command, never rejoined it." Cameron succeeded in reaching home safely to fight again against Mexico, but the fate of Lari is unknown.[144]

140. "Information derived from Anson G. Neal, Laredo, May 30, 1847," in Lamar Papers, VI, 110-111.

141. These mountains were plainly visible from the Río Grande.

142. "Statement of P. F. Bowman, Buffalo, N. Y.," in Lamar Papers, IV, Pt. I, 239; Huson, "Refugio," vol. II, chap. 23, p. 14. Bowman reported Seguin with one hundred Americans at Laredo.

143. "Information derived from J. M. Monchaca [Menchaca?], San Fernando," in Lamar Papers, IV, Pt. II, 70-71; Seguin, Memoirs, 20.

144. "Captain Newcombe's Recollections," in Lamar Papers, VI, 127. "Capt. Lari, from Zaccateccas, followed us thro' the first campaign," said Neal, "and after the defeat of Canalis near San Fernando, went to Mexico; made fair weather with the Govt. but returned again, and joined us on the Nueces, went with Jordan thro' the whole campaign but was too terrified at Saltillo to fight. He was afraid to desert with López, because he had once adjured the cause & had been forgiven by the govt. and he knew very well, if retaken he would find no quarters. He could neither desert nor fight. He remained hid during the battle, and whilst crossing the mountain with Jordan, he fled and has not been heard of since." Ibid., VI, 111.

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