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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

continued their march, but in the woods off the road at el rancho Laja, near the Río Grande, they intercepted a courier, whom their men chased and captured. After a careful search of him, they "found in the sole of one of his shoes, a letter from Canalis . . . to Molano."[150]  Upon opening and reading the letter, Jordan learned of Canales' plans to surrender to the Centralists. Canales, apparently not yet aware of the incident at Saltillo when he wrote, is reported to have written Molano that all was going well and that he was in the process of concluding a secret treaty with the enemy by which the Americans were to return home and the Centralists and Federalists were to end the war and once more become brothers.[151]

Jordan now dispatched Arriola and Menchaca with fifty men to hasten to Camargo to request Canales to remain there until he and Seguin could join him. They were ordered "to apprehend and hang him" [Canales], if he should attempt to leave, reported Menchaca.[152]  When Arriola and Menchaca arrived before Camargo, they found that Canales had crossed the river, disbanded his Mexican troops, and had gone to Mier to confer with General Reyes. The two captains wished to pursue Canales and carry out the orders that they had received but Colonel Fisher objected, saying that Canales had stipulated in the treaty for the payment of the American soldiers and others before they were disbanded. This was the most that could be hoped for under existing circumstances, although it was becoming clearer all the time that Canales was a traitor to the cause he espoused and to the volunteers he had enlisted in Texas. Arriola and Menchaca gave up the idea of carrying out their plan to attempt a capture of Canales.

While Jordan had been marching toward Saltillo, Canales with about two hundred Mexicans and one hundred Texans led by Joe Wells,[153]  a Houston bricklayer, and approximately eighty Indians advanced upon Marín, with the intent of pushing on to Victoria to join Jordan and Molano. Fisher did not accompany Canales in his march towards the interior, but remained behind at Camargo sick with the smallpox. Finding a large body of Centralists under Generals Isidro Reyes and Arista near Marín blocking his advance, Canales, after a brief skirmish in the Bosque de Gallo, retreated toward Camargo with Reyes'

150. Ibid.

151. Ibid.

152. Ibid.

153. Lamar Papers, VI, 117, 127; El Ancla, Sept. 28, 1840, says Canales had 200 Texans, 20 Indians, and about 80 countrymen; ibid., Oct. 12, 1840, says Canales had 200 colonists, 80 Indians, and 30 Mexicans, and that Molano had 400 men, including 150 colonists.

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