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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

cavalry, followed by Arista's infantry, "at his heels all the way. The Americans were anxious to halt and give Ariste battle, but Canalis always said," narrated Captain Newcomb who was not present, "that Ariste was too strong -- it seems that it was not Ariste's desire to attack Canalis on his retreat, but to force him out of the Country without a fight. Every morning the buglers of Ariste . . . [were] heard in Canalis' Camp."[154]

Abandoning to Reyes and Arista his cannons, some provisions, some freight, and a part of the remount, Canales fell back toward the Río Grande without firing a gun, except in the Bosque de Gallo. During the retreat, Reyes' troops killed two of Canales' men and took four prisoners. Finally, Canales recrossed the Río Grande at El Rancho Clareño (five leagues from Guerrero) on October 17, in precipitate flight, having covered the distance from Marín to Clareño in six days, with General Reyes only three hours behind, alleging he could never catch up with the hasty retreat of the Federalist leader.[155]

Once more General Arista, "offering new guarantees," invited Canales to put an end to the war.[156]  In the meantime, Arista halted at Montemorelos on November 1, where he remained three days due to the illness of eleven officers and one-fifth of his men who were suffering from intermittent fever.[157]  Canales remained inactive on the east bank of the Río Grande and ultimately surrendered, largely as the result of a special appeal made by his cousin, José María Carrasco, and Padre Rafael de Lira of Candela. Padre Lira wrote Canales that if the Texans saw the Mexicans

shedding each other's blood in torrents, they will gladly lend us a helping hand; and if you, yourself, and all those that accompany you, were to perish in carrying out the plans you have proposed, they will dance for joy; for they wish not only to appropriate to themselves the beautiful and fertile lands of Texas, but to rob us of as much more of our beloved Republic as they can. . . . You ought no longer to reckon on your former friends; First, because they are only solitary spectators, or feeble enthusiasts.

154. Ibid., VI, 122.

155. El Ancla, Nov. 2, 1840; Mariano Arista General en Gefe Cuerpo de Ejército del Norte á General D. Pedro Ampudia, Cuartel general en Linares, Octubre 27 de 1840, num. 43, in ibid.

156. Itinerario de las campañas en Tamaulipas, Coahuila y N. León, desde 23 Febrero de 1839 hasta hoy 28 Marzo de 1841, in El Ancla, March 29, 1841.

157. Ibid.

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