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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

what it may be worth in regard to my forces, but to prevent the atrocious vengeance which the Americans would take on the Mexicans who from henceforth may fall into their hands, and on the unfortunate settlers of this frontier, whose happiness, and nothing else, has been the object of my sufferings. Our war would have . . . ended since August last, had not the Texians intended to plant their standard along the whole northern bank of the Río Bravo, and in which case I should have ceased to be not only a Federalist, but a Christian, if you please, had I permitted this new insult to our country, and particularly to us Mexicans on the Nueces.[165]

Whereupon, Canales enclosed a copy of Captain Karnes' letter of July 26 and a copy of his own reply of August 4. He described Karnes as "the arrogant chief of Béxar," simply because Karnes had indicated that the President of the Republic of Texas was displeased with the pretensions of Canales that the boundary of Texas on the south was the Nueces and not the Río Grande as claimed by Texas.[166]  It is believed that the letter was never actually transmitted to Karnes,[167]  but Canales undoubtedly was glad to have Karnes' letter and a copy (or so-called copy) of his vigorous denunciation of it and Karnes to keep him from sharing Zapata's fate if his ambitious enterprise failed. Wrote Canales,

Karnes' letter is nearly destroyed from wearing it so long in my pocket, where I kept it with the view that had I perished in any battle, an evidence of my fidelity to my country should be found upon my body, to which I have been wrongfully and upon appearances only, denounced as a Traitor. A horrible baseness which I never will commit, not even against my most inveterate enemies, and no doubt much less against my country, to which I owe my most constant services! From this day, then, my friend, I am at your command; my friends shall be your friends; and all the forces of the villages of the frontier are united to you, to co-operate in the salvation of the frontier, and to avenge the national honor.

To Karnes' request that the Federalist leadership recognize the Texas boundary as being at the Río Grande, Canales, in making his peace with Arista, represented himself as having replied indignantly.[168]  To

165. Lic. [Antonio] Canales to General Mariano Arista, Camp Olmitos, Nov. 2, 1840, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 13, 1841; Sept. 15, 1842.

166. Col. H. W. Karnes to Gen. Canales, Béxar, July 26, 1840; Antonio Canales to H. W. Karnes, Lipantitlán, Aug. 4, 1840, in ibid., Aug. 31, 1842.

167. For the views of Karnes and Canales, see pp. 322-325 of this work.

168. Ibid.

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