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The Southwestern Frontier:
Late 1840-1841

THE LATE WINTER and early spring months of 1840-1841 saw considerable activity on the southwestern frontier. Raising a small company of men on January 3, 1841,[1]  in accordance to instructions from the War Department of December 26, Captain Price proceeded west from Victoria on the 4th and reached the Nueces on the 9th,[2]  where he met Captain Hays, who had scouted from the mouth of the Frio along the Nueces. Hays reported he had found no evidence of the enemy having passed above. From the point of rendezvous, Price proceeded to Kinney's rancho, on Corpus Christi Bay, forty miles below San Patricio, where he "learned from an authentic source, that about the first of the month Col. Variel [Villareal], in command of three hundred cavalry, had been in the immediate vicinity of that place." Captain Enrique Villareal approached to within a short distance of the ranch on January 6, and at his request Colonel Kinney met him about nine miles from the ranch. Kinney's version of what took place is at variance with the reports made by others. He claimed he had a force of forty men at his ranch when the Mexicans appeared in the vicinity, but that the superiority of the Mexican force caused a desertion of all of these men except eight. With this small force he sought to keep up a deception re-enforced by his efforts to impress upon "the Mexicans that he had buried bombs and other secret means of destroying them" should

1. See Appendix, for a copy of the Muster Roll of Captain John T. Price's Company of Spies, January 3-May 2, 1841. [Ed: p.554]

2. John T. Price, Capt. of Spies, to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War [dated.] Victoria, Jan. 23, 1841, in David G. Burnet to Senate and House of Representatives, Austin, Jan. 28, 1841, in Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, p. 636; ibid., Fifth Congress, Appendix, pp. 444-446; Harriet Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 206, 206 n; Texas Sentinel (Austin), Jan. 30, 1841.

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