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The Southwestern Frontier

Christi area and that General Arista was favorable to him doing so and would write to Kinney. A few months later it was reported that Kinney had been to Arista's headquarters, where he had received assurances that he would not be molested in his operation at Corpus Christi.[9]

Meanwhile, General Arista was reported on the Texas side of the Río Grande with four or five thousand men prepared to make an immediate attack upon the lower frontier settlements. On the 7th and 8th of January several Mexicans came in to La Villa de los Jacales, but the information Dimitt obtained from them was so contradictory that he advised Colonel Jordan to arrest them as spies.[10]

With his command, Price returned from Corpus Christi to Victoria on Saturday evening, January 23, "in consequence of the weather and the muddy and almost impassable state of the prairies." Furthermore, his horses had been "hastily selected and were rendered almost useless by the recent inclemency of the weather." He was badly in need of three or four good horses, "suited for extraordinary service." He reported that he had learned from two Mexicans directly from Reinosa that Vasquez was still in camp opposite Mier, about fifteen miles east of the Río Grande, with a cavalry force estimated at eight hundred; that on the Texas side of the river opposite Matamoros there were three thousand infantry and other small detachments at the various crossings between Laredo and Matamoros; and that Arista was advancing from Saltillo with a large force and "a call had been made by the Mexican Government on the three states east of the mountains for two thousand troops each for the invasion of Texas."[11]  The writer has found no evidence to substantiate the statement that the Mexicans had at this time troops in such numbers on their northern frontier or had committed the numbers given to build up their military strength on that frontier. It seems likely that the two Mexicans who had been intercepted near Kinney's rancho and questioned by Price were not

9. Telegraph and Texas Register, June 9, 1841.

10. P. Dimitt to [President of the Republic of Texas], 10 o'clock, Jan. 9, 1841, Army Papers (Texas), ms., copy. Dimmitt says that he wrote the President on January 8, 1841, also; but this letter has not been found.

11. John T. Price, Capt. of Spies, to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War [dated:] Victoria, Jan. 23, 1841, in David 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.

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