ordinary Mexicans; in view of their professed knowledge of the distribution of troops and the military plans of their government, they may well have been sent by the Mexican authorities to deceive the Texans.
Price planned to remain at Victoria eight or ten days to recruit his horses before proceeding west "as far as practicable." In the meantime, he requested information concerning the length of time his command was to be enrolled and the means of procuring provisions, ammunition, and other supplies.
From San Antonio, at the other end of the line on the southwestern frontier, it was reported in January 1841, that a party of forty Mexicans, supposedly of General Vasquez's command, had appeared at Seguin's and adjoining ranches and driven off some two hundred head of cattle. They were thought to be encamped on the Terdeo, a small stream between the San Antonio and Nueces rivers. Major George T. Howard, accompanied by Colonel Juan N. Seguin and a few citizens of Béxar, was reported to have gone in pursuit of the raiders with a detachment of troops from the command at Béxar. Actually, since the fall of 1839 marauding gangs, commanded by Agatón Quinoñes (formerly a resident of Béxar), with thirty men, and Manuel Leal, and more recently one under Ignacio García, with twenty-five men, had made their appearance on the Nueces frontier, "ostensibly as government customs guards." According to ranger Ford, they were "really unauthorized bandits and cut-throats, banded together for the purpose of pillaging and robbing the unguarded trader." Arista, of late, it was reported at San Antonio, had given a severe check to the commerce in that region, "by granting roving commissions to certain parties of marauders, who are authorized by him to plunder all traders whom they meet coming from Texas." It was probably one of these roving bands which raided Seguin's ranch.
12. John S. Ford, "Memoirs," I, 243-247. It is interesting to note that Manuel Leal, who commanded the district around Presidio del Río Grande before the Americans took over during the war between the United States and Mexico, petitioned the American commander of the area, a Texan, in February 1848, for "protection against the Mexicans! with many protestations of friendship for 'los Americanos' declaring that he had never robbed any one but Mexicans during his official existence." John A. Veatch to Gen. M. B. Lamar, Presidio de Río Grande, Feb. 23, 1848, in Lamar Papers, IV, pt. I, 193-194.
13. R[euben] M[armaduke] P[otter] to the Editor of the Morning Star, San Antonio de Béxar, May 15, 1841, reproduced in Telegraph and Texas Register, June 9. 1841.