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The Southwestern Frontier

At the time of the raid Captain Hays' party was out on a scout.[14]  Having contacted Price on the lower Nueces, Hays went in the direction of Laredo to see what he could learn about the assembling of Mexican troops for an invasion. Finding but a few soldiers at Laredo, who, not wishing to engage the Texans, crossed to the other side of the river, Hays boldly entered the town. The Texans appropriated a number of horses in the city and drove them to their encampment. The next morning the horses were returned to the inhabitants of the town with a note that the Texans were willing to fight enemy troops but not to rob peaceful citizens.[15]  The explanation offered for the seizure of the horses was, reported Hays, "merely to let the Mexicans know that if we chose to retaliate the robbing which had been committed on the Americans," we "were fully able to do it."

Early in 1841 Antonio Herrera and Francisco Ganado[16]  and their associates left San Antonio with several mules loaded with important cargoes. They were attacked near Laredo by a band of freebooters under Agatón. The unfortunate traders hastily returned to San Antonio to report their losses. Becoming concerned with the increasing interference with their trade, some of the leading merchants[17]  hastily dispatched a request to Lamar at Austin for permission to raise a company of rangers for the protection of the frontier trade. The President referred the matter to Congress, and in the meantime authorized the raising of a company for immediate service. As soon as Chief Justice John S. Simpson received this authorization at Béxar, Captain Hays, who was out on patrol in conformance with orders from the War Department, was notified; and he immediately set out on the 15th of March[18]  in pursuit of the marauders.[19]  His company comprised twelve

14. Benjamin G. Gillan, Capt. of 1st Inf., Secd Comdr of the Post, to Col. Hugh McLeod, Adjt. and Insp. Gen., T[exas] A[rmy], Alamo, San Antonio, Jan. 10, 1841, Army Papers (Texas), ms.; Ford, "Memoirs," II, 243-247.

15. Lamar Papers, IV, pt. I, 232. The date here is incorrectly given as 1840.

16. Francisco Ganado was elected a member of the City Council on July 16, 1842. San Antonio, City of, "Journal A, Records of the City of San Antonio," p. 120, ms.

17. John S. Ford names these merchants: [James W.] Robertson [Robinson?], [Henry Clay] Davis, William Elliot, and Nat Lewis. Ford, "Memoirs," II, 243-247.

18. Ibid.

19. John S. Ford, who was a member of this company, gave the names of the men as follows: Mat Jett, Stephen Jett, Michael Chevallie, John Hancock, Robert Patton, Jim Hudson, Joshua Thredgill, James Dunn, Nat Herbert, J. N. Fisk, John C. Hays, and himself. Ibid. The Muster Roll for John C. Hays' Spy Company,

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