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Rumors of Invasion

three Anglo-Texans were killed and the Mexicans suffered losses of five killed and sixteen wounded.[18]

Meanwhile the search for Agatón continued. In a letter from a loyal Mexican of San Antonio de Béxar, dated July 1, General Rafael Vasquez was informed that the next day Antonio Parez would leave Béxar with a few less than two hundred men, including thirty Mexicans and the rest Americans, "with the sole object of surprising the force under Agatón Quinoñes." Béxar, he said, would be left unprotected against any Mexican division which might wish to advance against it. The informer also reported that one thousand men, including five hundred soldiers and the rest muleteers and merchants, had left for New Mexico twelve days before.[19] [Ed: The Santa Fé Expedition]

General Arista, in the meantime, sought to break up the increasing illicit trade of Mexicans with the Texan enemy. From Sabinas on April 13 he issued a proclamation to his troops and to the people of the eastern frontier departments warning them to cease their trade with the Texans and reminding them that the penalty for such a crime was ten years' service in the regular army on the frontier, and confiscation of the goods, beasts, and all effects used in conducting the trade.[20]  The Mexicans refused to sell any land west of the Nueces to any person who would not become a citizen of Mexico, and repeatedly asserted that no person would be permitted to live west of that river unless he acknowledged the authority of Mexico.

By way of enforcing the policy against illicit trading, and especially for the purpose of punishing "the Texan gangs who boldly advance to hostilize the frontier," General Ampudia, who commanded the First Division of the Second Brigade of the Army Corps of the North with headquarters at Matamoros, dispatched a Mexican force of two hundred rancheros under Captain Enrique Villareal in cooperation with a squadron of defensores from Matamoros under Don Macedonio Capistrán towards the Rancho del Oso. The Mexican troops descended upon Kinney's rancho. At the ranch, their leaders became convinced

18. Ibid.; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 14, 1841; El Cosmopolita (Mexico City), July 28, 1841.

19. El Centinela de Nuevo León, July 25, 1841, quoted in El Cosmopolita, Aug. 7, 1841.

20. Mariano Arista, El C[iudadano] Mariano Arista, general de brigade del egército mégicano y en gefe del cuerpo de Egército del Norte, dado en el cuartel general de Sabinas el dia 13 de abril de 1841, broadside; also, in El Ancla, May 3, 1841; Texas Sentinel (Austin), July 1, 1841.

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