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Rumors of Invasion

became alarmed and disbanded, although some of the men attached themselves to the service of Kinney at Corpus Christi.[25]

Upon withdrawing toward Matamoros, however, Captain Capistrán and his defensores had, on the morning of June 15 at 10 o'clock, suddenly come upon another party of Texans in el paraje del Pastle. In the distance the Mexican spies descried a caballada and a large herd of cattle, numbering some 230 head, being driven along a road leading toward the interior of Texas by fourteen men. The Mexicans immediately bore down upon the Texans at a gallop, hoping to attack them in the open plain that they were in the process of crossing, but the "Texan thieves," observing the approach of the enemy, fled to a nearby wooded area, where they surrendered at discretion without the firing of a shot and were taken to Matamoros.[26]

Villareal and his men had returned to the Río Grande before the arrival of Price on the frontier, leaving a force of twenty-five men under Lieutenant Norverto Galán to protect the passes of the Arroyo Colorado.[27]  However, "it appears," said Price, "from the statement made by the traders who have visited our country of late, that it is the settled purpose of the Mexican authorities not only to assert, but maintain the control of the territory between the Nueces and Río Grande. I learn from a creditable source that the Mexican mail passes weekly between Kinney's Ranch and Matamoros."[28]  Another party of cow thieves was captured on the Colorado and all were hung. A man named Hopkins, who had recently effected his escape from Matamoros, was overtaken by a pursuing Mexican party and shot. By mid-July 1841, it was reported at Houston that the Mexican troops had killed between the Río Grande and the Nueces River about 47 cow thieves within the space of a few weeks.[29]  Although bandits still operated

25. [Statement of Colonel H. L. Kinney], Lamar Papers, no. 2421, ms.; John T. Price to [Branch T. Archer], Secretary of War, July 2, 1841, in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 436-437.

26. El Ancla, June 21, 1841; Pedro de Ampudia ál Sr. General Gefe del cuerpo de Egército del Norte, cuerpo de egército del Norte, 1a Division, 2d Brigada, Núm. 160 [161?], Matamoros, Junio 18 de 1841, in El Ancla, June 21, 1841.

27. Ibid.

28. John T. Price to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War, July 2, 1841, Army Papers (Texas), ms.; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 424-425; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 7, 1841; Texas Sentinel, July 1, 1841.

29. Telegraph and Texas Register, July 14, 1841.

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