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Frontier Raids, Threats, and Counter-Threats of Invasion

The Texans now returned to the Mexican camp, took possession of the mules and other belongings and returned to the post.[47]

A few months later, in March 1842, Cairns' small party, now reduced to eight men, was attacked near San Patricio on the Nueces by a part of Valero's troops.[48]  The Mexicans succeeded in killing Cairns, Miles, Snodgrass, White, and one other and capturing Marvin and Wells. Ewen Cameron, however, effected his escape by swimming the river.[49]  Cairns was said to have killed a Mexican after he, himself, had been mortally wounded. Colonel Kinney was able to have Marvin released the day after he was taken. Wells was carried to Matamoros, where Kinney met him later, and obtained his release.

47. Goodman, "A Statement of Facts, Washington, Feby 10, 1843," in W. D. Miller Papers, 1833-1860, ms.; Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan 12, 1842. The editor of the Telegraph reported that Cairns' men had captured the Mexicans below the Nueces, believing them to be the advance guard of a large Mexican invading force. The Morning Star (Houston) reported on January 11, 1842, that word had been received in Houston the evening before from Austin that Captain Cairns and the twenty men under him had been captured by an advance guard of 400 Mexicans under Gonzales. The news, it was said, had been conveyed to Austin in a letter from Major Roman to William E. Jones, a member of the House of Representatives from Gonzales. Morning Star of Jan. 11, 1842, quoted in Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 12, 1842.

48. The Morning Star, quoted in Telegraph and Texas Register, March 30, 1842, reported the attack occurring around March 14.

49. "Information derived from Col. [H. L.] Kinney, Corpus Christi" concerning difficulties between Mexicans and Texans, 1840-1842, in the vicinity of Corpus Christi, Lamar Papers, IV, 211-214; Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 12, 1842.

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