The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
small force--323 infantry and 300 cavalry-25 to unite with the
force under Fernandez at Matamoras. There he was to be joined
by 300 men from Yucatan. He was then to cross the Rio Grande
and guard the right flank of the main army. It was these troops
under Urrea, who having crossed the Rio Grande on February 17,
met and destroyed the remnant of the Matamoras expedition, led
by Grant and Johnson, on February 27 and March 2, 1836.
By this time it was clear to his generals that Santa Anna meant
to march overland to Bexar. They all strongly disapproved of
the plan. The second in command was General Vicente Filisola, an
Italian by birth, but for many years a citizen of Mexico. There
were also Generals Sesma, Gaona, Tolsa, Andrade, Woll, and Cos,
all of whom were now ordered to concentrate their commands
before the little town of Bexar.
Filisola urged to the last that the base of operations on the Rio
Grande should be established at Mier. He founded his argument
on the facts that this more southerly route was shorter; that it
was closer to other towns that might be expected to furnish sup-
plies; and that an advance made by way of San Patricio and
Goliad to San Felipe would cut Bexar off from the rest of Texas
and thus make the taking of it easy; indeed, he pointed out that
the Texans might even be forced to abandon it without a battle.
By this plan, also, the Mexican army would have a chance of
being supported, in part, with supplies by sea. But Santa Anna
stubbornly rejected"2' all advice, and the troops set out on their
long march of more than 500 miles. Following Filisola's account,
the Mexican army was divided into five sections:
1. Vanguard under Sesma............ 1,541 men, 6 guns;
2. First Brigade under Gaona......... 1,600 men, 6 guns;
3. Second Infantry under Tolsa....... 1,838 men, 6 guns;
(This brigade included Cos's Troops)
4. Cavalry under Andrade............ 437 men;
5. Detachment under Urrea,
300 infantry, 301 cavalry, total.... 601 men, one gun;
6. Altogether they totaled............ 6,019 men, 21 guns.
2"Urrea, Diario, 7-10; Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 65.
"0Filisola, Guerra de Tejas, II, 255-269. In discussing these plans for
the march, Filisola says, "it was pure contrariness and a wilful deter-
mination to have his own way that caused Santa Anna to persist in his
plan to march overland." He adds, however, that Santa Anna was to
be somewhat excused, because lihe was sick.
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/16/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.