The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 503
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Santa Anna in Texas: A Mexican Viewpoint
Urrea's troops to the south shared similar experiences. At
times only brackish water was available. A number of his soldiers
were Maya Indians from Yucatin, and they suffered intensely
from the colder climate. So severe was the weather that Urrea
noted on February 25: "Six soldiers of the battalion of Yucatan
died from exposure to the cold."55 At other times one finds such
remarks as, "The night was very raw and excessively cold. The
rain continued and the dragoons, who were barely able to dis-
mount, were so numbed by the cold that they could hardly
Cultural problems also vexed Urrea's troops. He reported in
his diary that native officers of his YucatAn recruits did not always
live up to the responsibilities vested in them, sometimes vanishing
at critical moments. "These men were, as a rule, unable to under-
stand Spanish, except in a few cases, and the other officers, not
being able to speak their language, were handicapped in giving
If the circumstances of this troop movement have been pre-
sented correctly, one would expect to find a significant number
of desertions along the route. There is evidence that desertion
was anticipated. One may also find occasional mention of de-
serters in contemporary accounts.8 Just before the army moved
out, Santa Anna instructed Captain Vicente Arriola, military com-
mander of Monclova, "to patrol all the trails and roads for the
purpose of arresting deserters." The patrol was to remain at its
post until the army had left, and then it was to take a more ad-
vanced post for the same purpose.59 Many men apparently deserted
prior to the army's arrival at Monclova early in February, and
Filisola mentioned that mules were also lost at that time. Quite
often the muleteers from whom the animals had been "borrowed"
were the ones who encouraged the mules' straying from camp."8
Desertions certainly did occur on the Monclova-to-B6xar trek,
55Urrea, "Diary," in Castafieda, The Mexican Side of the Texan Revolution, 214.
58De la Pefia, La rebelidn de Texas, 42.
59Santa Anna to Filisola, February 7, 1836, in Filizola, Correspondence of Santa
Anna (Master's thesis, University of Texas, 1939), 64.
6oFilisola, Memorias, II, 317.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/600/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.