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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

eral Gaines' call of April 8. At that time Gaines had asked for a brigade of volunteers each from Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and for a battalion of mounted men from Louisiana for the defense of the United States frontier, where the Indians were restless on account of the war in Texas. On May 31 Dunlap wrote Carson that the defeat of Santa Anna at San Jacinto had induced a belief that the war with Texas was over, but "if you do require further aid, I wish to be allowed today to state this to the three companies that will be mustered and discharged, as I am confident an appeal to the sons of Tennessee will be answered as becomes gallant spirits."[21]  Dunlap declared he had joined the volunteers, believing that they would not be detained long in the service of the United States and that, in that event, he would be able to take the whole volunteer corps to Texas.[22]  Carson immediately informed Dunlap that the war in Texas was not over and that he hoped Dunlap would form the men into a volunteer unit and go as soon as practicable to the seat of war.[23] 

Early in July 1836, Dunlap received a letter from his close and longtime friend, General Houston (Dunlap, like Houston, was a favorite of Andrew Jackson), expressing regrets at his delay in bringing volunteers to Texas, for "we will need your aid, and that speedily," declared Houston.

[T]he enemy in large numbers are reported to be in Texas; their forces are estimated at from 8 to 12,000. It is impossible to ascertain, but I think it somewhat exaggerated. We can meet and beat them with one-third the number. The army with which they first entered Texas is broken up, and dispersed by desertion and other causes. If they get another army of the extent proposed, it must be composed of new recruits, and men pressed into service, will not possess the mechanical efficiency or discipline which gives the Mexican troops the only advantage they have[.] [T]hey will be easily routed by a very inferior force[.] [F]or a portion of that force we shall be obliged to look to the U. States. It cannot reach us too soon. . . .

March as speedily as possible with all the aid you can bring, and I doubt not you will be gratified with your reception, and situation. Come the most exped[it]ious route, and do not encumber yourself with baggage.[24] 

21. R. G. Dunlap to Samuel P. Carson, Nashville, May 31, 1836, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence of Texas, 1907, I, 94-95.

22. Same to Same, Nashville, June 1, 1836, in ibid., 1907, I, 97.

23. Sam P. Carson to Gen. R. G. Dunlap, Nashville, May 31, 1836, in ibid., 1907, I, 95-96.

24. Sam Houston to Gen. R. G. Dunlap, Nashville, Tenn. [dated:] Near Sabine,

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