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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

Dunlap was delayed in getting volunteers off to Texas. Yet, it was not long before a considerable number of them began to reach Texas, anxious and determined to fight. The Texan force, consisting mostly of volunteers from the United States soon numbered over 2,000 men.[25]  Among those bringing volunteers to Texas were Captain G. L. Postlethwaite, who sailed from New Orleans on July 2 with about 100 men and landed at Galveston on the 6th, and Colonel Edward J. Wilson, who arrived at the latter place on July 19 from North Carolina with a number of volunteers.[26] 

With continued reports from Texas on Indian movements of a hostile nature, presumably based on rumors of the return of the Mexican army to Texas,[27]  Gaines, acting under the broad discretionary authority conferred upon him by the United States Secretary of War Lewis Cass and with permission granted by the government of Texas,[28]  ordered Lieutenant Colonel William Whistler's Fourth Infantry to Nacogdoches on July 11 to investigate the Indian situation, and especially the attack upon Robertson's settlement, feeling confident that some of the Indians who had participated in the raid were from the United States.[29]  Whistler was instructed to occupy and fortify the town with a small breastwork and blockhouses. Additional troops, consisting of six companies of infantry and three companies of dragoons were ordered to Nacogdoches from Fort Towson. The first of the troops from Gaines' command reached Nacogdoches toward the end of July and they remained until December.

While encamped at Nacogdoches, the American troops were in close touch with the Texan army. General Houston and his staff visited

July 2, 1836, in Amelia Williams and Eugene C. Barker (eds.), The Writings of Sam Houston, I, 431 (hereafter cited, Writings of Sam Houston).

25. Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Texas and the North Mexican States, II 282.

26. Edward J. Wilson and G. L. Postlethwaite to the Public, from the Lexington (Kentucky) Intelligencer, reproduced in Telegraph and Texas Register, Nov. 12, 1836.

27. S. F. Austin to Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, Columbia, July 4, 1836, in Eugene C. Barker (ed.), The Austin Papers, III, 384-385; Barker, Life of Stephen F. Austin, pp. 435-436.

28. Silver, Edmund Pendleton Gaines, p. 205; David G. Burnet to James Collinsworth and Peter W. Grayson, Executive Department, Velasco, July 8, 1836, in Garrison (ed.), Diplomatic Correspondence, I, 104-105.

29. Marshall, Western Boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, pp. 176-180; Silver, Edmund Pendleton Gaines, pp. 204-209.

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