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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

Nacogdoches late in July. The Pensacola Gazette reported that many of the United States soldiers deserted to the Texan army which was increasing rapidly owing to the threatened invasion from Mexico.[30]  An American officer, sent to reclaim them, found two hundred men wearing the uniform of the United States army, who refused to return. The occupation of Nacogdoches by Gaines' troops caused General Urrea on August 10 to issue a proclamation to his troops saying that this action on the part of the United States amounted to a declaration of war by that government.[31] 

Meanwhile, in Texas, before the rumor of an invasion, Rusk had asked to be relieved of his command, and, on June 25, President Burnet had appointed Mirabeau B. Lamar as major general and commander of the army. Lamar had served as Secretary of War from May 4 to May 30, when be resigned in protest against the plans to return Santa Anna to Mexico. During his brief tenure in the War Office, he had not particularly ingratiated himself with Rusk; in regard to the withdrawal of Mexican forces from Texas, he had specifically instructed him to "keep your troops in motion, moving in the rear of the enemy, but not approaching near enough to create any collision between the armies." Rusk had no sympathy with such a temporizing policy.[32]  The first intimation of Lamar's appointment reached Rusk in a curt note from the President which read as follows: "The honorable Mirabeau B. Lamar has been appointed Major General and invested with the command of the Texian army. You will be pleased to receive and recognize him as such."[33]  So, when Lamar arrived at army headquarters at Guadalupe-Victoria (Victoria), the army refused to accept him as its commander. Instead, with Felix Huston, Thomas Jefferson Green, and Rusk (now laboring under the excitement of an invasion) intriguing against Lamar, the army chose as its commander Felix Huston. Huston, known as "Old Longshanks" and sometimes as "Old Leather-Breeches,"[34]  was a turbulent and overbearing soldier of fortune from

30. Marshall, Western Boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, pp. 179-180.

31. José Urrea, Proclama. El general en gefe del egército de operaciones sobre Téjas á sus subordinados, Matamoros, Agosto 10 de 1836, broadside.

32. Lamar Papers, I, 404; Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans, I, 457; Mirabeau B. Lamar to Thomas J. Rusk, May 7, 1836, in Thomas J. Rusk Papers, ms.

33. David G. Burnet to Thomas J. Rusk, June 27, 1836, in Thomas J. Rusk Papers, ms.

34. William Preston Johnston, The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston: Em-

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