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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

to move west for the triple purpose of keeping a watch to the west, preventing the numerous herds of cattle from falling into the hands of the enemy, and providing the army with a winter's supply of beef.[43] 

James S. Mayfield, who was soon to become a strong supporter of the Lamar faction in Texas, did not think that merely laying waste the country west of the Guadalupe would help to end the war, unless measures were adopted to defend the country and property east of it.[44]  Mayfield believed it would be wise for the government to establish two garrisons on the Guadalupe, which in time of need could be re-enforced quickly by the militia. Such an arrangement would accord some security to the people then living west of the Colorado.

About the time Allen made his address to the troops, President Burnet was expressing thanks to the citizens of Cincinnati for their gift of the two six-pound cannon, better known as the "twin sisters," used in the battle of San Jacinto. He declared that Texas had no desire "to extend her conquests beyond her own natural and appropriate limits, but if the war must be prosecuted against us, other land than our own must sustain a portion of its ravages," and "the voices of the twin sisters . . . will yet send their reverberations beyond the Río Grande."[45]  With a new army composed largely of "emigrant" soldiers eager for action, Rusk soon joined Green, Huston, Branch T. Archer, Stephen F. Austin, and others in advocating an attack upon Matamoros, and it was not long before President Burnet accepted the idea. His purpose, however, may have been to turn the restless volunteers' attention toward Matamoros with the hope of avoiding further conflicts at home between the civil authorities and the army. Whatever the reason, by August 13 the idea of a movement toward Matamoros seems to have become a policy of the government, for on that date Burnet wrote confidentially to the Texan agent at New Orleans that "at the earnest instance of the officers of the Army we have resolved to make a movement toward Matamoros" and enclosed a list of supplies and munitions needed, "subject to being ordered to Brazos Santiago ."[46]  "Our army is moving westward, and is

43. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 17, 1836.

44 J[ames] S. M[ayfield] to the Editors [of the Telegraph], n. p., n. d., in ibid., Nov. 12, 1836.

45. David G. Burnet to Daniel Drake and Others, Executive Department, Republic of Texas, Velasco, July 22, 1836, in ibid., Aug. 30, 1836.

46. David G. Burnet to Messrs. T. Toby and Brother, Executive Department, Velasco, Aug. 13, 1836 (Confidential); Same to Same, Velasco, Aug. 18, 1836;

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