out the difficulty of supplying the army owing to the lack of funds and the absence of effective naval support. Furthermore, he believed that the United States would look with displeasure upon any offensive operation against Mexico since both Mexico and Texas had requested the United States to mediate their differences. As commander in chief of the army, Houston wrote, "I have always abhored the thought of attacking Matamoras, for the reason that no benefit could result from it." He continued;
It cannot be that the Army has nothing to do at home. The Colorado is swept of its inhabitants from the Frontier settlements to Moseleys Cotton Gin. The inhabitants have fled to the Brazos. Had the Army taken post on the Navidad, it could easily by throwing out its Cavalry have given protection to the inhabitants and chastised the Indians. It would have also been in a better situation to have given protection to the Coast. What protection could it now render if a force were to be landed at any point East of Matagorda? Then I take it, it can render no aid in its present condition to our Western borders, or to our Coast. . . . If a few Indians can break up our settlements is it not an argument against carrying the war into the enemy's Country, while we leave our own without protection? Let us husband our resources, and act defensively, and our independence will be established.
In early September the reports from Matamoros were that the Mexican army was being daily diminished by desertion. By mid-September, in Texas, the idea of a campaign against Matamoros had floundered, partly because of the opposition of Houston and other men of influence and more particularly for the want of supplies for a campaign. Houston's popularity with the electorate was a warning to those who agitated in favor of an offensive operation against Mexico. "The Ma-----s expedition will I apprehend," wrote ad interim President Burnet, "be postponed. The army have been a good deal divided on the subject. We are moving on in an easy trot, without much variety of incident to diversify the events of the day." Everyone seemed to be awaiting the forthcoming change in administration in Texas. Meanwhile, the Mexicans continued to drive off cattle from the Nueces country and to send their scouts into Texas as far as the Guadalupe River. The three months volunteers, Burnet wrote the Texan agent in New Orleans,
51. Same to Same, Nacogdoches, Texas, Aug. 25, 1836, in ibid., I, 443-445.