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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

the frontier, the government depended upon the militia, upon ranger companies, and occasionally upon regular troops enlisted for reasonably long periods of time.

Although a decree of the General Council of the provisional government of Texas, approved by Governor Henry Smith on November 27, 1835, provided for the early organization of the militia, the law "To provide for the National Defence by Organizing the Militia," approved by President Houston on December 6, 1836, came to be the basic law establishing the militia of the Republic."[106]  A few months after the furloughing of the army, a supplement to the Militia Act of 1836 was passed over the President's veto on December 18, 1837.[107] 

The militia of the Republic consisted of one division commanded by a major general elected, before 1837, by the field officers of his division. After 1837, and until the supplementary Militia Act of January 24, 1839, the major general was elected by a joint vote of both houses of Congress. After 1839 all officers of the militia were to be chosen by the people in an election held under the supervision of a person appointed by the President."[108] 

The militia was divided into four brigades, each commanded by a brigadier general elected, before December 1837, by the commissioned officers of the brigade. After that date the initial election was to be by Congress and thereafter, whenever a vacancy occurred, it was to be filled by the officers of the brigade. Each regiment was to have as its commander a colonel elected by the members of the regiment. Each company was to have one captain, two lieutenants, four sergeants, four corporals, one drummer, and one fifer or bugler. The captain and lieutenants were to be elected by the members of their company and the noncommissioned officers and musicians were to be appointed by the captain. At no time was a company to consist of less than thirty-two privates, and if at any time a company should be reduced to less than that number, it was to be incorporated with the adjoining companies while such disabilities existed.

The Republic was divided into four military districts. All counties west of the Brazos were to constitute one brigade; all between the Brazos and Trinity rivers, another; all between the Trinity and Sabine rivers, a third; and all north of the Sabine and Red rivers, a fourth district.

106. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, I, 932-934, 1114-1128.

107. Ibid., I, 1427-1428.

108. Ibid., I. 1427-1428; II, 88-89.

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