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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

December 1836, and after two years it was still quite incomplete in many sections of the country. Finally, by a supplementary act, approved January 24, 1839, the President was instructed to appoint such persons as might be necessary to organize the militia in conformity with the previous laws; provided, however, that all the officers were to be "elected by the people, under the direction of the person [or persons] so appointed by the President." A penalty for noncompliance in fulfilling one's militia obligation was now revived and made more severe. "Any person," said the law, "refusing to obey such draft or order, shall forfeit a sum of not less than five hundred dollars, to be assessed by court martial."[117]  On February 15, 1839, President Lamar issued a proclamation ordering the completion of the organization of the militia under the direction of the chief justices of the counties, assisted by the sheriff, if necessary."[118]  In the absence of a chief justice, the duty of organizing the militia devolved upon the sheriff of the county.[119] 

Another arm of defense in the Republic was the various companies of mounted riflemen and rangers. A battalion of mounted riflemen, consisting of 280 men was authorized by congressional act of December 5, 1836, for the protection of the frontier. The term of service for the corps was set at twelve months or upwards. Each man was "to furnish himself with a suitable, serviceable horse, a good rifle, and one brace of pistols," if they could be procured. Although pay and discipline were the same as in the army, an additional $15 per month was allowed the rifleman for furnishing his own horse and arms."[120]  The mounted riflemen were intended for service in the counties of Gonzales, Mina[Bastrop], and Shelby.[121] 

117. Ibid., II, 88-89.

118. Proclamation [by Mirabeau B. Lamar] Ordering the Chief Justices to Aid in the Organization of the Militia, February 15, 1839, Record of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., pp. 54-55.

119. Under this law Frank Hardin was elected Colonel of the 2nd Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Texas Militia, and Edwin Morehouse was chosen brigadier general with headquarters at Houston. John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 414.

120. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, I, 113-114; Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 13, 1836.

121. President Houston on December 14, 1836, submitted the names of the officers for the battalion of mounted riflemen to the Senate, which gave its immediate approval. Winkler (ed.), Secret Journals of the Senate, pp. 30-31; R. Scurry, Secretary of the Senate, to Sam Houston, Senate Chamber, Dec. 15, 1836,

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