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Cattle Raids and Frontier Marauders

force and the selection of the regimental and corps officers were left to the discretion of the Secretary of War. However, the President wrote, "I understand that the number is to be 280 rank and file."[36]  A few days later, August 11, in a general order issued at Nacogdoches over the signature of Houston and his newly appointed Adjutant General, Hugh McLeod, it was emphasized that peaceful citizens on the frontier were not to be molested in the enjoyment of their rights.[37] 

This emphasis was needed, for it was not always the Indians or the Mexicans who created frontier incidents. After the issuance of the general order by the President a party of Texans and Tonkawa Indians under Colonel Pinckney Caldwell departed in search of Savariego; but learning that the Mexican commander had left the frontier, the Indo-Texan party determined to seek some sort of remuneration for their alleged good intentions. After going a short distance west of Victoria, a number of the Texans, becoming aware of the intentions of certain members of the party, returned home and stated "that the object of many of said expedition was merely to plunder those who returned or would not go in consequence of being deceived. . . . [W]e are led to conclude reported John J. Linn, foreman of the grand jury that later investigated the incident, "that when Messrs. Morehouse, Fisher and others . . . stated that the object of the Expedition had been defeated . . . instead of going on in quest of Savariego and his band of Robbers, it was the intention of those . . . to take the first horses they met."[38]  Soon it was reported by Pinckney Caldwell "that certain Americans and Mexicans in and about Goliad" had seized a number of horses from the Tonkawa Indians, who had recently accompanied him to Corpus Christi Bay, and had caused them to be sold at auction, and had appropriated the proceeds of the sale to their own use. Such acts by the whites were calculated to alienate the friendly feelings of

36. Sam Houston to Col. G. W. Hockley, Nacogdoches, Aug. 4-5, 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.

37. Sam Houston, General Order, Nacogdoches, Texas, August 11th, 1838 [signed by:] Sam Houston [and] H. McCleod [McLeod], Adjutant General, broadside; Thomas W. Streeter, Bibliography of Texas, I, 243; Writings of Sam Houston, II, 272.

38. John J. Linn [of the Grand Jury for the County of Victoria] to [the Secretary of State], Victoria, Sept. 22, 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas), 1836-1846, ms.; see also R. A. Irion to C. Van Ness, Department of State, City of Houston, Sept. 14, 1838, in State Department (Texas), Department of State Letterbook, no. 1. (Nov. 1836-Jan. 1842), ms., pp. 45-46. (Hereafter cited as State Department Letterbook, no. 1.)

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