favorite weapon of the western citizen, either for the chase or more deadly strife, the unerring rifle."
On September 28, President Bustamante, in a speech to the garrison of Mexico City assembled in the public square, assured the troops they would soon be called upon, along with the Army of the North, to gather new laurels on the fertile fields of Texas. A short time later it was reported at Houston that a twenty-two gun brig was under construction at Baltimore for the Mexican navy.
Early in November, the Matagorda Bulletin reported General Filisola at Matamoros with 3,000 troops under his command, but Texans could only speculate on the intended objective of this force. If one read, however, the reports concerning the condition and discipline of the troops under Filisola's command, he needed have no fear of them, for they were represented as being in a most wretched condition, entirely unprovided with rations, clothing, and other necessities, "many of them nearly in a state of nudity." Furthermore, there were numerous desertions daily among them, for the Mexican soldier, it was said, had "a most decided aversion to being led against Texas," and some of them were even stating openly that they could not be "prevailed upon to march against her at any price. . . . But if the Mexicans should ever again invade Texas," declared W. T. Brent, "they will as certainly get licked, and the Texans [will] march through Mexico as two and three make five." In the meantime, the Texans took no chances of being caught by surprise. "Deaf" Smith continued to scout below the Medina in the direction of the Río Grande.
Five men from Laredo reached San Antonio on November 28, 1837, and reported the Mexican government was not mustering troops, nor was there any excitement of a hostile nature perceptible, but on the contrary, they declared, "all the frontier inhabitants were well disposed towards Texas, and were most impatiently and anxiously await-
5. Quoted in ibid.
6. Ibid., Dec. 2, 1837 reports this speech as made on Sept. 27, 1837, whereas under the "Chronology of Events During the Second Year of the Independence of Texas, in ibid., March 17, 1838, it is reported as having been made on Sept. 28, 1837.
7. Ibid., Oct. 11, 1837.
8. Nov. 8, 1837.
10. W. T. Brent to James H. Brent, Roseland, Va., [dated: ] Velasco, Texas, Jan. 23, 1838, in Sam Houston, Unpublished Houston Correspondence, 1837-1841, vol. II, ms.
11. Telegraph and Texas Register, Oct. 18, 1837.