Grande. "They [the Mexicans] have mostly deserted their farms," it was reported, "and having been terribly beaten in the skirmishes with these cattle stealers," were afraid to venture out and collect their cattle unless under the protection of an escort. The mounted rancheros and the small detachments from the garrisons along the Río Grande, sent to give protection to the Mexican cattle drivers and herdsmen, thus seem to have given rise to the rumors of invading armies marching on Texas.
Karnes hurried from San Antonio to Washington, arriving there early in January 1838. From thence he proceeded to Houston, where his arrival allayed fears of an invasion: if there had been such a danger, it was presumed, Karnes would not have left Béxar. In the meantime, editor Francis Moore left Houston on December 30, 1837, for Béxar to get the facts concerning the invasion. At the Colorado he learned that the reported attack upon that western outpost was a false rumor. He, however, found the western people ready and determined to defend their homes. Moore returned to Houston from the Colorado and suggested the stationing of from five hundred to a thousand troops on the Sal Colorado "as a means of destroying the commerce of Matamoros" and "causing consternation along the whole Mexican frontier of the Río Grande."
General Johnston was still at San Antonio in March 1838, where it was reported he was planning to visit the Río Grande for the purpose of raising the Texas flag over Laredo. On March 13 he wrote the Secretary of War that reports from all sources, however, indicated that distractions in Mexico would make it impossible for that government to launch a campaign against Texas this year. He went on to say that although the enemy would be unable "to make any serious movement against this country, we should not forget that our frontier is in a most feeble situation, and incapable of defense against even predatory parties. It is unnecessary for me to say to you," he wrote, "that on the northern frontier there is no force whatever, and on the western there
34. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1838.
35. A. Somervell to James F. Perry, Villa de Austin, Jan. 7, 1838, in James F. Perry Papers, 1838-1839, ms. The Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 20, 1838, reported that the latest word from Béxar was that no invasion was expected according to recent information from the Río Grande.
36. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1838.
37. Samuel A. Maverick to Mary A. Maverick, Béjar, March 13, 1838, in Green, Samuel Maverick: Texan, p. 66.