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Mexican Threats of a New Campaign

will not be a mounted man after the 3d of April."[38]  Johnston strongly urged the establishment of a regiment of cavalry for frontier defense.

It was not long, however, before one of Colonel Lysander Wells' spies returned from Matamoros to report only 1,800 soldiers at that place.[39]  General Perfecto Cós, he said, was at Mier with 150 men, while at Reinosa there were only 100 soldiers. In the light of such weaknesses, warlike preparations on the part of Mexico soon came to be lightly regarded in Texas. "I do not believe," wrote William H. Patton at San Antonio to the Secretary of State, "the Mexicans [will] bother us this spring. I have had two interviews with the priest of this place [who is in regular communication with Mexicans on the Río Grande] and he has given me more satisfaction than any one that I have met."[40] 

The excitement was not yet over. Early in April it was reported that in a recent message to the Mexican Congress President Bustamante had declared: "With regard to the campaign of Texas, I can only say that it is the first duty of the government and of the Mexicans, and that it would be acquitting myself but poorly of my functions not to employ all my power and all my means in order to surmount those obstacles which have hitherto delayed it"; and, considering that the Executive was not entirely responsible for a Texas campaign, he reminded Congress that he relied on "the efficient aid and co-operation of the legislature."[41]  On April 8 the Texan government received a report, five days from Matamoros, that a large Mexican force was headed toward San Antonio. The Secretary of War immediately sent an express rider to San Antonio with instructions to General Johnston to prepare to defend the place, and to seek the assistance of the Comanches with whom he had been holding peace talks. "Your force is so inadequate," concluded the Secretary of War, "that I can scarcely do more than say I know all that bravery can achieve will be accomplished."[42]  The Mexican advance, however did not materialize,

38. A. S. Johnston to Secretary of War, March 13, 1838, in Johnston, Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, p. 88.

39. Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 13, 1838.

40. William H. Patton to [Robert A.] Irion, Secretary of State, Houston, [dated:] City of San Antonio, Feb. 7, 1838, in Domestic Correspondence (Texas) 1836-1846, ms.

41. Reported in Telegraph and Texas Register, April 18, 1838.

42 Quoted in Johnston, Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, p. 90.

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