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Lamar's Efforts to Protect the Frontier

rally under your standard and bear it triumphantly and plant it immovably on the walls of the city of Mexico! . . . The present time is peculiarly well suited to carry this project into effect. The embarrassment in all kinds of business in the U. States and the general derangement of financial matters, have thrown thousands out of business who would zealously engage in this glorious cause. The revolutionized state of some parts of Mexico show that a large portion of the inhabitants of that country would be pleased at a change of government, and hail the approach of an army of deliverance with pleasure. It can -- it must be done. . . . This matter has engaged my attention for more than 18 months. I have consulted, confidentially with some of the heaviest capitalists in the United States. -- The Money can be had -- Now is the time.[4] 

Bradford stated that he was going to Jackson, Mississippi, in a few days and hoped to hear from Lamar there.

The need for protection became more urgent by the day. Just before Christmas 1838, several carts belonging to William B. Jaques of Béxar were attacked and robbed of a considerable quantity of merchandise between the Coleto and Goliad on the Goliad-Béxar road.[5]  As a result of the President's urgent request that something be done to protect the frontiers, "some of our modest heroes," wrote James H. Starr, a Lamar supporter from Nacogdoches, "recommended an appropriation to establish a line of military forts,"[6]  and Congress lost no time in putting through a measure that it had had under consideration for some time -- a measure which had the support and recommendation of the Secretary of War, Albert Sidney Johnston. First, on December 16, it ordered the discharge of all persons belonging to the First and Second Regiments of Permanent Volunteers, and then enacted a measure, approved by the President on December 21, to establish a line of military posts six hundred miles in length along the frontier which would provide protection and serve as bases from which war against the Indians could be carried on more vigorously. Congress provided for the creation of a regiment of 840 men, rank and file, divided into fifteen companies of fifty-six men each for the protection of the northern and western frontiers.[7]  The President was given discretionary power

4. Tho[mas] M. Bradford to M. B. Lamar, Montgomery, Ala., Nov. 15, 1838, in ibid., II, 292-293.

5. Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), Jan 12, 1839.

6. James H. Starr to Pamela O. Starr, Dec. 2, 1838, James H. Starr Papers, ms.

7. H. P. N. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 8, 15-20; Civilian and Galveston Gazette, Jan. 11, 1839.

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