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Lamar's Efforts to Protect the Frontier

six months on the same arrangement as the mounted riflemen of December 1836, had been raised. These troops were to constitute a regiment commanded by a colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major appointed by the President,[12]  and were to be used "offensively or defensively" at the discretion of the President.

Less than a month later, Congress authorized the raising of a company of fifty-six rangers for three months with officers appointed by the President to range on the frontier of Gonzales County.[13]  Eight days later three companies of mounted volunteers for immediate service against the hostile Indians on the Bastrop, Robertson, and Milam county frontiers were authorized on the same terms as the eight companies provided for in the preceding December.[14]  The term of enlistment here, however, was to be for six months, "unless sooner discharged."[15]  In the new companies the men were to elect their own officers and then the men and officers were to choose a major to command them. On January 26 an act was approved to create a ranger corps, consisting of two companies of fifty-six men each, for the protection of the counties of San Patricio, Goliad, and Refugio.[16]  These two companies were to be composed of volunteers enlisted for six months and their officers were to be appointed by the President; $15,000 was appropriated to cover the necessary costs. The pay of privates and noncommissioned officers was to be $25 per month, and the men were to furnish their own horses, arms, and equipment.

By an act approved January 24, 1839, the President was "authorized and required to discharge all officers and soldiers now in actual service, except those belonging to the regiment for the protection of the northern and western frontier,[17]  and ordnance department."[18]  One million dollars was now appropriated for the protection of the frontier

12. Ibid., II, 29-30. Each company was to consist of a captain, one first and one second lieutenant, three sergeants, and fifty-three privates.

13. Ibid., II, 44. This act was approved by the President on January 15, 1839.

14. Mirabeau B. Lamar to the Inhabitants of Robertson County Relative to the Preparations Being Made to Relieve them from the Hostile Incursions of the Indians, Executive Department, March 13, 1839, in Records of Executive Documents from the 10th Dec. 1838 to the 14th Dec. 1841, ms., pp. 63-64,

15. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 78. This law was approved by the President on January 23, 1839.

16. Ibid., II, 93.

17. The exemption applied to the eight military posts to be established under the law approved December 21, 1838.

18. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 84-85.

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