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Lamar's Efforts to Protect the Frontier

and the President was authorized to raise such forces as he might deem necessary for the defense of the country according to the law of 1836 and for more effectively carrying out the laws on frontier defense enacted by the First Session of the Third Congress. Thus, the ranger companies were to be continued in operation. The Congress made appropriations on February 3, 1840, for the support of the First Regiment of Infantry, the First Regiment of Cavalry, three additional companies of cavalry, and for horses for twelve companies.[19] 

The revised Militia Act (January 24, 1839) called for the election of the major general and brigadier generals by a vote of the people. Almost immediately Felix Huston commenced his campaign for the office of major general, making numerous speeches in various parts of the country, even before Lamar issued his proclamation setting the date of the election. In March 1839, James S. Mayfield urged Lamar to issue a proclamation calling for the election of a major general, and declared: "We will make a manly defense in the East to defeat the ranting [a]mbition of Gen. F. Huston."[20]  Lamar delayed until September 11 issuing his proclamation for the election to take place on the second Monday in November.[21]  By the time the election rolled around there were three candidates for the office of major general: Brigadier General Felix Huston, Colonel James C. Neill, and Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston. Owing to the delay in reporting election results from a number of counties, the official canvass was not made until March 7, 1840, when it was announced that Huston had been elected by a majority of 1,020 votes. The vote for brigadier general of the four brigades was very close with Alexander Somervell, Edwin Morehouse, James Smith, and E. H. Tarrant being chosen brigadier generals of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Brigades, respectively.[22] 

19. Ibid., II, 381-386.

20. James S. Mayfield to Mirabeau B. Lamar, Nacogdoches, March 11, 1839, in Lamar Papers, II, 490-491.

21. Proclamation of Mirabeau B. Lamar for the Election of Militia Officers, September 11, 1839, in Telegraph and Texas Register, Sept. 25, 1839.

22. Telegraph and Texas Register, May 1, 1839; General Order No. 5. Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Austin, March 7, 1840 [signed by H. McLeod, Adjt. and Inspector General], in Texas Sentinel (Austin), March 25, 1840. In October 1841, it was being reported in the Texas newspapers that Felix Huston, who had left the country for Mississippi, had resigned the office of Major General of the Texas Militia. Apparently, he saw no opportunity to gain personal military glory under the newly elected administration in Texas. Texas Sentinel, Oct 28, 1841.

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