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Lamar's Efforts to Protect the Frontier

United States had disrupted the affairs of many young men there, who by 1839 had grown quite restless and looked toward Texas, not yet in the throes of depression, as a land of hope. From Clark County, Mississippi, on July 3, 1839, William B. Trotter wrote Lamar, "There is a Parsel of able bod[i]ed active and dareing young men in this section of the country who are willing to join the Texas army as volunteers for six months provided the inducement (in pay and land) offered by the government is sufficient to Justify them to go to Texas."[27]  Captain Samuel A. Plummer, on a recruiting trip to the United States to raise two companies of mounted regulars to be stationed on the lower Nueces,[28]  wrote Lamar from New Orleans that, having made himself acquainted with the laws of the United States "so as to know how far I can go in recruiting men," he had made tentative arrangements with the captain of the steamer Columbia to transport the volunteers "as fast as I recruit at ten Dollars per head." Plummer had learned from conversation with several United States army officers that the Irish made good infantrymen and were "first rate with muskets on a charge." He believed a few companies of Irishmen might be highly useful, and that several hundred volunteers could be readily obtained if they could be assured the bounty usually paid United States soldiers -- "good money" as they called it, and the issuance of two suits of coarse summer clothing, hats, and shoes upon landing and enrolling at Galveston. Only "give me a fancy uniform of Red and I can enlist first rate men," he wrote. The "dashing uniform" would be only for special occasions; in the field he would, of course, use the standard uniform.[29] 

Recruiting for the First Regiment of Regular Infantry was only partially successful, and the same could be said for the eight companies of mounted volunteers which had been authorized, about the same time. "We have found it unnecessary, for reasons too apparent to mention, to establish recruiting stations within the limits of our Republic," reported the Secretary of War; and "the cost attending foreign stations, combined with the expense of transporting troops from abroad, would

27. William B. Trotter to M. B. Lamar, Clark County, Mississippi, July 3, 1839, in Lamar Papers, III, 32.

28. Regarding these two companies see endorsement by the Secretary of State on the letter of Samuel Hewes to [M. B. Lamar], City of Aransas, May 23, 1839, in ibid., II, 585-586.

29. S. A. Plummer to General [M. B. Lamar], New Orleans, April 5, 1839, in ibid., II, 516-517, Same to Same, July 5, 1839, in ibid., III, 33.

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