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Federalist Wars: Second Phase

declared Lamar, difficulties had been encountered resulting from the depreciation of the currency and the high cost of labor, but he believed that, now under an able officer, the recruiting service was being conducted with such success that a sufficient force would be obtained during the winter to enable the administration early in the spring "to carry out the law for establishing a line of military posts upon the frontier . . . a measure which is considered . . . essential to the peace and safety of our people, and one which no efforts will be spared to accomplish as speedily as possible."

Accompanying the President's message was the annual report of the Secretary of War[154]  in which he outlined what had been accomplished under the law of the preceding December for the organization of fifteen companies for the protection of the frontier. The officers for the organization had been promptly appointed and recruiting stations established at various points in the Republic, under the supervision of the field officers of the regiment and the general supervision of Lieutenant Colonel William S. Fisher. However, the number of recruits proved too few to justify the expense of maintaining the recruiting stations and they were soon discontinued. The principal excuse for failure was the timeworn statement: "We cannot calculate on better success in recruiting at home, while the inducements to remain in the walks of civil life," he declared, "continue so much greater than those to enter the military service for a term of years." Recruiting was resumed later in the year, reported the Secretary, and, although it met with a greater degree of success, there was a need for funds to raise recruits elsewhere, no doubt in the United States. The regular army at the end of October 1839, numbered 359, rank and file, plus an additional 16 on the general staff, medical staff, and the paymaster and purchasing departments.[155]

Much effort was made at home and abroad to raise the eight companies of mounted riflemen authorized by the act of December 29, 1838, to be employed on the frontier, but success here was limited by the inability of those who would have volunteered to equip themselves. Only three companies were raised, and two of these had been mounted

154. Texas War Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of War, November, 1839. Printed by order of Congress; reprinted in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 73-116.

155. H. McLeod to A. Sidney Johnston, Adjutant-General's Office, Austin, Nov. 9, 1839, in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 81-87.

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