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Federalist Wars: Final Phase

his red hair and referred to him as "muy wapo" ("very brave"). Once, while he was a prisoner of the Comanches, the squaws so admired his red hair that they felt it, and washed it (almost drowning him in the process) to see if the "dye" would come out, but when they found that the color was fast nothing would satisfy them but that they each should have a lock of his hair.[7]

The increasing boldness of the Comanches depredating along the western frontier, coupled with the Mexican threat to Texan sovereignty to the region between the Nueces and the Río Grande and the likelihood that the southwestern portion of the Republic might become a battleground between two rival foreign political factions, made it necessary for Texas to strengthen its defenses in that area. As for the Comanches, Major General Felix Huston received orders in June to take command of the regular troops at Nashville in preparation for an Indian campaign up the Brazos. There were regular troops stationed also at San Antonio, but their dependability was in serious question. This fact was, no doubt, one reason for the raising of the new military unit. In May 1840, a serious mutiny had developed among the troops at San Antonio. "The mutineers," reported the Texas Sentinel (Austin), "are mostly recruits from abroad. They have recently come among us, and cannot be supposed to have been imbued with a very deep sense of patriotism toward the country in whose service they have been enlisted"; but there was no apology for "this want of subordination to the laws, and none for their insolent attempt at dictation to the government in whose service they had engaged."[8]

But other reasons for raising the new force were afloat, and these were unofficially associated with the Federalist activities on the frontier and the fitting out of their last expedition from the soil claimed by Texas.[9]  Nothing had been said about the Federalists occupying a position far deeper within the claimed boundary than the Centralists stationed at Laredo. Not only would the stationing of a Texan military force on or near the Río Grande give encouragement to the Federalists in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and adjoining states, but it would enable the people of northern Mexico to engage in trade with Texans, by compelling the Centralist armies to fall back to Monterey and Matamoros. Should this be done, the marauding parties that frequented the region between Laredo and San Antonio would soon be dispersed

7. Ibid.

8. Texas Sentinel (Austin), May 16 and 23, July 4, 1840.

9. Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda), Aug. 8, 1840.

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