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Invasion Excitement

dians. He reported that the settlements in Tamaulipas on both sides of the Río Grande, known as the "villas del Norte," had generously offered to provide seven hundred mounted men, armed and provisioned for one month in the field. Three weeks later he again referred to the opportunity afforded by peace at home to carry on a war against the Indians and for a campaign against Texas, too.[2]  He ordered the formation of squadrons of defensores for the frontier.[3]  In the principal northern towns four squadrons and one company were to be formed under the name of "Defensores de la Frontera." Each squadron was to be under the command of a "commandant" and an "assistant commandant" or "adjutant," and to be composed of two companies, each consisting of a captain, one lieutenant, two ensigns, one first sergeant, four second sergeants, six corporals, two buglers, and forty-two privates. A squadron was to be formed in each of the towns of Guerrero, Mier, Camargo, and Reinosa; and a company was to be organized at Laredo, a town within the boundary claimed by Texas. The chiefs and officers of each company were to be appointed by Arista, and the sergeants and corporals were to be named by the captains. Those who participated in these organizations would be exempt from service as couriers and cordilleras (rangers), and their horses would be exempt from seizure for auxiliaries or transportation. The defensores would be subject to the orders of the military commandant of the town when he should find it necessary to make war against the Indians or the colonials (Texans ).[4]

At this time, as usual when there were not too many other pressing distractions confronting the government of Mexico, there was some talk of renewing the Texas campaign. A circular, dated October 10, 1840, called upon the governors of the various departments, prefects in the towns, and diocesean leaders to urge support of the government's campaign to restore Texas to the union.[5]  Talk of a Texas cam-

2. Mariano Arista, El general en gefe del cuerpo de Ejército del Norte á los habitantes de los departmentos de Tamaulipas, Coahuila y Nuevo León, Cuartel General en Monterey, Enero 3 de 1841, broadside, photostat.

3. Mariano Arista, General en gefe del cuerpo de Ejército del Norte, á Exmo. Sr. Gobernador del departamento de _______, Cuartel general en el Saltillo, Diciembre 15 de 1840, broadside.

4. Mariano Arista, "Cuerpo de Ejército de Norte, General en gefe [Mariano Arista], Monterey, Enero 23 de 1841," in Gaceta del Gobierno de Tamaulipas, March 13, 1841, circular, photostat.

5. Colección de leyes y decretos, publicados en el año de 1839 [and 1840], pp.791-793.

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