force was wholly inadequate for carrying on offensive war against a nation of eight million people.
Four days after assuming the presidency, Burnet, in a "wild message" to Congress, based on intelligence received the evening before from the west that Mexico was "again marshalling her forces for the invasion of Texas," declared that a resort to the sword cancelled all previous pledges and opened the way to a new adjustment. He recommended that Texas take immediate action to end for all times its controversy with Mexico. "Let the decision be prompt and final." "Texas proper," he declared, "is bounded by the Río Grande -- Texas as defined by the sword may comprehend the Sierra del Madre. Let the sword do its proper work"; whereupon, he transmitted to Congress a project submitted to him by Major General Felix Huston of the Texas Militia for an offensive campaign against Mexico and "cordially" recommended its adoption. Huston proposed that one regiment be drafted from each militia brigade to serve for a six months period, if not sooner discharged. He suggested that a regiment from the First Brigade be called into immediate service and stationed at Gonzales, and that the regiments from the other brigades be placed in readiness for action whenever called out. Huston also recommended that a volunteer company of artillery be recruited for twelve months' service and stationed at Gonzales under such officers as the President might name. He also suggested the appointment of an officer to recruit as many men as could be enrolled at Victoria and west thereof to serve for six months. For the appointment, he recommended Captain S. W. Jordan (to be given the rank of major) as the best qualified by frontier experience. "There is a smell of saltpetre about this," commented the editor of the Telegraph.
Burnet's message and recommendations were presented in the House of Representatives on December 17, where they were referred to the
31. David G. Burnet to Congress, Executive Department, Austin, Dec. 16, 1840, in Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas: Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, pp. 292-293; David G. Burnet, Message of the President, on the Subject of Our Mexican Relations; Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1841.
32. Huston's report, submitted to the President on December 16, 1840, was printed in David G. Burnet, Message of the President, on the Subject of Our Mexican Relations; Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1841.
33. Felix Huston to David G. Burnet, President of Texas, Austin, Dec. 16, 1840, ibid.; Telegraph and Texas Register, Jan. 6, 1841.
34. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 30, 1840.