ministration, the two houses failed to agree on the appropriation bill for the regular army, as provided for by the act of December 21, 1838, and thus this arm of defense soon came to an end. [Ed: more p. 402] In his valedictory to the Senate on Saturday morning, December 4, 1841, Vice President and presiding officer of the Senate, Burnet, defended his disbandment of the army while acting as President. "The late Congress," he said, "having adjourned without making any provision for the support of the regular army, and the hon. House of Representatives having adopted and transmitted to me, a resolution recommending the disbandment of that army, I was left without a choice of policy; and the army was promptly disbanded." With the disbandment of the army, reliance was placed on the militia as the principal means of defense.
With this in view, a new law concerning the organization of the militia was enacted and approved by Acting President Burnet on January 18.[Ed: 1841] The new law called for immediate completion of the militia organization to full complement. It was specifically declared that the militia of each "beat" were to choose their own company officers, but if they failed to do so the commanding officers of the regiment were authorized and required to appoint them. The major general, brigadier generals, and colonels were to be selected according to the law of December 1837, and to have authority "to appoint the necessary staff officers appertaining to their respective grades, in accordance with law." The law called for the organization of three brigades; the First Brigade to comprise the area lying west of the Brazos "and all those portions of the county of Brazoria, Fort Bend, Austin and Washington, east of the Brazos"; the Second Brigade to consist of the counties lying between the Brazos (except those portions mentioned above) and Trinity rivers, including the county of Liberty; and the Third Brigade
by a chief clerk. "To Abolish Certain Offices therein named, and to fix the Military and Naval Establishment of the Republic," Approved January 18, 1841, by David G. Burnet, in Laws of the Republic of Texas, Passed at the Session of the Fifth Congress, pp. 105-107; Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 569-571.
82. Message of David G. Burnet to the Senate, Dec. 4, 1841, in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 93.
83. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 497-498.
84. A year later, Congress provided for the organization of the militia of Robertson and Brazos counties into one regiment to be attached to the Second Brigade. The militia of Robertson County was to constitute the First Battalion of said regiment and that of Brazos County the Second Battalion. "An Act for Organizing the Militia of the Counties of Robertson and Brazos," Approved Jan. 16, 1842, in ibid., II, 865-866.