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Invasion Excitement

settlements."[87]  Only one such company was to be organized in each county, and it was to choose its own officers. The sole judge of the necessity of a "tour of duty" was to be the individual captain.[88]  The members of the companies so raised were at all times to be "prepared with a good substantial horse, bridle, and saddle, with other necessary accoutrements, together with a good gun, and one hundred rounds of ammunition; and in addition to this, when called into service, such number of rations as the captain may direct." Persons enrolled in such companies were to be exempt from "any kind of militia duty, from working on roads or public highways, for paying a state, county, or corporation poll tax, and the tax assessed by law upon one horse." The captain of a company could detail from his company any number of spies, not exceeding five, to act upon the frontier. For active service as a spy or as a member of a company the government would pay one dollar a day, subject to the limitation, however, that no one was to receive pay on any one expedition for a longer period than fifteen days, nor for an aggregate of more than four months in a year, except the spies.[89]  Congress appropriated $75,000 for the payment of spies and volunteers in the frontier service.[90]

Having instituted plans for the reorganization of the militia and the creation of volunteer companies of Mounted Minute Men, the House of Representatives of the Fifth Congress, motivated by the idea of retrenchment, pushed through a measure on January 28, 1841, to disband the regular army.[91]  The Senate, however, refused to concur in the measure. Whereupon, the House then refused to make any appropriation for the support of the army and thus accomplished its destruction, for the President, finding that no provision had been made for

87. "An Act to Encourage Frontier Protection," Approved Feb. 4, 1841, in ibid., II, 646-648; George B. Erath, "Sketches on Milam and Robertson County," in Lamar Papers, IV, pt. I, 34. Captain George M. Dolson organized a company of "Minute Men" at Austin on March 28, 1841, and Captain Eli Chandler did the same for Robertson County (Franklin), March 29, 1841, and the latter was functioning, June 19, 1841. Captain George B. Erath formed a similar company for Milam County.

88. George W. Hockley to Sam Houston, Department of War and Navy, Austin, Jan. 25, 1842 in Army Papers (Texas), ms.

89. "An Act to Encourage Frontier Protection, Approved Feb. 4, 1841," in Gammel. (ed.), Laws of Texas, II, 646-648.

90. Ibid., II, 107-111.

91. Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas: Fifth Congress, First Session, 1840-1841, p. 631.

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