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Invasion Excitement

financing the regular army, instructed the Secretary of War to order Colonel Cooke of the First Regiment of Infantry to disband, as soon as practicable the troops on Red River, on the Trinity, those stationed between the Trinity and Austin, and those stationed on the San Marcos, at San Antonio, and at Galveston. The troops at San Antonio, except for those who wished to reside there, and at San Marcos were to be marched to Austin before being discharged.[92]  Lamar instructed the comptroller on March 24 to open an account on his books for the disbanding of the army.[93]  Although a complete staff had been set up under the law of December 1838, and great effort had been exerted to enlist enough men to bring the army to efficiency, the army of regulars never attained the strength intended, and at the time of its discharge numbered about 540 rank and file.[94]  Thus with the disbandment of the First Regiment of Infantry, the responsibility for frontier defense was taken out of the hands of the Executive and placed in the hands and under the direction of the chief justices of the frontier counties. Below the Río Grande there was great rejoicing, when it became evident that no invading force might be expected from Texas,[95]  despite the braggadocio and idle palaver on both sides.

With the disbandment of the troops, the work on the military road now came to an end. Under the direction of William H. Hunt, the engineer for that project, the route for a wagon road had been surveyed from the Brazos to Red River. The route lay through "a fertile, well watered and timber country," which before many years was expected to be thickly populated.[96]  "Should the road be opened any

92. B. T. Archer, Secy of War and Navy, to Col. Wm. G. Cooke, War Department, Austin, March 2, 1841, Special Order No. [blank], Army Papers (Texas), ms., copy.

93. Yoakum, History of Texas, II, 323 n.

94. Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War and Navy to the President of the Republic of Texas, War and Navy Department, City of Austin, Sept. 30, 1841, in Texas Congress, Journals of the House of Representatives, Fifth Congress, Appendix, pp. 115-124; Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 357; Texas War Department, Report of the Secretary of War, September 1841. The original is in the Texas State Archives, Austin, and is endorsed: Report of the Secretary of War & Navy to the 6th Annual Congress Read and referred to Committee on Military Affairs.

95. Telegraph and Texas Register, March 10, 1841.

96. William H. Hunt to B. T. Archer, Austin, June 1, 1841, in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III, 437, transmitting a map of the Military Road from Red River to Austin. The map is not with the

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