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Marauders and Frontier Trade and Life

quently escaped or were set free; but were no sooner free of their captors than they were followed by another company under Captain January.[15]

In view of this situation on the lower southern frontier, Lamar sought to restore law and order in the area. Hence, on August 14, through the Secretary of War, he ordered the disbandment of the recently formed frontier companies, but not before others were available under more dependable leadership to replace them. The adjutant general was sent to the theater of disturbance with full authority to raise whatever number of men he might consider necessary "for the expulsion of the enemy and to ensure the complete protection of the inhabitants in that quarter."[16]  Captain A. T. Miles, whose real character was apparently not known by the authorities, was commissioned to head a ranger company to be stationed at San Patricio for the maintenance of order and the discouragement of freebooters. His command of the San Patricio "Minute Men" was of brief duration, for he soon became so "odious" that Adjutant General Bell,[17]  while on an inspection tour of the frontier in September 1841, found it necessary to replace him by Captain W. J. Cairns, a Scotsman, who, according to some persons, was suspected of being engaged in robbing. One thing for sure, Cairns was not inclined to be lenient toward Mexican marauders, having been captured several years previously on the Nueces, and having spent a year inside a Matamoros jail before effecting his escape about October 1838.[18]  By October 4 the adjutant general of the militia, having returned to Austin, was able to report that all of the companies along the lower southwestern frontier, except that of Captain Cairns had been discharged in conformance to the order of the War Department, dated

15. Ibid.

16. "Message of President Lamar to Congress, Austin, Nov. 3, 1841," in Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, I, 7-25.

17. For a brief summary of Bell's brilliant career as a civil and military officer in Texas, see Harold Schoen (comp.), Monuments Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Centenary of Texas Independence, p. 71, and C. Luther Coyner, "Peter Hansbrough Bell," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, III (1898-1899), 49-53.

The Muster Rolls for Captain A. T. Miles' Company for the period from May 14 to August 28, 1841, are in Muster Rolls, 1838-1860 (Rangers), ms., and are reproduced in the Appendix of this work. [Ed: see pp. 554-556] Among Miles' command were such well known men of the Mier Expedition of 1842 as Thomas W. Murray, W. H. Van Horn, Patrick Maher, H. D. Weeks, L. F. Mills, Ewen Cameron, William Ripley, J. M. Simon, Henry Whalen, and George Anderson.

18. Telegraph and Texas Register, Oct. 20, 1838.

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