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Growth of War Spirit in the West

necessary to combine the functions of these offices under that of adjutant and inspector general, to which post he appointed Colonel Jacob Snively.[113]

Thus, the "Reform Congress" adjourned on February 5 without making adequate provision for protecting the frontier, although thoughtful, intelligent citizens within and without the government expected that an invasion would soon be attempted by Mexico.

A few days after the adjournment of Congress, the Secretary of War expressed his anxiety to the President about the movement of Indians on the frontier. "The Indians generally," he wrote, "are at their respective points to commence their crops, but why should parties remain so long at places mentioned in my last, except as a corps of observation until a junction with the Mexicans (if such be intended) can be made, and that intended to be at an earlier day than we have been used to expect them. Their movements are entirely different from former custom." Eight Lipans, who "have kept remarkably sober," he said, "will leave today [February 16] on an excursion towards the Río Grande under Captain Castro of that tribe" to gather information for the Texans. The Secretary estimated that six companies, comprising 310 men could be called into service "at the shortest time" on the frontier; but, he declared, "we have no horses or accoutrements -- no arms for rangers -- no commissioner of subsistance, no supplies to issue. . . . We," however, "have an appropriation of 20,000 Dollars for the protection of the frontier in general -- but this is a special service -- and requires a distinct Law for its payment" if it is to be used for the maintenance of a regular ranger company.[114]

As news began to come in late in February of the hardships, sufferings, and mistreatment of the Santa Fé prisoners, sentiment in the Republic in relation to Mexico, especially in the west, became stronger in favor of direct military action against Mexico. Even many thoughtful men who had counseled peace and negotiation began to demand and support a more vigorous treatment of Mexico. "Let the avenging

113. Houston to Col. J. Snively, Executive Department, City of Austin, Feb. 5, 1842, in Army Papers (Texas), ms.; Texas Congress, Report of the Retrenchment Committee to the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives; also in The Weekly Texian, Dec. 1, 1841, and Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, II, 59-62.

114. George W. Hockley to Sam Houston, Austin, February 16, 1842 (Private), in Sam Houston, Unpublished Houston Correspondence, 1842, III, ms.

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