The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXII JANUARY, 1959 No. 3
rhe Probcm of Comxatd
tIh the .rtmy of the Repubic of Texas
HENRY W. BARTON
HEN the First Congress of the Republic of Texas met in
Columbia on October 3, 1836, it faced many problems,
most of them urgent. No small share of those difficulties
concerned an unruly army. The army of October, 1836, was
not the one which had done so much at San Jacinto, since most
of its members were foreign volunteers who had arrived after the
battle, products of a recruiting plan which evidently left the
government feeling like the sorcerer's apprentice, wondering how
to stop the flow once it had been started. Succeeding congresses
until almost the eve of annexation were to be harassed by the
choice of having no active army or of being annoyed, if not actu-
ally threatened, by an undisciplined one. The purpose of this
study is to trace the efforts of the Republic of Texas to have and
to control an army.
To see the trials of the new government better, it is necessary
to go back to October of 1835. On the eleventh of that month the
Volunteer Army of the People, an unrestrained group of settlers
who acknowledged the existence but hardly the authority of the
short-lived Permanent Council, elected Stephen F. Austin com-
mander and started toward San Antonio, which General Martin
Perfecto de C6s had been permitted to occupy without opposi-
tion. While the men under Austin maintained a somewhat casual
siege of San Antonio, the Consultation met at San Felipe to estab-
lish a government capable of pressing the fight against Antonio
L6pez de Santa Anna's central government. Seeking a more
durable force than that containing General C6s, the Consulta-
tion provided for a regular army of 1,12o men, part two-year en-
listees and part permanent (for the duration) volunteers. In the

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed May 22, 2015.