Notes and Documents
as you are in nomination and doubtless will be commissioned to
the office of Brigadier General.
I would therefore recommend to you to repair without loss of
time to your post. Respectfully
Salute my friends, and God prosper you. Bring "Forms"4 and bring
all the news possible. Yours truly
GENERAL 7th February 1837
Since your departure,5 I have reflected much upon the situation
of the army and the country. That the Enemy will advance upon
us some time this Spring at what time it is impossible to divine.
We must be in the best state of preparation that our means will
admit of. It will be useless to have a large train of artillery it only
encumbers the march of an army.
So far as practicable there should be good Boats at all the passes
in rear of the army so as to enable supplies to reach the army;
or in the event of propriety or necessity, that the army could fall
back in safety. I hope to succeed in raising mounted men to act
as scouts and spies. I have authorized as many as four captains to
raise men and report to you for duty; out of the number some must
I have made a contract to supply the army with good beef besides
what I have already forwarded to the army from Bay Prairie. To
watch the advance of the Enemy and ascertain in what strength
they are if they should advance is important. If they advance it is
possible that their only object may be to harass the citizens and for
that purpose they might send an inconsiderable number of Rancheros
and hence the necessity of wise and vigilant spies.
The more that I reflect on the subject of a treaty with the Ca-
rankawa Indians and the use which can be made of them the more
I am impressed with the importance of the measure. If you can
procure goods from Captain Demmit who is authorized to act with
4The "forms" which Johnston was instructed to bring were connected with his
mission in New Orleans. A letter of introduction to T. Toby & Brother in Amelia
W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker (eds.), The Writings of Sam Houston (8 vols.;
Austin, 1938-1943), I, 487, refers to the printing of some material for the republic.
In the letter written on November 19, 1836, Houston said: "Col. Johnson will
require some facilities in the way of printing. He desires to have sundry blanks &c
and he is authorized to call upon you for assistance in accomplishing this part of
the mission." The printing was to be paid for by the government.
5Johnston reported to Camp Independence on the east side of the Lavaca River
four miles southwest of what is presently the town of Edna in Jackson County.
6Philip Dimitt was public storekeeper for the army.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed May 28, 2015.