Southwestern Historical Quarterly
you, you may make as liberal presents as you deem proper or
Genl. Huston7 is also authorized to act with you as an associate
commissioner. Every facility which you can command or bring into
requisition for means to move the army should be a desideratum.
All the heavy cannon should be disposed of in some way by placing
it on board vessels if for no other use or purpose than to mount
it at Velasco, Galveston, or some other point on the coast where
it may be of service. If you can without hazard procure horses from
the Mexicans on the frontier, you are at liberty to do so, tho it
should be at great price, and you can advise Colonel Seguins to
the same effect.
So soon as practicable I desire to know the precise state of the
army in every respect, by returns. If they cannot be precise, I
wish them general so as to enable the Department to provide so
far as may be in our power for all deficiencies and to meet
The order of camp, I hope is perfect and that it will be main-
tained. All firing w[h]ere in the vicinity of camp unless for in-
dispensable purposes leads to insubordination and I do most posi-
tively forbid the introduction of ardent spirits within ten miles of
Whenever found it is not to be seized but instantly destroyed.
The reason of this course must be obvious to you from your thor'o
experience of a soldier's life.9 I do not wish to be too minute, but
I will suggest that it might be well and indeed highly necessary to
have a Boat at Sutherlands.
I will further remark that it is very necessary when parties on
fatigue are sent out that they should not carry arms unless it is
when they might be liable to an attack from the enemy.
A consideration which should influence all officers and non com-
missioned officers on detatchment is that all stock and private prop-
erty should be respected and preserved for the reason (if none
other) that the army may some day really need, what today may
be wantonly wasted.
In the event (at any time) of an engagement with the enemy
one thing must be borne in mind, and cannot be too strongly im-
7Felix Huston was commander of the army prior to Johnston's appointment.
Angered at being superceded, he challenged Johnston to a duel and seriously
wounded him. Houston heard of the duel after beginning his letter and referred
to it at the end of the letter.
sJuan Seguin, the son of Erasmo Seguin, was military commander at San Antonio.
He had remained there contrary to orders by Felix Huston to destroy the city
and move the inhabitants to the Brazos.
9A secret traffic in liquor added greatly to the difficulty of enforcing discipline in
camp. A mutiny arose after a group of men were apprehended attempting to bring
liquor into camp.
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 July 31, 2015.