Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Tennessee, and Kentucky.45 In the absence of rapid communica-
tion between the capital and the army assembling at Corpus
Christi, such an allocation of areas would seem to be a reasonable
method of control, but it did not allow for General Edmund P.
Gaines at his intermediate headquarters near New Orleans nor for
the inconsistency of the department of war itself. Neither did it
allow for the actions of those subordinate to General Taylor.
Between Secretary Marcy's first and second letters of authori-
zation to General Taylor, General Gaines, without consulting
those either above or below him, called on the governor of Louis-
iana for two regiments and two separate companies.40 In spite of a
strong reprimand, General Gaines repeated the offense when hos-
tilities actually started, calling a force that could have reached
twelve thousand men.47 Both calls were considered illegal, and
although they were never fully met, the untrained, short-term
units were a heavy burden on General Taylor's administrative
If General Gaines was the first to defeat any sort of administra-
tive order in creating new troop units, the second was the depart-
ment of war itself. After delegating authority to General Taylor
to request troops of Texas, and adding five other states because of
doubt that Texas had sufficient population to meet the need, the
department requested a regiment of cavalry and a battalion of
infantry, approximately nine hundred men, on May 16, 1846,48
and followed with a request for a second regiment of cavalry on
November 16 of the same year.49
Under specifically granted authority, General Taylor's requests
were legal and in order, his only real problem being whether the
volunteers were under the earlier law requiring six months of
service or the law of May g, which required twelve months of
service. Assuming that Taylor could grant some of his authority
4eMarcy to Polk, August 15, 1845, Senate Documents, 29th Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial
No. 477), Document No. 378, p. 2.
48Horton to Wool, August 2o, 1846 (MS., Executive Record Book, Archives,
Texas State Library), III/28, p. 64.
49Henderson, Certificate of John C. Hays' Service, August 20o, 1847 (MS., Gov-
ernor's Letters [Henderson], 1847, Archives, Texas State Library).
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 September 1, 2015.