Letters From the Texas Army, Autumn, 1836:
Leon Dyer to Thomas J. Green
EDITED BY MARILYN MCADAMS SIBLEY*
LEON DYER, GERMAN BORN, BALTIMORE REARED, AND FRESH FROM THE
Seminole War, met General Thomas Jefferson Green in New
Orleans in April, 1836. At that time Green was recruiting a brigade
for the revolution in progress in Texas, and he offered Dyer a com-
mission as major on his staff. If Dyer examined the commission closely,
he realized that it was a paper one, for Green's instructions from the
ad interim president of Texas specified that neither Green's commis-
sion nor any issued by him was valid until he had recruited enough
soldiers to justify the commissions.' Unfortunately, Green had found
it an easier task to find officers than men, and, as a result, his brigade
was top heavy in brass and the commissions he distributed were of
questionable validity. If Dyer realized this, it did not deter him. He
liked the sound of major in front of his name; he felt somewhat un-
comfortable in the United States at the moment; and he recognized
a kindred spirit in the freewheeling Green. Thus, Dyer accepted the
commission and linked his fortunes briefly with those of Green and
the Republic of Texas, his service dating from May 18 to November
In response to urgent pleas for help from those fighting in Texas,
Dyer (according to accounts his son wrote eighty years later) char-
tered with his own money the sloop Sarah Carter, picked thirty men,
and sailed for Texas in mid-April. Arriving at Galveston two days
before the Battle of San Jacinto, Dyer pitched camp on the beach
and missed the big battle because he did not know the location of
Sam Houston's army. Even so, Dyer's sojourn in Texas was not un-
eventful. Several weeks after his arrival he was joined by Green and
some 250 additional men, and the newcomers precipitated a crisis in
*Mrs. Sibley is assistant professor of history at Houston Baptist College.
'See Marilyn McAdams Sibley, "Thomas Jefferson Green: Recruiter for the Texas Army,
1836," Texas Military History, III (Fall 1963), 129-145.
2Audited Military Claims, Republic of Texas (Archives, Texas State Library, Austin).
Dyer's commission signed by Green and approved by David G. Burnet is in the Leon
Dyer Papers (Archives, Rosenberg Library, Galveston). I am indebted to Archivist
Robert C. Park for calling my attention to this collection.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed July 6, 2015.