The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
for the most trivial sums of money.'3 Furthermore, the Mexican
officials underrated the difficulties of the undertaking. In the first
place, they felt confident that the colonists would have little chance
when pitted against the Mexican army and would, therefore, make
slight resistance. Little did they expect to find at Bexar an army
that would make stubborn resistance, and which to the last man
would die fighting. They furthermore took little accounting of
the great distances their armies must march to fight against a foe
in his own land and defending his own fireside. Then, again,
Mexico had no navy with which to transport troops, no merchant
marine, and little money with which to buy or to charter ships.
Santa Anna's difficulties were not all of a financial nature. He
found it just as hard to raise troops as to raise money, and all his
histrionic powers-which were by no means small-were called into
service. He made bombastic speeches to stir up the passions and
the zeal of the common people; he invented catchy slogans, dear
to the Latin's heart, and created military orders and decorations.
One of the most notable and interesting of these is described in
El Mosquito Mexicano of January 22, 1836. It is in the form of
a decree from Jos6 Maria Tornel, the Secretary of War.14
"Zamgois, XII, 69.
"B1 Mosquito Mexicano, January 22, 1836. This decree reads:
Attention! Civil Wars are always bloody. Our soldiers ever aspire
to shed the blood of foreigners who seek to take away from us our
rights and menace our independence. This war is righteous, and should
be without remorse; and this nation will adorn with flowers the tombs
of its defenders. Remember, soldiers, in civil war triumphant victory
must always be accompanied by the mourning and by the tears of wid-
ows and orphans. It is in the face of such reflections that our brave
troops start out on a campaign, so full of privations, to retrieve the
disasters at Bexar. So many misfortunes have already been suffered,
and so many more may come that the Supreme Government is supremely
indignant and ardently desires vengeance. It, therefore, esteems it very
fitting that it should enact the following law:
Art. I. The war against Texas is national:
Art. II. To reward services that the army will make in this cam-
paign and in wars of like nature, there is established a military order
to be called the Legion of Honor;
Art. III. In order to be admitted to this order it is necessary to
have made the Texas campaign or to serve in Tampico, or other points
of foreign aggression. The general-in-chief of the army himself will
record the merits of each one. [There continued at this point eight
articles of details concerning the ceremony of decoration]
Art. IV. The candidate for the honor must kneel and swear: 'I
swear to be faithful to the country, the Government, and to honor and
do all that constitutes the duty of a reliant loyal gentleman of the
Legion of Honor.' The soldiers and the sergeants then swear together
to fight with extraordinary valor on the day of battle.
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/12/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.