The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 302
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in chief for six weeks by the end of 1835, the army at that time
was divided among no less than four garrisons, over none of
which had he been able to assert his authority.
While the General Council was involved in the fact that it had
authorized both Francis W. Johnson and James W. Fannin to
raise from the same body of troops expeditions against Mata-
moros, James Bowie exhibited before that assembly his orders
from the commander in chief to proceed against that often threat-
ened city.'8 Yet General Houston was then engaged in dissuading
both officers and enlisted men from the Matamoros venture.14
Meantime Dr. James Grant improvised a force by commandeering
equipment and relieving officers who opposed his plan, and started
his march south.1 Such disunity obviously could not last; the
Mexicans ended it by destroying the garrisons piecemeal.
Although General Houston seems not to have made a personal
bid for the loyalty and obedience of the volunteers during Novem-
ber and December, 1835, he was the rallying point for the rem-
nants of the army in March of the next year. Not all these men
were willing, however, for on March 23 the commander in chief
wrote Thomas J. Rusk, secretary of war, that he regretted having
been unable to get information to the government ahead of the
deserters; then he asked Rusk to devise some means "to send back
the rascals who had gone from the army and service of the country
with guns."' As late as the end of March Houston wrote that he
hoped he could hold the army together,17 and it was not until
nine days before the battle of San Jacinto that he was able to
organize his army into two regiments.'8
The Texans' victory made General Houston a hero both in and
out of the army and the one man who might have controlled the
army during the weeks that followed, but the chance shot that
wounded the General and sent him to New Orleans for treat-
nient denied Texas his restraining influence. In the meantime the
14William C. Binkley, The Texas Revolution (Baton Rouge, 1952), 92.
15Henderson K. Yoakum, History of Texas, from Its First Settlement in 1685 to Its
Annexation to the United States in 1846 (2 vols.; Redfield, New York, 1855), II, 51.
16Houston to Rusk, March 23, 1836, in Williams and Barker (eds.), Writings of
Sam Houston, I, 382.
17Houston to Rusk, March 31, 1836, ibid., 389.
1sHouston to David Thomas, April 9, 1836, ibid., 404.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/365/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.