The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 303
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The Problem of Command in the Texas Army
settlers, who again had furnished the bulk of the combatants, left
the army to find their families and re-establish their homes. More
than enough volunteers soon arrived, however, to replace them
two for one. The inclination of the volunteers to disorder was so
evident that General Houston, on his way to New Orleans, found
it necessary to write a letter to the soldiers chiding them and
urging them to be obedient to constituted authority."
The most serious offenses were still at a higher level. General
Thomas J. Green, although he had just arrived in Texas, used
his troops to force the removal of Santa Anna from the ship on
which he had been placed by the civil government for return to
Mexico.20 In midsummer the truculence of the army reached a
peak when the officers and enlisted men refused to accept Mira-
beau B. Lamar, sent by President David G. Burnet to take com-
mand. The officers even designated one of their group to arrest
the President and his cabinet for trial by military court, but the
plan was not carried out.21 A letter from Lamar to Burnet makes
the situation vivid. In part it reads:
On my arrival, I was informed that I would not be recognized as
Commander in Chief. I proposed to speak to the Soldiers, and did so,
but was answered by Rusk, Greene, and Felix Houston [sic] who
carried the popular currant [sic] against me. Some hostile correspond-
ence ensued; which, instead of leading to further difficulties has
resulted in this arrangement, viz, that he is to recognize my orders
in future; that the regulars and about 6 or 8 volunteer companies
are to march to another encampment under my Command; where
I shall issue my Orders as Commander in Chief to the balance of
the army of Texas, and if Greene and Felix Houston still maintain
their present attitude of rebellion to my authority, I shall punish
them by Court Martial, if possible, 8 if not shall report them to
Congress. . . The general Officers all seem determined to defy the
civil authority of the land; I stand alone in its defense, and in con-
sequence am fast losing my influence. ...22
Such, then, was the army when its former commander, whom
few of the men had known, and its former commander designate,
19Houston to Soldiers, May 11, 1836, ibid., 428.
20William C. Binkley, "The Activities of the Texan Revolutionary Army after
San Jacinto," Journal of Southern History, VI, 338.
22Charles A. Gulick, Jr., and others (eds.), The Papers of Mirabeau Buonaparte
Lamar (6 vols.; Austin, 1921-1927), I, 417-418.
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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/m1/366/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.