The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 304
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
whom it had scorned to accept, became the first President and
Vice-President of the nation. The caprice of the men and officers,
combined with greed and irresponsibility, leaves no doubt that
the army was a serious and imminent threat to the government.
Some corrective action the President could take at once, such
as ordering the numerous officers at the capital without leave to
return to their posts. Other improvements would take more time.
The President seems to have had two valid courses of action in
handling the command of the army-subordinate the commander
to the presidency however he might, or replace him with a man
who was already schooled in the belief that military should be
subordinate to civil authority, and who was willing to risk the
occupational hazards of relieving a person such as Felix Huston.
President Houston chose an educative approach, aided by that
excellent subordinator, paper work.
Through the secretary of war, President Houston sent General
Huston, then commanding as senior officer present, a series of
directives which suggest that they may have been planned to estab-
lish control by easy stages, from what the President knew the
commander would be willing to do to what he really wanted done.
On November 5, 1836, Houston ordered the army commander
to have records made of all courts-martial involving capital cases
and to send them, together with the sentences, for review to the
War Department.23 A week later the secretary of war directed
General Huston to forward to the War Department all officers'
requests for resignation for action at that office.24
A month after coming to office the President added busywork,
with an eye to supply, when he ordered General Huston to send
one hundred to two hundred men to drive all the stock from the
Nueces, Aransas, Medina, and San Antonio rivers, except cattle
of any citizen friendly to the cause. President Houston stressed
the need for vigilance, caution, judgment, and discipline-adding
gratuitously that there was no greater disgrace to an officer than
to have his horses stolen.25
23Thomas J. Rusk to Huston, November 5, 1836 (Miscellaneous Microfilm Col-
lection, William Preston and Albert Sidney Johnston Papers, Barker Texas History
Center, University of Texas).
24Rusk to Huston, November 12, 1836, ibid.
2nWilliam G. Cooke to Huston, November 23, 1836, ibid.
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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/m1/367/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.