The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 307
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The Problem of Command in the Texas Army
forestall trouble when it specified that "said Corps shall at no time
be quartered within 15 miles of any town.""3
The act of December, 1838, which eliminated all the army but
the frontier regiment and the Ordnance Department,7 and the
act of a month later, which made the selection of all militia offi-
cers except the major general of militia (who was elected by Con-
gress) subject to popular election in their beats,38 introduced a
new element of looseness in the relation of the government to any
forces in the field. Presumably intended to protect the interests of
the people by making the militia officers subject to the people,
the act in effect made the officers independent of both their
superior officers and of their troops once the unit had been called
to active duty, since only substantiated charges of a grave nature
could remove an officer from his assignment.
The next important instance of confusion, or as some said,
abuse of authority, in the control of the military, occurred in the
spring of 1841. When Congress refused to approve the Texan
Santa Fe Expedition, President Lamar, in the absence of any
regular army, used his executive powers to invite volunteers for
the military escort and appointed Hugh McLeod commander,
with the grade of brevet brigadier general.. The tradition of
troop's electing their commander, which was renewed by an act
passed in January, 1841, which provided that volunteer units
serving in place of drafted militia units were to elect their own
officers,40 was not easily checked, however, for after about five
weeks on the trail the officers applied it in reverse by voting that
McLeod be asked to resign.41 The general's ability to override the
will of his subordinates may be as much an indication of the in-
creased power and dignity in the new Republic as an indication
of McLeod's personal force.
Fortunately for her safety, Texas was not severely tested while
relying on the militia, but even so the two invasions of 1842
proved humiliatingly that the old difficulties remained.
sT7bid., II, 84-85.
89H. Bailey Carroll, The Texan Santa Fe Trail (Canyon, 1951), 10o.
t4Gammel, Laws of Texas, II, 498.
41Carroll, The Texan Santa Fe Trail, 74-75.
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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/m1/370/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.