The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 308
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In the early spring, volunteers from the militia began to gather
at San Antonio. Since they had volunteered, they were entitled
to organize companies, elect officers, and serve in place of militia
companies that had been drafted, but after two months had passed
and more than three thousand men had assembled, neither regi-
ments nor companies had been organized.42 Fortunately, before
too much trouble developed, the men began to straggle back to
their homes. Much more serious conditions developed at Gal-
veston and Corpus Christi. Despite President Houston's deter-
mination to avoid hostile clashes with Mexico, he renewed re-
cruiting of volunteer companies in the United States, and con-
trary to his instructions to his agents that only groups of company
size or larger, armed and clothed for six months, would be ac-
cepted, the follies of six years earlier were repeated on small
scale. Ill-equipped and inadequately armed lots of all sizes began
to arrive by almost every boat. By July the President reported to
the Senate, " ... a spirit of utter insubordination and mutiny
openly prevailed, destroying every hope of usefulness and har-
mony. ... ,,
In creating confusion at the upper level, Vice-President Edward
Burleson seems to have been the chief offender. Apparently seek-
ing political capital in a confused military situation, he went to
San Antonio to take command, but General Alexander Somervell
refused to yield his position. After some delay Burleson seems
to have lost his resolve and returned to Austin.44
Although General Somervell could prevent the usurpation of
his authority, he lacked the force and judgment to use it well,
as the situation at San Antonio and the poorly handled Mier
Expedition proved. Because General James Davis at Corpus
Christi had more acute problems with his underfed foreign vol-
unteers, his comparable ineptitude led to more serious conse-
quences, including mutiny. The senior commanders ignored the
President's orders to organize and discipline their men, not
through insubordination, but through incompetence. They simply
did not command in fact.
42Stanley Siegel, A Political History of the Texas Republic, x836-185o (Austin,
"4Houston to Texas Senate, July 18, 1842, in Williams and Barker (eds.), Writings
of Sam Houston, III, 105.
44Siegel, A Political History of the Texas Republic, g19.
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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/m1/371/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.