The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 276
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Southwestern Hzstorzcal Quarterly
The title, Soldies of Miso> tune, seems inappropriate for a description of the
men of the Somervell Expedition and its offshoot, the Mier Expedition. The
participants can hardly be called "Soldiers of Misfortune." Sixty-one percent of
the members of the Somervell Expedition suffered no greater hardships than
might be expected on any campaign on the frontier and had been encountered
by those who participated in the Goliad and San Jacinto campaigns of 1836, the
Santa F6 Expedition of 1841, and were soon to be endured by those on the
Warfield and Snively Expeditions. The Mier men might be described as sol-
diers of ill-lortune, but not of misfortune, though their sufferings were great
and their self-proclaimed invincibility was humiliated by defeat and a long im-
prisonment. Furthermore, the author says that he does not feel that the treat-
ment received by the Mier prisoners was "inhuman" and unreasonable, but
that it "may have been better than the Texans had reason to expect under the
circumstances" (p. xi).
Haynes incorrectly says that the Montgomery and Washington county militia-
men, numbering between 25o and 300, had deserted "almost entirely" (p. 42)
before Somervell marched to Laredo. Actually, 187 of these men returned
home from the army near Laredo. Contrary to what the author says, Thomas
Jefferson Green did not plant the Texian banner in the town of Galveston
across the Rio Grande from Laredo. Although Green first reported in his Jow-
nal of the Textan Expedition Aganst Mize (p. 56) that he had done so, he later said
that the flag at the mast of the boat in which he floated down the Rio Grande
from Guerrero was his blood red silk bandana, "the same which we hoisted in
Mexico opposite Laredo and Guerrero" (p. 71). Also, the name of Captain
Ryon of the Mier Expedition is William M. Ryon-not "William A. Ryon" (p. 61).
The author is careless and unprofessional at times in transcribing quotations.
He omits words within a quotation without using ellipses (p. 56) and often itali-
cizes and de-italicizes quotations without saying that he has done so (pp. 116,
151-152, 144-145, and elsewhere).
Author of an interesting book and student of the last years of the Republic of
Texas, Sam W. Haynes fails to achieve his objective in recounting the hardships
of these two expeditions. He has attempted more than the full title implies, but
makes no definitive contribution to the history of the Republic of Texas. The
general reader, however, might find the book intriguing and exciting. Haynes,
however, has failed to evaluate accurately Houston's frontier defense policies
and efforts to bring about an enduring armistice with Mexico with the hope of
ultimately obtaining recognition of Texas's independence by that country.
While he treats summarily the Vasquez and Woll seizures of San Antonio in
1842, he virtually ignores Houston's efforts to organize, on the frontier of
Texas around Corpus Chnsu and Lipantitlan in the late spring and early sum-
mer of 1842, an army of volunteers from Texas and the United States for re-
taliation on the lower Rio Grande frontier of Mexico.
He wrongfully states that the Mier men mutinied from Somervell's army
(pp. ix-x, 62-63, 204-205). None of these men were ever charged by the War
Department with mutiny or desertion, and upon their return home were paid
for their services in the army from the date of their enlistment to their return
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/m1/322/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.