Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 854 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
States practically made military departments.
Through The Telegraph and Texas Register Austin
sent forth addresses to the colonists, which pervaded
every part of Texas, and reached the United
States. He soon saw the necessity for and counseled
armed resistance, and although in feeble
health, as soon as he could respond to the call from
the army after the affair with Ugarte Chea, left for
Gonzales, where he was chosen Commander-in-Chief
of the volunteer forces in the field.
On the 12th of October Austin completed his
staff appointments and crossed over the River
Guadalupe. On the same day he was also informed
of the capture of Goliad. On the 13th their organization
was completed by the election of John
H. Moore, Colonel; Edward Burleson, LieutenantColonel,
and Alexander Somervell, Major of the
regiment. Patrick C. Jack was appointed Quartermaster;
William T. Austin, Second Aide, and
William H. Wharton, Judge Advocate. On the
18th Col. William H. Jack was appointed Brigade
Inspector. On the 14th Capt. Milam, in command
of a spy company, was ordered in advance of the
army to obtain information.
The army advanced, driving the Mexicans before
it, and on the 20th of October encamped on the
Salado, within five miles of San Antonio.
The fight by the men under Bowie at Mission
Concepcion and further operations of the army
while under Austin, and the storming and capture
of San Antonio by columns under Milam and
Johnson, after Burleson succeeded to the command,
are familiar matters of history and need not be
Austin took leave of the army on the morning of
November 25, 1835, and, during the last days of
December, sailed for New Orleans to act as one of
the commissioners (Messrs, Wharton and Archer
being his colleagues) sent from Texas to procure
aid for the Texian cause in the United States.
Up to the time of his arrival in New Orleans, he
had favored Texas fighting for her rights merely as
a Mexican State, but, on reaching that city and
finding that Texas could expect but little help in
the way of money or volunteers from the United
States unless a declaration of independence was
issued to the world, he wrote a strong letter advocating
such a declaration.
This action upon his part removed the last
vestige of opposition, and a few days later the
declaration was adopted by the plenary convention
that had assembled, and a government ad interim
was established, with David G. Burnet as President
and Lorenzo de Zavala as Vice-President.
The commissioners visited separately or together
the largest cities, spoke and conferred with leading
men, and all who wished to obtain information or
bestow aid. They raised men and money and received
donations for the cause of Texas. Austin
visited Washington City and conferred with his old
friends there, notably, Thomas H. Benton, John J.
Crittenden and others. He had repeated interviews
with the President, and ascertained that the most
friendly feeling prevailed for Texas, and that after
her adoption of the constitution and establishment
of a permanent government, she would be recognized,
Gen. Austin was particularly successful; his
long services in Texas, and his known truthfulness
and simplicity of character gave weight to what he
said. His addres3 at Louisville, which was widely
published, presented the claims of Texas upon the
civilized world for sympathy and aid in such a
manner as to bring her both. Austin landed on his
return to Texas at Velasco (temporary capital of
the Republic), at the mouth of the Brazos, June
27, 1836. On the 23d of July, President Burnet
issued his proclamation for an election for President
and Vice-President and representatives to the
first Congress of Texas under the constitution,
and also to decide upon the adoption
or rejection of the constitution, and on the
question of the annexation of Texas to the
United States. The election was ordered to take
place on the frst Monday of the following September,
and the new government to meet at Columbia
on the first Monday in October. Upon a call made
on Austin to become a candidate he said: " Influenced
by the great governing principle that has
regulated my actions since I came to Texas, which
is to serve this country in any capacity in which the
people may think proper to employ me, I shall not
decline the highly responsible and difficult one now
proposed, should the majority of my fellow-citizens
Ex-Governor Henry Smith and Sam Houston
were also candidates. It was soon seen that the
army, now composed of volunteers from the United
States, and the newcomers, favored Houston, and
so did many of the citizens of Eastern Texas; they
formed a majority of the voters, and Austin's
friends saw before the election that Houston's election
was a foregone conclusion. Houston was
elected, and offered to Austin the positions of
Secretary of State or Minister to the United States.
His great desire was to attend to his health and to
his private business, which had been neglected
entirely since he left for Mexico in 1833, and to
close up his colonial land matters. But prominent
men and all classes of his old friends, especially
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/854/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .