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Mexican Threats and the Texan Military
Establishment: May 1836-December 1838

A FEW DAYS AFTER the battle of San Jacinto General Sam Houston left the army to go to New Orleans for treatment of the wound he had received in the battle. At that time the command of the army was turned over to Thomas J. Rusk, who resigned his position as Secretary of War to accept the rank of brigadier general with the understanding that Houston would remain nominally in command. Rusk assumed command of the army on May 4 and led it westward in the wake of the retreating Mexicans to be sure that they abandoned the country as they had promised. Lieutenant Colonel Juan N. Seguin commanded the detachments stationed at Béxar (San Antonio).

The main army remained for a while at Victoria, and while it was there word was received in Texas that the Mexicans were preparing to renew their campaign. News of the proposed invasion had reached Texas in a rather unusual manner. Following the victory at San Jacinto, Colonel Henry W. Karnes and Captain Henry Teal were sent as commissioners to Matamoros to negotiate with General José Urrea about the exchange of prisoners provided for in the treaty of Velasco. There they were held prisoners at Matamoros by Filisola in retaliation for General Rusk's detention of General Adrián Woll, who had entered the Texan camp at San Jacinto under a flag of truce. While in prison Karnes and Teal learned of Urrea's preparation for another invasion of Texas to start in the summer, and with the help of William P. Miller and others managed to send out letters concealed in a whip handle telling of the Mexican preparations. This is known as the "Whiphandle Dispatch."[1]  An unidentified Mexican was sent as courier to

1. R. M. Potter, "Escape of Karnes and Teal from Matamoros," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, IV (1900-1901), 71-85, 232-233; W. P. Miller to T. J. Rusk, Matamoros, June 9, 1836, in William C. Binkley (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, 1835-1836, II, 766-767, 888-

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963