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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

deliver the whip handle to General Rusk, but he was captured by a Texan patrol near the Nueces River and the dispatch was sent to Secretary of War Alexander Somervell at Velasco. Before it was sent, however, a copy of the letters had been made and forwarded to New Orleans, where one of them appeared in the New Orleans Picayune. This letter, when the paper had been received at Matamoros, resulted in close confinement for Teal and Karnes. Teal had written that 4,000 men would leave Matamoros in a few days for La Bahía (Goliad) and that there were plans for an equal number to proceed by water from Vera Cruz to Copano or some other point along the Texas coast.[2]  This information elicited a proclamation on June 20 from Acting President Burnet "to the people of Texas" urging every able-bodied man between the ages of sixteen and fifty to enroll for military duty. It also led to repeated requests from Burnet to the Texan agent in New Orleans to hurry on volunteers to defend the country[3]  against General Urrea, "The cold blooded, heartless murderer of the gallant Fannin and his noble band," now leading a "vandal host" for the subjugation of Texas.

This alarm seemed justified. Before the remnants of Santa Anna's army had recrossed to the left bank of the Río Bravo, the Mexican Congress on May 20 decided to continue the war against Texas. General Urrea was given command, on June 5, of the troops destined for a new campaign in Texas and he immediately informed those at Matamoros that he would lead them into Texas as soon as the government so ordered him.[4]  This was alarming news to every Texan, for Rusk's

890; William Bryan to David G. Burnet, Agency of Texas, New Orleans, June 20, 1836, in ibid., II, 808-809; Telegraph and Texas Register (Houston), Aug. 30, 1836.

2. Henry Teal to T. J. Rusk, June 9, 1836, in Niles' Weekly Register (Baltimore), L (July 23, 1836), 350.

3. David G. Burnet, President, and A. Somerville [sic], Secretary of War, [Proclamation, to the People of Texas]. . . . Done at Velasco, the 20th day of June, 1836, broadside; also in Binkley (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, II, 802-804; Executive Records (Texas), book 35, ms., pp. 68-71; David G. Burnet to Thomas Toby, Executive Department, Velasco, June 20, 1836, and also letters of Same to Same, June 23, 28, July 2, 22, 1836, in Binkley (ed.), Official Correspondence of the Texan Revolution, II, 802-804, 804-805, 813-815, 819-820, 836-837, 880-881.

4. Thomas Maitland Marshall, A History of the Western Boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, 1819-1841, p. 176; José Urrea, Proclama. José Urrea, general de brigada y comandante de la division de reserva en el ejército de operaciones sobre

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