3
Texas and the United States

THERE’S A YELLOW
ROSE IN TEXAS,
THAT I AM GOIN’ To
SEE.
NO OTHER SOLDIER
KNOWS HER,
NO SOLDIER, ONLY ME.
SHE CRIED SO WHEN I
LEFT HER,
IT LIKE TO BROKE MY
HEART.
AND IF I EVER FIND
HER,
WE NEVERMORE WILL
PART.

Confederate
marching song
based on a northern
minstrel ballad

With Sam Houston attending to his wound in New Orleans, the Texan army became a problem. Hundreds of mercenaries continued to arrive to join the Texas cause, aching for a battle in order to participate in the generous land rewards offered to those who served. A group of them under General Thomas J. Green prevented Burnet from sending Santa Anna back to Vera Cruz. They removed him from the warship Invincible, and Burnet had to keep the fallen dictator under guard for his own safety. Isaac Burton’s horse marines, who patrolled the coast, captured a Mexican ship at Copano Bay in June, and there was talk once again of marching on Matamoros in search of plunder. Mirabeau B. Lamar, whom Burnet appointed to head the army, could not control it, and the ad interim president feared fighting would flare up again through some rash act of the unruly soldiers.

In advance of the convention’s timetable, consequently, Burnet called for an election of permanent officials in September to bring the republic into being. Henry Smith declared immediately for the presidency, and soon Stephen F. Austin joined the roster. Eleven days before the election Sam Houston assented to run for the top position, and out of the 6,640 votes cast on election day, Houston won 5,119. The electorate overwhelmingly endorsed the constitution and voted 3,277 to 91 to seek annexation to the United States.

Houston hoped that annexation would solve his problems of dealing with Mexico, disbanding the revolutionary army, and establishing a viable economic system. The army enlarged daily, and for each three months of service the Texas congress promised a bounty of 320 acres in addition to the headright of 640 acres for any immigrant. The men remained restless while they waited, and the government gave away so much territory— 1,162,240 acres between 1837 and 1841—that it could produce no revenue from land for several years.

Houston appointed Albert Sidney Johnston, the adjutant general, to head the army, but the soldiers preferred Felix

-47-

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