2. Having been apprised of Woll's retreat, Somervell may have concluded that the troops gathering at Columbus would no longer be needed for the defense of the frontier.
3. The mere fact that Somervell was President Houston's choice to head the campaign made him immediately suspect in the eyes of many volunteers. Somervell seems to have done little to improve the situation, and his decision to remain in San Antonio gave malcontents like Green an opportunity to sow seeds of unrest among the ranks. Even soldiers who were not predisposed to resent Somervell found him wanting as a military leader. He was "a very nice kind Gentleman," one volunteer recalled, "but no more fit to Command an Army of men in those times, than a ten year old Boy." Harvey Alexander Adams, "Diary of Harvey Alexander Adams, in Two Parts: Rhode Island to Texas and Expedition against the Southwest in 1842 and 1843," 63-64.
4. The Houston government had issued strict orders to Somervell and his quartermaster general, William G. Cooke, not to confiscate goods from the residents of San Antonio. All supplies were to be purchased on credit, the administration being unable to pay for the items in hard currency. In view of the government's long-standing penurious condition, however, there was no guarantee that those who contributed to the war effort would ever be repaid. Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune, 32.
5. Desertion among the ranks ultimately became so commonplace that Somervell made no effort to stop those who wished to return home. Perhaps as many as five hundred troops - some forty percent of his total force - abandoned the campaign before it got underway. Torrential rains and tardiness in taking up the line of march contributed to low morale among the troops. The high attrition rate in the Montgomery County militia regiment appears to have been due to the fact that its members were not volunteers, but had been drafted into service by the president following the Woll invasion. Moreover, as residents of east Texas, they had not been directly affected by the recent Mexican incursions, and thus may not have shared the western volunteers' eagerness for reprisal. Ibid., 42.
6. By all accounts, the Mexican army did not plunder the town, as Green maintains, but paid for the supplies in San Antonio before making an orderly retreat. The same cannot be said for some of the more unruly Anglo-Texans who descended upon San Antonio in the fall of 1842. While Somervell's army waited for its marching orders, discipline among the troops deteriorated. Some turned Mexican families out of their homes to escape the torrential rains, and one volunteer reported cases of looting and rape committed by drunken soldiers. Nance, Attack and Counter-Attack 383-384; Adams, "Diary," 26.
7. Presidio del Rio Grande was the headquarters of Isidro Reyes, commander of the Army of the North.
8. Although long since replaced by store-bought apparel, buckskin, according to western lore and literature, was supposed to be the clothing of choice for the bona fide frontiersman. Francis Lubbock, who had an outfit made for him for a hunting expedition, discovered that buckskin leggings "are more entertaining in a picture or a romance than they are on one's own shanks." While he was drying himself in front of a fire after a drenching rain, his pants began to shrink, and had soon "crawled up to my knees," eventually becoming so tight they had to be cut off his legs. Francis R. Lubbock, Six Decades in Texas, 86.
9. In keeping with the egalitarian spirit of the age, Americans were inclined to celebrate the innate martial skills of the backwoods volunteer while disparaging those of the professionally trained regular. Impressive victories of American citizen-soldiers against conventional armies seemed to lend credence to this view, and could be seen in the triumph of Andrew Jackson's Kentucky riflemen in the Battle of New Orleans and, more recently, in the rout of Santa Anna's forces at San Jacinto. Acts of individual courage, not discipline or military pomp, were believed to be the real ingredients of success on the battlefield. But the democratic, ad hoc nature of American military actions was frequently accompanied by chaos and insubordination, shortcomings that would soon be all too apparent among the men who comprised Somervell's army.