Friday, January 14, 2022

Republican Army Strength

The Republican Army of the North, the force which invaded Texas in August 1812, was an army always in flux. For this reason, pinning down the army's strength is a very difficult thing.

The original filibuster core of the force, which crossed the border and captured Nacogdoches on August 11, was only about 150 men. But the army soon began adding new recruits, both from additional filibusters arriving from Louisiana and native Tejanos and Indians who joined. Following the epic siege of La Bahia, the army defeated the Spanish royalists at Rosillo and captured San Antonio. Then, following the execution of 11 Spanish royalist officers by vengeful natives, large numbers of Anglo Americans went home. Some left, never return. Others, like Samuel Kemper, took furloughs and returned to fight later on.

Even while this was happening, new recruits were always coming to Texas and replacing old fighters, or even augmenting them. Thus, the strength seems to have always been uncertain. But there are some datapoints that can be considered in piecing together the army strength.

Invasion of Texas, August 1812: 130-150 men.[1] The army’s agents in Natchitoches claimed an additional 500-600 men were on the way to join them. Spanish Commander Bernardino Montero learned on July 27 from a French creole that there were 365 Americans on the other side. This number was likely inflated, though the smaller (150) number may have been merely an advanced force which penetrated Texas, and these follow-on troops, whatever the number, likely followed in their wake.[2]

Other Spanish sources suggest from 2,000-3,000 men were to join. These modest and fanciful numbers, respectively, were likely projections of hoped-for strength, not reality. In any event, the proclamation of Gov. William C.C. Claiborne on August 11 outlawing the affair, may have deterred many of these.

Nacogdoches: September, 1812: 240 men. Whatever the numbers which turned back after the proclamation, significant numbers, possibly several hundred, continued on, but took time to augment the force. Around this time, William Shaler, a close observer, estimated the total number of Americans at 240. This includes the first Tejano/Mexican contingents of the army began to be formed in Nacogdoches. These were likely small as some soldiers chose to “serve” in their hometown. The total number who joined the army itself (mostly Spanish deserters) was probably only around 50.[3]

Trinidad de Salcedo, October 1812: 450-500 men. This is where the numbers get confusing. William Shaler would say he didn’t know how many men were in the republican force within 300 men! But this appears to be the time that the bulk of the follow-on recruits arrived, although they appear to have trickled in rather than arrived in large masses. The percentage was likely around 3 Anglos to every 1 Mexican. The army had at least three four pounder cannon and one other of unknown size.[4]

La Bahía, November 1812-Febuary 1813: 450-800 men. At La Bahía, the army occupied the presidio and was then besieged. The numbers of fighters swayed somewhat, with the additions and subtractions being almost entirely from local Tejanos or captured royalists. Some deserted to and from the republicans, making the nature of this change impossible to determine.

Battle of Rosillo, March 29, 1813: 400-800 men. After the Siege of La Bahía was lifted, Reuben Ross and James Gaines arrived with additional reinforcements of Anglo-Americans and Indians, respectively. Gaines places the number at about 600, and another member of the army gave the same number. Other sources suggest a higher number, but these may include troops not classified as “effective” – including, for example, wounded or sick. Coming off a siege of nearly four months, it would be understandable if large numbers were ill. Additionally, more Mexican residents of La Bahía likely joined them, along with a small number of citizens of San Antonio, who had filtered past the retreating Spaniards. As for the Spanish numbers they faced, Hall places it at 2,500, which is virtually impossible, given the available manpower. The number is likely slightly in excess of the Republican numbers, possibly 1,000-1,500.[5]

San Antonio, April 9, 1813: Approximately 650-700 men. This is the only “good” datapoint we have on the army, courtesy of a document recently discovered in the US National Archives. This is the only known muster roll of the army, not including names, but aggregates named by company. The total, which includes Anglo-Americans only, is 439. This shows remarkable consistency with some of the numbers in previous accounts, and extrapolating Mexicans and Indians from those, we get around 650-700 men. This is about the time of the desertions caused by the massacre of the Spanish royalists, but most evidence points to those desertions being made good if not augmented, by new arrivals.

Battle of Alazán, June 20, 1813: 900 men. This is another key, good datapoint, from the Alazán order of march document also discovered in the National Archives. This lists 250 Anglo-Americans - a significant drop in the forces from the April 9 document. This likely represents the desertions having finally run their course, but also likely does not include the sick, which the April 9 document does. What we do see is a significant growth in the Mexican/Tejano contingent, to around 200 on foot and 300 mounted. Around 150 Indians are counted, rounding out the number. This represents the turning point in which the army finally has a majority native Mexican contingent, though the leadership in the field is still Anglo-American. However, this comes with a caveat. As the document states, "About 600 only of the 900 can be depended [on] as about 1/2 of the Indians and many Mexicans are without firearms & some lack spirit."

Battle of Medina, August 18, 1813: 1,500-1,800. The numbers of the Republican Army of the North at the Battle of Medina are, like most other numbers, uncertain. But we can make an educated guess.

Subsequent republican sources give the following size of the army: Joseph Wilkinson, 1,200; Bullard, 1,500 and Beltrán, 1,800 (consisting of 1,000 Mexicans and 800 Americans). After the battle, Kemper and Toledo told an American newspaper editor that there were about 450 Americans and between 600-700 Mexicans, for just under 1,000 (almost certainly downplayed). The source for Kemper and Toledo’s numbers is the following article: “We have No further Particulars of the affair of the 18th ult. near San Antonio…” Daily National Intelligencer, October 18, 1813. Joseph Wilkinson to Shaler, June 25, 1813. CSA. [Bullard] “A Visit to Texas.” Hunter, “The Battle of Medina,” 10.

There are two documents, both captured by Arredondo, which outline the Republican Army’s order of battle. The first is a letter from Guadiana to Henry Perry on August 5 and the second is Guadiana’s order of march on August 13. The former lays out Perry’s regiment, which consists of the Washington and Madison Battalions. Each has 4 companies of 126 men, giving the regimental strength as 8 companies and 504 men (including staff). There is additionally a second American regiment, which will be placed under Kemper. Notably, the size of Kemper’s regiment is not given, nor is its structure.

If the two American regiments were equal in size (2 battalions of 4 companies each) and the battalions at full strength, that would give the Anglo contingent alone over 1,000 men, not even counting artillerists. As this is nearly four times the size of the Anglo force at Alazán and twice Shaler’s estimate, it is certainly inflated. Multiple sources suggest that Toledo inherited an army that was ethnically mixed and then broke them into separate divisions, and one is tempted to suspect this is the source of the large number of 1,000 in the Perry letter, for if the Mexican contingent was within the regimental structure on April 5, but separated from it before April 13, that would account for the high number. Yet the Alazán order of battle document shows that the army was already operating in separate contingents in that earlier battle. All sources suggest the Mexican troops outnumbered the Anglos at the Battle of Medina. Given 1,000 Anglos, the army would have to be 2,200-2,500 men, far above any republican estimate.

The order of march document, additionally, suggests that the names “Washington” and “Madison” denote not two battalions within one regiment, but separate regiments themselves. This document also clearly shows the Mexican contingent as separate, since they march between the Washington and Madison regiments or battalions. But this later document gives no numbers for any contingent.

There is an interpretation that this author feels accounts for both the naming discrepancy and what appears to be the inflated size of the army that the two-regiment structure suggests. When Guadiana wrote his letter to Perry on August 5, shortly after Toledo’s arrival, Samuel Kemper had not yet returned from the United States. His regiment, undescribed in the letter, was to be led in the interim by a Sergeant Major (who was probably Josiah Taylor given his later role). Guadiana expected that Kemper would bring a significant reinforcement along with him.

This, and perhaps a small contingent already awaiting him under Taylor, would stand up the second regiment. This is given credence by the fact that the 8 companies (4 per battalion) reflected in the Perry regiment alone exactly mirrors the 8 companies at Alazán. Thus, Perry’s regiment likely was the bulk of the veteran army, and Kemper’s regiment in waiting a mere skeleton force to be filled out by reinforcements.

But, as Beltrán wrote, “Toledo expected to leave the Sabine with an army of at least 2,000 men…but in this, he was sorely disappointed.” Whatever men Kemper brought with him were much smaller than needed. Had Kemper’s reinforcement been more than 200, the sources undoubtably would have recalled its arrival, but it passed unremarked upon.

It seems likely that after Kemper’s arrival with a smaller force, this fanciful structure was then altered, and the Washington and Madison battalions themselves became regiments, suggesting the final number was something close to the 504 listed in the August 5 document, plus Kemper’s reinforcement and whatever other troops were available. These were then all effectively placed under the command of Kemper, with possibly one regiment under Perry the other one under Taylor.

Historically, the Anglo contingent had been 422 before the desertions caused by the execution of the Royalists, then 250 at Alazán. It had likely grown to 500-600 by August 5. Thus, the likely Anglo contingent was probably in the 600-800 range when all is said and done. Adding in a very plausible Mexican contingent of 1,000, this puts the numbers in line with Bullard and Beltrán’s estimates (1,500/1,800). This then is the structure and numbers this author assumes in the book.

[1] Sibley to Eustis, August 5, 1812 in Garrett, “Dr. John Sibley,” Vol. 49, No. 3.

[2] Bernardino Montero to Manuel Salcedo, July 23, 1813. “Texas History Research, Neutral Territory” Folder, Karle Wilson Baker Papers, Ralph W. Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University.

[3] Shaler to Monroe, August 18, 1812, Shaler Letterbooks. Henry P. Walker, “William McLane’s Narrative,” Vol. 66, No. 2 (Oct. 1962), 243. Baker, 224-9. Henry P. Walker, “William McLane’s Narrative,” SWHQ, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Oct. 1962), 243-5. RBB Vol.70: 244.

[4] Hall account in Lamar papers, Gulick 4(1):279. Gulick, 6:146. Shaler to Monroe, October 1, 1812, Shaler to Monroe, October 6, 1812, Shaler to Monroe, November 10, 1812, Shaler Letterbooks.

[5] Gulick 1:45. Baker, 227. Reuben Ross to William Shaler, April 15, 1813, CSA. Gulick, 5:365. Walker, “McLane's Narrative,” 66, No. 3 (Jan. 1963), 460. “1813 Letter from Bart Fleming to Levin Wailes, Esq.,” June 7, 1813, in Gutiérrez de Lara collection, Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, The University of Texas at Austin, cited in I. Waynne Cox, “Field Survey and Archival Research for the Rosillo Creek Battleground Area, Southeast San Antonio, Texas,” Index of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State: Vol. 1990 , Article 1, available at: (accessed August 24, 2021), 3.

Henry Adams Bullard

On July 26, 1813, in the midst of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain, an unlikely event occurred during a meeting of the revolutionary junta of San Antonio, when a 24-year-old youth from Massachusetts stepped forward, and began to address the body in perfect Spanish. What he would say would transform the revolution and dramatically reshape the history of North America. Who was this young New Englander who would so radically shape Texas history?

His name was Henry Adams Bullard. Born in 1788 in Pepperell, Massachusetts, he attended Harvard, where he graduated at age nineteen with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, staying on and working at the university for two years after graduating to pay his expenses. Relocating to Philadelphia, he began studying the law. Bullard circulated in elite circles, becoming acquainted with Matthew Tilghman, a former member of the Continental Congress, and young George Dallas (later vice president).[1]

He had a passion for languages; having studied French at Harvard, he wanted to learn others. A memorial written at the time of his death indicates this interest as one of the key reasons he chose vibrant, cosmopolitan Philadelphia over Puritan Boston to start his career, noting that while he pursued his legal studies, he “acquired the Spanish, Italian and German, all of which he critically understood and appreciated.” But even before Bullard came to Philadelphia, he had developed a profound interest in the revolutions surging through Spanish America.[2]

In the early fall of 1808, he had just passed his 20th birthday strode up the steps of the publishing house of Oliver and Monroe at No. 70, State Street in Boston and delivered a manuscript for the printers. It was a political tract defending revolution, and like many books of the era, began with a stirring quotation from Shakespeare. Fittingly, the line came from Richard II, a story of revolution from centuries before, and its words would ultimately come to encapsulate the young man’s life:

Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot unlikely wonders.

The book was a spirited defense of a filibuster attempt by the Venezuelan rebel Francisco de Miranda, who had come to America and recruited a force of 200 men for an invasion of his homeland. His force was defeated, and though Miranda himself escaped, several Americans were hung, beheaded and quartered by the Spanish.[3] American authorities attempted to try their citizens who had participated for violating the Neutrality Act. Bullard’s book amounted to a defense of the men – and the filibuster concept in general. The 300-page manuscript he completed – to be published anonymously – was entitled The History of Don Francisco de Miranda’s Attempt to Effect a Revolution in South America, In a Series of Letters.[4]

Moving a few years later to Philadelphia, Bullard began his legal career and continued to explore his fascination with the Spanish world. He probably took Spanish lessons at this time with a tutor, possibly a Spanish exile. Eventually, he met the revolutionary he had always been waiting for, José Alvarez de Toledo, a Cuban who was attempting to rally support for a filibuster into Texas. The rebel had initially been a co-conspirator of José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara, a Mexican rebel who entered Texas alongside a former American military officer, Augustus Magee, in August, 1812. The Gutiérrez-Magee Filibuster which resulted, had opened a rebel front in Texas. Toledo, failing in efforts to raise an independent force, began to make his way to Texas to join this invasion. For Bullard, this was the perfect opportunity to live up to his ideals. A subsequent biographer recalled:

We now find him, at that most critical period of his life, a young man of vigorous mind, with a liberal education…full of the high hopes and aspirations which the fame and example of such men would excite; and yet, without influential relations and friends to give him the first impulse, without which so many of the noblest and best so frequently fall into despair. About this time Mexico was in revolution against Spain…He was fascinated with the splendid pictures painted by the imaginative mind of the Spanish revolutionary soldier [Toledo]. Can we wonder what was his course?[5]


And so the 24-year-old Bullard, just having passed the bar, abandoned a potentially lucrative legal career to accompany Toledo to the revolution, signing up as an aide and military secretary.[6] He, along with Toledo’s printers, a long-time revolutionary from South America named Juan Picornell and several Frenchmen formed an entourage that began to grow as Toledo moved west towards Texas. Toledo, in fact, was not coming to Texas to join Gutiérrez anymore. He was coming to replace him. Arriving in Nacogdoches, Toledo, Bullard and their company prepared for their final move to San Antonio.

But in that city, the rebel leader Gutiérrez, fueled by a smear campaign led by a former Toledo acolyte, Nathaniel Cogswell, who alleged that Toledo was a spy, jealously ordered the Cuban revolutionary out of the country. Toledo complied, but the order did not apply to Bullard, who made his way to Texas, where he found out, to his stunned surprise, that Gutiérrez was in desperate need of a man fluent in English, French and Spanish to serve as his revolutionary secretary of state. Bullard fit the bill perfectly, and Gutiérrez, unaware of the young New Englander’s connection to Toledo, appointed him. Thus did Toledo and his company gain not only a mole within Gutiérrez’s inner circle, but one perfectly positioned for their planned coup.

Bullard, as Toledo’s de-facto spy, helped persuade American special agent William Shaler to leverage his authority to oust Gutiérrez in favor of Toledo, writing with unbridled criticism that Gutiérrez should be replaced because he did little in San Antonio beyond “lolling on his sofa and catching flies.”[7]

But it was at the meeting of the Béxar Junta that July 26, that Bullard made his fateful move that dramatically altered the history of Texas. The American contingent of the Republican Army of the North had already made it clear they wanted Gutiérrez gone, but the Mexican rebels were wary of Toledo, first because he was a Cuban and too much like a peninsular Spaniard in temperament, secondly because he was rumored to be a mason, and lastly, because they believed the allegations of Cogswell, which Gutiérrez had shared with them.

This was the impediment that Bullard faced, but he found his opening and made his move. At a moment when Gutiérrez had briefly left the Junta, Bullard brought up the Mexican rebel’s failings and launched into a spirited defense of Toledo. Bullard, who knew Cogswell closely, attacked his allegations as a calumny against Toledo, the only commander, Bullard said, who the Spanish truly feared. He mocked the allegations of freemasonry and asserted the only way to regain the support of key American leaders like Shaler was to replace Gutiérrez with Toledo instantly. This impromptu address broke the logjam, and the Junta at last sided with the American contingent against Gutiérrez. Toledo was sent for and Gutiérrez was pushed out of the army and into exile. And it had been Bullard who had made the difference.

Toledo arrived on August 1, 1813, and within two weeks, he was marching at the head of the Republican Army of the North towards the fateful Battle of Medina – and to ultimate defeat. There is no actual evidence that Toledo was a traitor, and in fact, as the battle unfolded, he had little control of the army at all, as the Mexican and American contingents followed their own commanders, who ignored Toledo’s instructions on the day of battle. The army was defeated, and the revolution in Texas had failed.

Henry Adams Bullard survived the Battle of Medina and fled back to the U.S. The defeat would leave him “destitute and worn down with fatigue and sickness” in Louisiana, unable to return home. He turned back to the legal profession and soon found dramatic success, owing to his fluency in Spanish and French, which brought him into high demand in Louisiana.[8] He was appointed a district judge in 1822, elected to Congress in 1831, appointed to the Louisiana Supreme Court, served as Louisiana Secretary of State, and taught as a law professor at the Law School of Louisiana (today’s Tulane University Law School).[9]

Bullard, as a justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court

The post-expedition Bullard’s erudite personality comes through via his voluminous library, which was cataloged after his death and offered for sale, the titles preserved in court records. He had great interest in foreign cultures and their systems of law, though he believed America’s democratic legal tradition superior. He was a profound believer in natural law theory, and his library “revealed him to be both a practical man and a scholarly one.”[10] Bullard also served as president of the Historical Society of Louisiana, and in a speech to the organization on January 13, 1836, he told the members their purpose: “Each generation, as it passes away, is under obligations to its successors to furnish them those authentic materials for which alone its true character can be known to posterity.”[11]  Although Bullard never penned any works under his own name on the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition, he is the author of an unsigned 1836 article in the North American Review. The piece, published shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto, is part history lesson, part current affairs for its readers. It shows Bullard to be well-read in Mexican history, and despite 25 years residence in the South, and at the time a sitting justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court, still possessing a New England bias against slavery.[12] In the article, Bullard denies any government inclination to “take possession of the country as soon as it should have been wrested from the dominion of Spain,” though he does note Shaler’s presence as an agent for the government observing and assisting the rebellion. As for the filibusters themselves, Bullard gives as the prime motive the disputed boundary of the Louisiana Purchase:

At that time, the American people and government were wearied with the protracted negotiation with Spain, its interminable delays, and the evident reluctance of the cabinet of Madrid, to do justice to the United States; and there was a strong disposition among the people to seize upon that part of the territory which was still in dispute.[13]

Bullard, driven by youthful idealism in 1812, was considerably less idealistic by 1836. He expressed skepticism of whether Mexicans could ever understand democracy as the Americans did, writing “The great mass of the population of Mexico were absolutely ignorant of the simplest elements of popular self-government,” a condition he blamed on the legacy of Spanish authority. In the January, 1836 speech, he laid out a vision of history in which Spain’s colonization is depicted as brutal and oppressive compared to the English and French models.[14]

Another source of Bullard’s character comes from a historical novel written about the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition. Francis Berrian; or, The Mexican Patriot, was a novel by Timothy Flint, a friend of Bullard’s who used the latter’s remembrances as told to him as his prime source for the expedition and patterned his swashbuckling lead character on the young Bullard. The novel, written in 1823, is historically confused and was generally panned as horrible by the press of the time, but provides detailed insights into how the filibusters – or at least Bullard, speaking through Flint – wanted their motivations to be interpreted. As James Weldon Long writes of the book, “If we read Berrian as a prototypical filibuster, then Flint’s novel registers as a representative national narrative conveying an exceptionalist vision of the United States and its position in the Age of Revolutions.”[15]  While one must avoid conclusions based on a work of fiction, the close connection between Bullard and Flint – and corresponding information in Bullard’s background – makes the work relevant to Bullard’s viewpoint – at least the viewpoint he held in the years after the expedition.

In the novel, Berrian, the hero/lawyer claims of his fellow filibusters, “Their avowed object was to aid the Patriot natives in communicating to this oppressed and beautiful country, the entire freedom of their own.” These, the author contends, are “gallant and high-minded men.” He contrasts them with “self-denominated patriots,” of one of whom he writes, “it was difficult to ascertain which element preponderated in him, revenge, or a love of liberty, cupidity and ambition, or a desire to liberate his country.”[16] The latter is a reference to a fictional character clearly based on Gutiérrez, and exposes the strong bias to be expected from Bullard, a committed partisan of Toledo.

Just as Bullard exhibited a bias in his speech, Flint shows a conceit of the Spanish as inherently hostile to liberty. They are “instinctive enemies to every form of republican government...[are] contemplating with horror and disgust the development of republican principles.” Long notes, “As ‘the Mexican Patriot,’ Berrian remains indelibly a U.S. citizen, devoted to the nation’s foundational principles, a characterization that literalizes the cultural assumption that the American Revolution was in fact a global rebellion against tyranny that could spread its influence to any oppressed group.”[17] This second-hand portrayal completes a picture of Bullard as an idealist who at once loves Spanish culture, language, and people – or at least the cosmopolitan variants he found in Philadelphia – but who ultimately maintains a paternalistic view of the Spanish struggle for liberty.

And that, ultimately was Bullard, and in this way, he represented the evolution of the American attitude towards Mexicans. As he himself had done in his early writings, many Americans saw Mexicans in 1812 as brothers in arms, much like themselves, struggling against tyranny, who when liberated, would stand alongside Americans as examples of the new man of the New World.

But by 1836, American attitudes were moving in a different direction. For some, the new attitude began to bear the hallmarks of racism, but for many others, it was the slightly less rabid, but still contemptuous form known as paternalism. The Mexicans, for Bullard, had ceased to be the object of liberation themselves, but merely the background scenery in a liberation of the land, not for the benefit of the native inhabitants, but for that of the straining, expanding movement of American citizens known by this time as Manifest Destiny.



The author of this blog, in front of the old columns
that are all that remains of Henry Adams Bullard's
home in Natchitoches, Louisiana. 


[1] B.F. French, “Memoir of Hon. Henry A. Bullard, LL.D., president of the Louisiana Historical Society, and late judge of Supreme Court of Louisiana,” in Historical Collections of Louisiana...Compiled with Historical and Biographical Notes (New York: B.F. French, 1851), 6.

[2] C. Little and James Brown, ed. “American Obituary for 1851” in The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, 1852 (Cambridge: Metcalf and Company, 1852), 334.

[3] Filibusters as a rule generally crossed class lines, far more so than most other activities in the nineteenth century. As Robert E. May notes, “Sons of planters, merchants, and prominent politicians joined clerks, apprentices, and immigrants in filibuster invasions. Some college students dropped out of their institutions to participate.” Schakenbach, 268. Robert E. May “Young American Males and Filibustering in the Age of Manifest Destiny: The United States Army as a Cultural Mirror,” The Journal of American History 78, No. 3 (Dec., 1991), pp. 864. Margaret S. Henson, “Burnet, David Gouverneur,” HOTO, (accessed July 03, 2021).

[4] Two sources have attributed the book to Bullard. The account claims to be a series of letters by a “Gentleman who was an officer under that General, to his friend in the United States.” The book was published anonymously in its first printing, then in later printings attributed to a James Biggs, who is unknown, and likely Bullard’s pseudonym. Bullard never went to Venezuela personally, though he evidently interviewed a source with first-hand knowledge of the affair. Credence to Bullard’s authorship is also given by the fact that he subsequently wrote additional histories, also under the cloak of anonymity. Pierce Welch Gaines, ed. Political Works of Concealed Authorship During the Administrations of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson (New Haven: Yale University Library, 1959), 116.

[5] V.H. Ivy, “The Late Henry A. Bullard,” In Debow’s Southern and Western Review 12 (1852): 51-52.

[6] Little and Brown, 334.

[7] William Shaler to James Monroe, 14 July 1813, Founders Online, National Archives [Source: The Papers of James Madison, Presidential Series, vol. 6, 8 February–24 October 1813, ed. Angela Kreider, et all. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008), 439–440.

[8] Ivy, 52.

[9] U.S. Congress, “Biographical Dictionary of Congress,” (accessed March 13, 2016).

[10] Robert Feikema Karachuk, “A Workman’s Tools: The Law Library of Henry Adams Bullard,” The American Journal of Legal History 42, No. 2 (Apr., 1998): 188.

[11] Henry Adams Bullard, “A discourse delivered before the Historical Society of Louisiana” (speech, New Orleans, LA, January 13, 1836.), in North American Review Vol 43 (Cambridge: Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, 1836): 281.

[12] “Mexico and Texas” North American Review Vol 43 (Cambridge: Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, 1836). While the published article does not have an attributed author, the original draft of the document is attributed to Bullard. Notably, Bullard’s comments negative to slavery were redacted by the publishers before printing. Bullard was a Whig, but found respect in Southern society despite his views. Ivy’s editors state in their biography that “Neither Mr. Ivy nor ourselves agree with the political tenets held by Judge Bullard; but find nothing in that to militate against our high appreciation of his learning, his talents, and his constant and unwavering services to the state.” Ivy, 50.

[13] Henry Adams Bullard, “Mexico and Texas” [Original Manuscript] North American Review Papers, 1831-1843. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

[14] Henry Adams Bullard, “A discourse delivered before the Historical Society of Louisiana.”

[15] James Weldon Long, “Revolutionary Republics: U.S. National Narratives and the Independence of Latin America, 1810–1846” (Ph.D. diss., Louisiana State University, 2011), 13.

[16]Long, 88.

[17]Ibid., 93.

Republican Army Veterans at New Orleans

  The Republican Army of the North, the filibuster army of the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition, was defeated in August, 1813 at the Battle of Medina, with terrible loss. Most of the survivors escaped to Louisiana, where both Anglo and Mexican/Tejano veterans were soon swept up in another war - the War of 1812.

   For the American citizens, militia service was mandatory, as they were subject to a draft. Large numbers of them were brought into the forces converging on New Orleans for the defense of that city in what would be the war's climactic battle. Josiah Stoddard Johnston, the “Col. Johnson” who had been Adairs deputy in the organization of the Gutiérrez-Magee Filibuster, was appointed commander of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Consolidated Regiment, consisting of militia from Avoyelles, Rapides, Natchitoches, Catahoula, and Ouachita Parishes. 

   Fittingly, the unit became a veritable who’s who of Texas veterans, with a dozen verifiable and several more probable fighters, including Ross, William Murray, Warren D.C. Hall and others. John Durst, the illegitimate son of Samuel Davenport joined as well. When one includes other regiments at New Orleans, the bulk of the known Republican Army survivors (and likely many of the unknown ones too) fought in the pivotal battle. Serving alongside the Anglo veterans from Texas were many of their Hispanic colleagues, including both Toledo – who had not yet taken his pardon – and Gutiérrez, as well as other Mexican exiles.

The full list of rebels in the militia forces includes Ross, Murray, the two Halls, William Brown, James Busseuil (spelled Bushel in the records), John Cannon, Joshua Childs, Alexander Gerneuil, William Utrage, William Custard, Robert Daughty, and possibly John Gladden King (listed only as John King) and John Gormley (who may have been one of the two unknown Gormleys mentioned in the expedition accounts). The regiment also included many others who were siblings or likely of Texas veterans. 

 Also joining the American army at New Orleans, but in other regiments were Samuel Barber, the former enlisted deserter who had suffered so much in army life before the expedition, Anthony Dubois, Isaac Foster, Elisha Roberts, William Richmond Anderson, Benjamin Bradley, and possibly Peter Foster and William Walker. The latter is not to be confused with the later filibusterer of the same name. 

Source:  U.S. National Parks Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Battle of New Orleans, War of 1812 American Muster and Troop Roster List, (accessed May 14, 2020). 

All of the names appear in War of 1812 Muster rolls, but Foster and Walker have no other substantiating records. The Gormley in the expedition records is not identified with a first name, but there is a John Gormley who fought at New Orleans.


Arsene Lacarriere LaTour

  Among the men associated with the Republican Army of the North is a shadowy Frenchman who traveled with José Álvarez de Toledo and his party as they traveled from Philadelphia to Texas. He was  identified by Henry Adams Bullard only as “LaTour,” a native of New Orleans and had changed his name from Calinette. In fact, he was almost certainly deceiving Bullard and Toledo. This man was Arsène Lacarrière-Latour, not a Louisiana native but a French-born military architect who studied at the Paris Academy of Fine Arts and likely participated in the French Revolution before settling in New Orleans. 

Arsene Lacarriere LaTour

Latour moved to Haiti in 1793, but around 1802 he established himself in New Orleans, where he opened an architectural design firm and drafting school in 1810. The firm appeared to prosper with several important contracts over the next year, but Latour for some unknown reason traveled to Philadelphia, where he established a friendship with Don Juan Mariano Picornell, an old Spanish revolutionary. It was certainly through him was brought into Toledo’s scheme. He may have been a mere architect traveling for business, but his behavior shows a suspicious consistency of deception. Latour throughout his travels “adopted many personas” including an advance agent for Napoleon’s new empire in the Caribbean, businessman and engineer, according to historian Gene A. Smith, who added, “[Latour] wore many social masks and spoke in a variety of cultural dialects,” a man of shifting loyalties, but for whom the ultimate loyalty was to himself. “Propelled by the same self-interest that obsessed the sober-minded, this French adventurer exploited the competing empires and rival nationalities in the Gulf Coast to achieve personal success if not eternal glory. The evidence that Arsène Latour is Bullard’s “LaTour” is that Smith notes that he frequently traveled to the North and became associated with Picornell on one of his journeys.

In the end, though, Latour appears to have departed the group in Louisiana and returned home, where he would serve two years later on the staff of Gen. Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, and wrote a book about the campaign. [1]  


[1] Edwin H. Carpenter, Jr. “Arsène Lacarrière Latour” The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1938), 222. Gene A. Smith, “Arsène Lacarrière-Latour: Immigrant, Patriot-Historian, and Foreign Agent,” in Michael A. Morrison, ed., The Human Tradition in Antebellum America. (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc., 2000), 83. Latour’s book was Historical memoir of the War in West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15, Published in 1816.