March 4, 1836: Sam Houston named commander of Texas forces

The Convention of 1836, meeting at Washington-On-The-Brazos to declare Texian independence from Mexico and lay the foundation for the Republic of Texas, names former Tennessee Governor Sam Houston commander-in-chief of the Texian Army.

James Collinsworth offers the following resolution, which after two amendments reads:

Whereas we are now in a state of Revolution, and threatened by a large invading army, from the central government of Mexico; and whereas our present situation, and the emergency of the present crisis, renders it indispensably necessary that we should have an army in the field; and, whereas, it is also necessary that there should be one Supreme head or Commander in Chief, and due degrees of subordination defined, established and strictly observed,

Therefore, be it Resolved, that General Samuel Houston be appointed major general to be Commander in Chief of all the land forces of the Texian Army, both regulars, volunteers and militia, while in actual service, and endowed with all the rights, privileges and powers due to a Commander in Chief in the United States of America, and that he forthwith proceed to take command, establish headquarters and organize the army accordingly and that Samuel Houston retain such command until the election of a chief magistrate of this government, and to continue in such office unless, superseded by order of the government, subject, however, to the general orders of the government de facto, until the general organization agreeable to the constitution, and always amenable to the laws and civil authorities of the country.

Collinsworth, Thomas Gazely and David Thomas speak in favor of naming Houston commander. Former North Carolina Congressman Robert Potter speaks against it. The Convention approves the resolution and Houston takes command of the Texian Army.

(Thomas would be named the Republic of Texas' ad interim Attorney General and acting Secretary of War. He would later be killed, accidentally shot as he and others fled Mexican troops in the Runaway Scrape.)

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