Let us raise a standard to which the Wise and the Honest can
repair. — George Washington, Constitutional Convention, 1787
Texas Constitutional Militia
The militia activities conscious of themselves as the Texas
Constitutional Militia are organized by county, and, because of the large size
of the state, at the time of this writing the counties are divided into regions
that approximately coincide with telephone area codes. There are also militia
training activities that are not county-based, such as the Texas Light Infantry
(TLI), which provide training for the county-based units. The modern activation
of the Texas Constitutional Militia began with the muster called by Jon Roland,
for April 19, 1994, at 6:00 AM, on the unfinished portion of Hwy 151, in front
of Sea World, in San Antonio, Bexar County. From that beginning it spread
rapidly to the rest of the state. For more information see the
Texas Militia Papers.
The first of the Texas regions, the Southern Region also established
the model for militia governance above the county level. In March, 1995, for
the first time, public elections were conducted by militia volunteers in
each of the counties in the region having a properly-organized militia unit for
a Committee of Safety, which is the
governing and policymaking body for the region. These elections were held in
response to public notices in each of those counties, and all citizens
of each county qualified to vote in any other public election were qualified to
vote in the militia election. Although the turnout was not high, it was higher
than that for elections for some public offices like members of Water District
Boards. In most cases, the public notices were published in the local
newspapers of record. This procedure establishes the militia and its Committee
of Safety as a legitimate public body, albeit not sanctioned by other
established organs of government.
The most important previous activity of the Texas Militia was the Texas
Revolution in 1836. The original purpose of that effort was to bring the
government of Mexico into compliance with its 1824 Constitution, and that is
the purpose for which the defenders of the Alamo died. Texas declared
independence while the Alamo was under attack during March, 1836, and on April
21, 1836, led by Sam Houston, it defeated the Army of Mexico under the command
of Gen. Santa Ana, dictator of Mexico, at the Battle of San Jacinto, near the
present city of Houston. This overwhelming victory, and the capture of Gen.
Santa Ana, won independence for Texas.
Following the War of Independence, some militia units reorganized into
what was later to be known as the Texas Rangers, which was a private, volunteer
effort for several years before becoming an official organization.
After Texas joined the Union in 1845, Texas militia units distinguished
themselves in the War with Mexico, which led to defining the Rio Grande River
the agreed border with Mexico, and the cession of most of what was to become
California, Arizona, and New Mexico, from Mexico to the United States.
In 1861 Texas joined the other Confederate States in seceding from the
Union, and Texas militias played a role in the Civil War, until it ended in
Texas militiamen joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, a volunteer
militia, and fought with him during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Some of
the training of the Rough Riders took place in San Pedro Park, in the north
central part of San Antonio, near the present site of San Antonio College. When
a muster of the Militia proposed to train there on April 19, 1994, they were
threatened with arrest, even though the charter of San Pedro Park forbids
exclusion of activities of that kind. This threat led to a change of the
meeting site to Highway 151.
...to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel
Invasions; — U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 16.
Reformers are known by their adversaries, and it is appropriate that
those adversaries be identified and what is known about them be told. They
include corrupt and abusive officials, corporations, groups, and