...Jackson left the dispatch unopened until later that day. He anticipated the probability that another Indian War could break out between rebel Indians and settlers. Months earlier he received missionary warnings saying that war drums were beating louder each night. After opening the dispatch pouch he ordered an Army detachment to depart immediately with two 4-lb cannons to southern Michigan in advance of treaty signing (Mar. 28th). Inside the dispatch pouch inside was a letter from Sam Houston bearing grave news.
He wrote, "374 brave American citizen volunteer fighters were killed by Santa Anna's 7000 strong Mexican army at the Alamo in the Texas Republic on March 4, 1836. Among the dead were listed his friends and colleagues, the former House of Representative Davy Crockett, his friends Gorge Russell and Jim Bowie (Bowie knife). All had volunteered to fight for Texas independence.
Crockett served America as a Representative from Tennessee 1831-1835. Crockett loved his independence and exploring new frontiers and didn't seek reelection. President Jackson and Congress was saddened by the news.
There were those in Congress who wanted the Federal government to fight, but America had no legal right nor big Army or government resources to arm themselves for battle with Santa Anna's forces. Jackson refused all attempts by angry Congressmen to enter and save the lives of other American citizens, who were in essence rebels against Mexican authorities. Why?
Because before his presidency the United States had already signed an earlier treaty with Mexico that prohibited Washington's intervention into the affairs of Mexico. The government could not seize land for American revolutionists. Any interference by government forces was an act of war.
Jackson had received word in late 1835 that a fighting force of volunteer American citizens were threatening Mexico. He purposely closed his eyes to the emigration of American settlers lugging guns rather than plough shares and guns were popping. Jackson was already fighting two battles; Indian treaties and financial ruin of American citizens and a world-wide catastrophe. These were his most important factors.
Since Jackson didn't advise Houston on what to do Houston's small volunteer army had illegally trespassed and fought against small detachments of Mexican forces across the Rio Grande River. Mexican president Santa Anna was furious. Santa Anna (President) and Commander of his military forces returned towards the Alamo with a massive Mexican army and viciously attacked the Alamo.
Those in the south and west were waiting for a swarm of revolutionists to defeat Santa Anna, but only a small force arrived to protect the Alamo. Houston's charge pushing the Mexican army from its own lands is what started the Mexican police action. His commanders started something that cost them their lives, because they didn't wait.
Jackson was one angry President - the incompetence of those he trusted. He couldn't intervene in the rebellious action. He had to approach the whole situation as a neutral party. He was adamant he wouldn't break the Mexican American Treaty. Old Hickory needed time to study and craft a good battle plan to defeat Santa Anna, but not as President but a rebel citizen. (continued)