Analysis: Residents from other states defending Texas as they did 190 years ago

(The Center Square) – As the battle between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and President Joe Biden continues over state sovereignty and Texas’ constitutional right to defend its border, the leaders and residents of 25 states have come to Texas’ aid, as others did from 22 states nearly 190 years ago.

Answering Abbott’s call to join forces to secure the Texas-Mexico border last May, 24 Republican governors pledged support, sending National Guard troops and law enforcement officers from their states to Texas.

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Texas allowing Border Patrol agents to destroy concertina wire barriers in Eagle Pass, Texas, erected through Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, a coalition of now 25 governors expressed even greater resolve to “stand with Texas.”

Within the past few days, at least 10 governors have sent more troops to Texas, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem visited to rally support for Texas troops. As calls have grown for Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard to pull them out of the chain of command of Abbott, a constitutional law expert and former active-duty Navy JAG told The Center Square that Congress should determine if such a move would constitute an impeachable offense.

If the president were to federalize Texas troops, Abbott said Texas was “prepared in the event that that unlikely event does occur to make sure that we will be able to continue to do exactly what we have been doing … building these barriers … and expand denial of illegal entry into Texas.”

After the Supreme Court ruling, Abbott issued a statement citing the “Guarantee Clause” of the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, Section 4), which he said “promises that the federal government ‘shall protect each [State] against invasion.’” He argued Biden’s failure to fulfill his constitutional duties “has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”

The leaders of Kinney, Goliad and Terrell counties were the first to invoke the constitutional clauses when they led Texas in declaring an invasion on July 5, 2022. Since then, 51 counties have declared an invasion, The Center Square has exclusively reported.

Abbott said he believed nearly all governors who’ve expressed support for Texas will send National Guard troops to the state.

“This is a fight for America,” he said, “and they all know it.”

Texans have received similar help from other states before. After Texas colonists declared independence from Mexico on Oct. 2, 1835, residents of 22 states and five countries fought and died at the Alamo. The most famous among them were from Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina: former U.S. Rep. Davey Crockett, James Bowie, and William Travis, respectively. Of the 200 who fell at the Alamo, the majority were from Tennessee.

South Carolinian Lt. Col. William Travis called for aid in one of the most famous letters ever written in Texas history. He said those who’d been defending the fort were told to surrender or “be put to the sword, if the fort is taken.” He answered with a cannon shot and said, “I shall never surrender or retreat.”

His letter would not be received in time for others to come to their aid. Despite their efforts holding out through a 13-day siege, outnumbered and outgunned, they were defeated by an army of 6,000. All perished on March 6, 1836.

“I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch,” Travis wrote. “If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that is his country – victory or death.”

Travis’ last words have been associated with Texas independence and the fighting spirit of Texans. “Remember the Alamo” was the rallying cry of Texians, aided by men from other states and countries, to defeat the Mexican Army and win independence on April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Those who fought alongside Travis and died at the Alamo were from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Denmark, and from the states of Alabama (1), Arkansas (2), Connecticut (1), Georgia (4), Illinois (1), Kentucky, (14), Louisiana (4), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (2), Missouri (6), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New York (6), North Carolina (7), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (15), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (8), Tennessee (31), Virginia (15) and Vermont (1), according to state records.

The governors, troops and law enforcement officers from their states defending Texas today, have expressed the same intention: to defend Texas. They have come from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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