Texas historians have argued that the long siege of the Alamo had two major effects: (1) it convinced the colonists that Santa Anna intended to destroy them, giving them no choice but to declare independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836; and (2) it held up Santa Anna's army long enough for the Texian army to regroup under Sam Houston, to whom the interim government gave full command of the army on March 3. Probably the biggest effect of the Alamo on the U.S., consequently, was the Texas declaration of independence itself, which modeled closely the American Declaration of Independence and aimed to enlist the U.S. on the Texian side. General Houston also knew that his close friend and mentor, President Andrew Jackson, had sent U.S. troops close to the Sabine River, which runs between Texas and Louisiana. In late March, as Texian forces retreated to the east in the wake of the Alamo and Goliad disasters, U.S. Army General Edmund Gaines prepared his forces for a possible conflict with Santa Anna and the Mexican army and played up the rumor that the Mexican army was inciting the local Indian tribes to attack Americans. Houston knew that with American troops in the border area, he could continue to retreat further east with hopes of bringing them into the conflict.