The treachery in Texas, the secession of Texas, and the arrest of the United States officers and soldiers serving in Texas. Read before the New-York Historical Society, June 25, 1861. By Major J. T. Sprague, U. S. A.



134 REBELLION RECORD, 1860-61.

100 kegs rifle, . .. ... . $6
500 " musket, ........ 6
at the powder magazine.
Common cannon powder is only $5 per keg,
for blasting and for saluting purposes.
It will be necessary to give some timely notice
in order to have any quantity of powder. Ve
have also some rifle powder at $5, which is considered
good, but only one or two hundred kegs;
it would, no doubt, do for cannon, as it is strong.
49 Union Street.
(Document No. 3.)
Invoice of ordnance and ordnance stores, turned
over by I. Oladowski, commanding Baton Rouge
Arsenal, to James H. Rogers, Agent of the State
of Texas, in obedience to order of Governor and
Commander-in-Chief of the State of Louisiana
1000 muskets, altered to percussion model, 1822.
1000 screwdrivers for percussion arms.
1000 cones " "i "
1000 wipers for muskets " "
100 ball screws for " "
100 screw-vices " "
50 arm chests.
I certify that the above is a correct invoice of
ordnance and ordnance stores, turned over by
me, this twenty-sixth day of February, 1861, to
James H. Rogers. H. OLADOWSKI,
Commanding Arsenal.
The surrender of the public property in San
Antonio, as reported by the Committee of Public
Safety, was not without embarrassments. The
concentration of so large a body of undisciplined
men with arms in their hands, and with excited
feelings against the Federal Government, was
with difficulty controlled. All business was suspended,
the stores were closed, and a collision
momentarily expected between the few United
States troops on duty and the Texas forces, regardless
of the authority of their superiors. There
were on duty in the city one hundred and twenty
men, belonging to the First and Eighth United
States infantry, commanded by a Captain now a
Major in the army of the Confederated States.
The sixteenth and seventeenth of February were
occupied in the interchange of opinions and views
between the Commander and the Texan Commissioners.
A demand was made for the unconditional
laying down of the arms in the hands of
the United States troops, and it was not until the
morning of the eighteenth inst., when a Sergeant,
having accidentally heard of what was meditated,
informed his Commander "that further delay was
unnecessary," as the men had openly declared
that they would resist all such attempts, and die
with their arms in their hands." It was apparent
that if the effort was made, blood would be
shed, and a most fearful conflict ensue within the
limits of the city. The design was abandoned,
and the command marched out of the city, in the
presence of fifteen hundred Texas troops, with
their arms in their hands, colors flying, and drums
beating. Col. C. A. Waite, First infantry, United

States army, superseded Gen. Twiggs, by orders
from Washington, which he received at Camp
Verde, his station, sixty-five miles distant, on
the sixteenth of February, 1861. Col. Waite,
ignorant of what had transpired in San Antonio,
obeyed his instructions immediately. The Commissioners
of Public Safety apprehending this,
and learning from general report that Col. Waite
was as then termed an abolitionist, or a black republican,
adopted the most stringent measures to
prevent his interfering in the complete accomplishment
of their designs. Detachments of mounted
men were posted upon every road leading to and
from Camp Verde, with instructions to arrest Col.
Waite, and keep him in close confinement. It
so happened that Col. Waite, on his way to San
Antonio, lost his road, and taking an Indian trail,
reached the city, unknown to the authorities, on
the morning of the nineteenth of February, the
day after the completion of the capitulation. He
found himself alone and helpless. Any attempt
to break the terms would have caused his arrest
and confinement. His duty now was towards
those officers and soldiers far removed upon the'
frontier, who, in total ignorance of the treason:
which had sold them into captivity, had, as before;
stated, but a limited supply of provision, ammu-:
nition, and the means of transportation. To com
municate with them was impossible, without permission
from the " Committee of Public Safety."
The highways to the interior were filled with
armed men, with instructions to arrest persons
travelling to and fro, and to withhold all letters
found in their possession. There was no alternative
but to have an amicable understanding
with the Texan authorities, in order to relieve
the troops serving upon the frontier. The means
were accordingly granted Col. Waite, in the way:
of horses and provisions, to enable him to communicate
with the officers of his command. Passes
were given to express men by the Committee of
Public Safety, to permit them to reach the various
posts along the frontier with instructions from
Col. Waite. These instructions were examined
by the Committee before being sent. As offensive
and humiliating as it was to the Commander, thel
order of Gen. Twiggs, directing the withdrawal
of the troops from Texas, was transmitted to theofficers
in the interior, at the same time informing
them that transportation and subsistence
would be sent as early as possible. The officers
saw in the surrender of Twiggs, unavoidable embarrassments
surrounding them, but a repetition
of the disastrous and disgraceful events which
had been enacted throughout the country the
two months past. Our flag had been dishonored,
forts, arsenals, and treasury had been plundered,
still the heart of the nation, throbbing with indignation,
sought reconciliation and forbearance to
avoid collision and the shedding of blood. Isolated
as they were, with small commands in posts and
detached camps, upon a frontier of fourteen hundred
miles, destitute of subsistence and means
of communication, and a march of from two to
six hundred miles through an enemy's country,
to a point of embarkation, there was no alterna

Sprague, John Titcomb. The treachery in Texas, the secession of Texas, and the arrest of the United States officers and soldiers serving in Texas. Read before the New-York Historical Society, June 25, 1861. By Major J. T. Sprague, U. S. A.. New York. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed June 30, 2015.