The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 450
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
only seven votes against the secession ordinance. The only
opportunity left then for the Unionists was to defeat secession
in the election which the convention had set for February 23.
The Unionists were unsuccessful in doing this except in a few
scattered counties, and Houston, as a last resort, considered an
appeal to force to keep Texas in the Union. He called in four
of his Unionist friends and presented the proposition to them,
but they advised against it. Houston followed their advices and
on March 29 addressed a note to Colonel C. A. Waite, of the
United States Army at San Antonio, in which he declared:
I have received intelligence that you have, or will soon receive orders to
concentrate United States troops under your command at Indianola to
sustain me in my official functions. Allow me most respectfully to decline
any such assistance of the United States government.4
Throckmorton went into the Confederate service; Houston re-
tired to his home in Huntsville; and official opposition to the
disruption of the Union was at an end.
Texas was not ripe for revolution in 1861. There were few
persons who felt that they were going into the war because of
oppression, wrong, or outrage, or that the situation was of
sufficient gravity to demand of them the supreme sacrifice. They
had voted for secession supinely hoping that the step they took
did not mean war, blindly trusting such leaders as Louis T.
Wigfall, W. S. Oldham, T. N. Waul, and 0. M. Roberts to steer
them away from bloodshed and conflict. When, in April, 1861,
all hopes of avoiding war were dashed to earth by the Sumter
incident, the people of Texas were dazed and stood bewildered
as they faced the storm. The public mind had not been made to
realize that war was a distinct possibility as a consequence of
secession. It is extremely doubtful, therefore, whether more
than one-third of the people of Texas actively supported the
Confederacy. It is believed that one-third remained neutral and
that one-third, actively or passively, gave support to the Federal
The wavering mind was kept alert and Union sentiment was
kept alive in Texas through a strong Union leadership, partly
8A. W. Terrell Papers, MSS., University of Texas Archives.
4Houston to Waite, March 29, 1861, in The War of the Rebellion: A Com-
pilation of the Oficial Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
(Washington, 1880-1901), Series I, Vol. I, p. 551. Hereinafter referred to
as the Official Records.
5Robert P. Felgar, Texas in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-
1865 (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Texas, 1935), 324.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/558/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.