The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 127
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Lincoln's Overture to Sam Houston
Antonio to "arm the Union German population and other Union men
and attempt to revolutionize the State and detach it from the Con-
federacy." By the fall of 1862 Stanton was planning for an expedition
under the command of General Nathaniel P. Banks to have as one of
its objectives an invasion of the Texas coast; then, after a force as-
sembled by General John A. McClernand had cleared the Mississippi,
Banks and McClernand would cooperate in campaigns with Texas as
an objective. That same fall, Lincoln appointed former Texas con-
gressman Andrew Jackson Hamilton as military governor of Texas.
Hamilton had been a pro-Union ally of Houston on the eve of the war,
had maintained his Union loyalty and, in time, had had to flee his
Texas home. It was hoped that, were the Union to invade Texas,
Hamilton could lead in arousing latent Union sentiment among thou-
sands of Texans. Ultimately, of course, the Union actually moved
against Texas, a campaign that ceased only when, in the spring of 1864,
concentration on the Confederacy's heart became the Union strategy.'
Because the impression that Texans harbored pro-Union sympathies
persisted in the North, even after the war had begun, it may be that
when Lincoln and his advisers took charge of the government in
March, 1861, they seriously thought it possible to hold Texas in the
Union. Yet, unlike the situation in South Carolina, about which they
could be fairly well posted, conditions in Texas could not be readily
ascertained. Texas was far distant. Even by the end of 186o the state
boasted but 408 miles of railroad, all, save for a couple of tiny de-
tached lines of a few miles, in a small network radiating from Houston.
Both Austin, the state capital, and San Antonio, were far from any
railroad. Nor did a mile of railroad extend from Texas beyond its
borders; and in Louisiana the limited railroad mileage extending west
from the Mississippi reached nowhere near Texas.5 Thus it was not
4George B. McClellan, McClellan's Own Story: The War for the Union, the Soldiers
Who Fought It . . . and His Relation to It and to Them (New York, 1887), 10o3, o104 (1st
quotation); McClellan to David Hunter, Dec. 11, 1861, The War of the Rebellion: A
Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (70 vols. in
128; Washington, D.C., 188o-19go1), Series I, VIII, 428 (2nd quotation), 429 (the Official
Records will be cited hereafter as OR); memorandum of conference between Butler
and Stanton, Jan. 19, 1862, p. 12 (3rd quotation), Stanton Papers (Library of Congress);
Stanton to McClernand, Oct. 29, 1862, ibid.; New York Times, Oct. 30, 1862; George S.
Denison to Salmon P. Chase, Sept. 19, 1862, Salmon P. Chase Papers (Library of Con-
gress); John L. Waller, Colossal Hamilton of Texas: A Biography of Andrew Jackson
Hamilton, Militant Unionist and Reconstructionist Governor (El Paso, Tex., 1968), 36-39.
5Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads: A Record of Construction and Abandonment
(Austin, 1981), 5, 25-27, lo7; Robert C. Black, The Railroads of the Confederacy (Chapel
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/161/: accessed April 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.