A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 51
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LIMESTONE, FREESTONE AND LEON COUNTIES.
demand with some show of force, and on
February 16th Ben McCullough, with a
party of between 300 and 400 men, took
possession of the main square of the San
Antonio, the Alamo having been captured
that morning by a body of Confederates.
On the 18th, an agreement was entered
into, and Twiggs surrendered the national
forces stationed in Texas, to the number
of 2,500 men, all the forts, arsenals and
military posts, and the public stores and
munitions of war, valued at $1,200,000,
A few days before the popular vote was
taken Houston delivered a speech, from
the balcony of the Tremont House in Galveston,
to the excited public on the question
of secession. His personal friends,
fearing that violence would be offered, entreated
him to remain quiet. But he was
not to be stopped by any apprehension of
danger. He stood erect before the people,
and in prophetic language pictured to
them the dark future. "4 Some of you,"
he said, " laugh to scorn the idea of bloodshed
as a result of secession, and jocularly
propose to drink all the blood that will
ever flow in consequence of it! But let
me tell you what is coming on the heels of
secession: The time will come when your
fathers and husbands, your sons and brothers,
will be herded together like sheep
and cattle at the point of the bayonet, and
your mothers and wives and sisters and
daughters will ask, 'Where are they?'
You may, after the sacrifice of countless
millions of treasure, and hundreds of
thousands of precious lives, as a bare possibility,
win Southern independence, if
God be not against you; but I doubt it.
I tell you that, while I believe with you in
the doctrine of State rights, the Nortl is
determined to preserve this Union. They
are not a fiery, impulsive people, as you
are, for they live in cooler climates; but
when they begin to move in a given direction,
where great interests are involved,
such as the present issues before the country,
they move with the steady iiomientum
and perseverance of a mighty avalanche,
and what I fear is they will overwhelm
the South with ignoble defeat."
On February 23 the polls were opened.
Houston had been right in saying that
bloodshed was not anticipated. By most
Texans the possibility of war was not
thought of, and his warnings fell on heedless
ears. Austin, the capital, San Antonio
and other western towns, as well as
counties, gave Union majorities; the German
colonists, too, were fur the Union;
but in the other portions of the State the
vote was Confederate. Out of the 70,000
legal voters, 53,256 cast their votes. Of
this number 39,415 were in favor of secession
and 13,841 were against it.
This result was known March 5, and
then the convention, which had reassembled
on the 2d, forthwith assumed the
powers of the government. It instructed
its delegates at Montgomery to ask for the
admission of Texas into the Southern Confederacy
that had just been formed; it sent
a committee to Governor Houston to informn
him of the change in the political
position of the State; it adopted the Confederate
constitution, and appointed representatives
to the Confederate Congress.
Houston in his reply to the convention
considered that it had transcended its
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/53/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.