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. Page: 11 of 36
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unteer force under Col. Ben McCulloch; he arrived
on the Salado, five miles from this city, on the
evening or night of the sixteenth inst., with about
five hundred men, and marched into town about
four o'clock P.M., with about one half of his force,
when he was joined by about one hundred and
fifty K. G. Cs., and about the same number of citizens
who were not members of the order, and
about the same number from the Medina, Atascosa,
and the country west of this city. At five
o'clock the men were in positions around the Arsenal,
the Ordnance, the Alamo, and the quarters
in the Commissary buildings occupied by one
company of the Federal troops, and at the same
time, the tops of the buildings commanding the
Arsenal and ordnance ground were occupied.
We, in accordance with our instructions, repeated
the demand, and after a considerable delay,
came to an arrangement with Gen. Twiggs, the
substance of which was, that the United States
troops in San Antonio-one hundred and sixty in
number-should surrender up the position held
by them, and that all public property under the
command of the officer in San Antonio to be delivered
over to the undersigned--the troops to
retain their side-arms, camp and garrison equipage,
and the facilities for transportation to the
coast, to be delivered on their arrival at the coast.
This morning we effected an arrangement with
Gen. Twiggs, by which it is agreed that all forts
in Texas shall forthwith be delivered up, the
troops to march from Texas by way of the coast,
the cavalry and infantry to retain their arms, the
artillery companies being allowed to retain two
batteries of light artillery of four guns each, the
necessary means of transportation and subsistence
to be allowed the troops on their march towards
the coast; all the public property to be delivered
up. We might, possibly, have retained
the guns at Fort Duncan by a display of force,
which display of force would have cost the State
eight times the value of the batteries of light artillery.
Your instructions, however, counselled
avoiding collision with the Federal troops, if it
could be avoided. General Twiggs having repeatedly
asserted, in the presence of the military
commission and ourselves, that he would die before
he would permit his men to be disgraced by
a surrender of their arms; that the men under
his command had never been dishonored or disgraced,
and they never should if he could help it.
By this arrangement, at least thirteen hundred
thousand of property will belong to the
State, the greater portion of which would be
otherwise destroyed or squandered. By this arrangement
we are freed, without bloodshed or
trouble, from the presence of the Federal troops;
they cannot go to New-Mexico or Kansas, to fix
free-soilism on the one, or to be the nucleus of a
Northern army on the other, to menace our frontier
in the future.
The labor performed by the undersigned in the
business undertaken by them, has been neither
light nor pleasant; we have adhered to the letter
and the spirit of our instructions, and exercised our
discretion only when it became absolutely necessary.
We had some anxious hours resting upon
us from the time the volunteer force commenced
closing around the city until after the surrender
of the posts held by the United States troops.
Our force must have been, at eight o'clock A.M.,
not less than one thousand one hundred men under
arms, and a more respectable looking or orderly
body of men than the volunteer force, it
would not be easy to find. We have taken measures
to secure the public property, and have authorized
Major Sackfield Macklin, Paymaster
U. S. A., and who, as you will perceive by the army
list, stands high upon the same, to act as Adjutant
and Inspector-General and Chief of Ordnance,
combining the business of three departments in
one. This economises expense, and gives the
State, for the present, the services of a man competent
to the duties assigned him, capable of preventing
the confusion and consequent loss that
would fall upon the State by the appointment of
an incompetent person. Major Macklin is a true
Southern man, he resigns his commission in the
Federal army, giving up an income from that Government
of nearly four thousand dollars per annum.
We address him as colonel, for the purpose
of giving him an honorable stand in his expectations
or claims upon the Southern Confederacy,
in some future military appointment. His
appointment by the undersigned lasts until set
aside by you or the Convention's order. Please let
us know whether you approve of this action. Capt.
Reynolds has been acting as Asst.-Quartermaster,
at San Antonio; he will resign his commission as
captain in the United States army. We have, for
the same reasons set forth in Major Macklin's
case, appointed him Chief Quartermaster, and
have combined with the former duties the labor
of the commissary department, which has heretofore
had a first and second assistant commissary.
We have likewise consolidated with his duties, the
office of military store-keeper, narrowing down
the expense as much as possible. A building,
rented by the United States Government as a
commissary department, soldiers' quarters, general
staff, etc., we have determined to release the
State from any liability for, as the commissary
stores can be stored in the Alamo buildings: said
buildings rent for six thousand dollars a year. In
furnishing the United States troops transportation
facilities, the officers representing the State
will be busily employed for some time. When
we can obtain a breathing spell, we will go further
into details, we will select agents to give receipts
and hold the public property left at the posts,
until otherwise directed.
We remain, respectfully, etc.,
THOMAS J. DEVINE,
S. A. MAVERICK.
P. N. LUCKETT,
Commissioners on behalf of the Committee
of Public Safety.
The following report from Col. Ben McCulloch
is herewith also submitted:
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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., book, 1862; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6102/m1/11/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .