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: 31 of 36
On the morning of the twenty-third of April, Capt. Wilcox entered the house. Col. Waite then
from the assembling of the confederated troops walked to the door, when, upon looking out, he
and volunteers, it was evident some important remarked: "Is that your guard, sir?" "Yes,
measure was contemplated. The populace were sir," replied Capt. Wilcox. "There are more
crowding the streets in anticipation of the event. men," remarked Col. Waite, "than I can resist,
By ten o'clock, it became known that Colonel and I again protest, in the name of my country,
Waite, and the officers on duty with him, who against this gross and unwarranted act of usurpawere
carrying out, with the utmost energy and tion, and in violation of my personal rights.
good faith, the terms of the capitulation, were Where do you wish me to go, sir?" "To the
to be made prisoners of war, by orders from the ordnance office, sir," said Capt. Wilcox. Colonel
President of the so-called Southern Republic. Waite then took his hat, and passed to the front
Capt. Wilcox, with his company, was designated of the guard, when arms were shouldered, and
to perform this duty, while a formidable force was the crowd proceeded through the public street.
in the vicinity, lest these fourteen officers, without As Col. Waite was passing into the custody of
arms or men, should manifest a disposition to resist the guard, Major Sprague remarked to Capt. Wilthis
most flagrant violation of the terms agreed cox: "I concur fully in every word uttered by
upon by Gen. Twiggs with the Texas Commis
Col. Waite in regard to this outrage." Major
sioners. The following is a minute detail of the Sprague then joined Col. Waite, and proceeded,
transaction as recorded at the time: amid a crowd of boys.
Mlemorandum relating to the Arrest of Colonel Arriving at the building where the public offices
C. A. Waite, U. S. A., and the Officers of the are, the command was halted, and Capt. Wilcox
U S. Army on Duty at San Antonio, Texase ordered the other officers, viz.: Major Wm. A.
'without troops. At Col. Waite's Quarters Col. Nichols, Assist. Adj.-Gen.; Major Daniel McClure,
Wait e and Major Sprague only prsnoers, Cotl.P
Waite and Miajor Sprague only present. Pay Department; Brevet Lieut.-Col. D. T. Chandler,
Third infantry; Capt. R. Garrard, Second cavSAN
ANTON1O, TXAS1, Apru 23, 1561. alry; Surgeon E. A. Abadie, Medical Department;
Capt. Wilcox, [with his sword, commanding Assist. Surgeon J. R. Smith; Assist. Surgeon E. P.
Texas troops].-Good morning, Colonel! Langworthy, Medical Department; Capt. A. T.
Col. Waite.-Good morning, sir. Lee, Eighth infantry; Lieut. E. L. Hartz, Eighth
Capt. WFilcox.-I have come to request you to infantry; Lieut. E. W. H. Read, Eighth infantry;
go over to Major Macklmn's office. Capt. R. M. Potter, Military Storekeeper, who had
Col. Waite.-For what purpose, sir? been previously arrested, and were within the
Capt. Wilcox.-As a prisoner of war! building in charge of a sentinel, to proceed. The
Col. Waite.-What authority have you? officers in a body, in charge of the guard, were
Mapt. IWilcox.-I have authority from Major conducted to the office of Major Macklin. After a
Macklin . few moments' silence, Major Macklin said: "Col.
Col. Waite.--Who is Major Macklin ? Waite, it becomes my duty to arrest you, and the
Clpt. FWilcox. An officer of the confederate other officers, as prisoners of war." "By what
oStates. authority, sir?" "That is my business, sir, not
Col. tite.--I do not, sir, recognise any such yours," responded Major Macklin. "But," said
authority. Have you the authority? I should Col. Waite, "I should like to know by what power
like to see it. I am deprived of my personal rights ?" "I have
Capt. Wilcox then took from his pocket an or
the power from the President of the Confederate
der from Major Macklin, which Col. Waite read, States," answered Major Macklin. "Such authordirecting
him (Wilcox) to proceed with his com
ity I do not know, nor shall I obey it," said Col.
pany and arrest the officers of the United States Waite. "Have I, or my officers, committed any
Government on duty in San Antonio, Texas. offence? Did we not come here as friends, and
Col. Waite.--" I protest against any such act, have we not been such to all the interests of Texand
will not obey the order except by force. as ? More than that, is there not an agreement
Have I committed any offence?" To which, Wil
with the Texas Commissioners, guaranteeing to
cox replied: "None that I know of." "It is, the men and officers, my entire command, to go
then," said Col. Waite, "a most unwarranted act out of Texas unmolested? That, sir, has been
of usurpation, and in violation of the modes and carried out faithfully on our part, in every recustoms
of civilised warfare, and a gross outrage spect. By what right, then, am I to be restricted
upon my individual rights. I protest against it of my liberty? and by what authority am I and
in the name of my country. Your authority I do my officers made prisoners of war? I protest
not recognise, nor will I obey any order from against it!" " There is no use of protesting," said
you; nothing but the presence of a force greater Major Macklin; " I do not wish to hear any prothan
I can overcome, will cause me to relinquish test, it is unnecessary-I have my orders." "But
my personal freedom. There is nothing in his
I will protest," replied Col. Waite; "in the name
tory to equal this usurpation." Thereupon Capt. of my country and Government, I protest. I deWilcox
said, "I have the force," and started for nounce it as an act of unwarranted usurpation,
the public store-houses, and immediately returned and against the custom of war, and in violation of
with thirty-six footmen, Texas troops, armed my personal rights. I suppose you intend to rewith
rifles and sabre-bayonets. The command gard the rights and customs of civilisation? I
was halted in front of Col. Waite's quarters, when I know no war; we have been acting as friends;
Here’s what’s next.
Show all pages in this book.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
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/m1/31/ocr/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .