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: 32 of 36
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REBELLION RECORD, 1860-61.
we are not here in a hostile attitude; we came to that; no officer will be permitted to have anyinto
the country as friends, and are going out as thing to do with them; you will not be allowed
such." "Yes," responded Major Macklin, "I have to give any orders here." Col. Waite, in answer,
my dutytoperform, andshalldoit." "I repeat," said: "It is your wish and object to corrupt
said Col. Waite, "it is gross, unheard of, unwar
them, and to force them into your service, but
ranted, and treacherous; nothing but the pres
they will not stay with you, they will desert."
ence of a force requires me to listen to such nleas
" Your language, sir," said Major Macklin, "is ofures,
much more to obey them. Had I the means, fensive; I cannot permit it." Col. Waite replied:
it would be quite different; I would resist until " The facts, sir, are doubtless offensive ! My
death." "I am aware of that," answered Major language is not intended to be offensive; I will
Macklin; "I have as much confidence in the cour
talk, and state the facts. I also claim the right
age of your officers as you have." to send an officer to my Government with sealed
"What do you propose ?" enquired Colonel despatches, on parole." "That, sir," replied MaWaite;
" I am obliged to consider myself a pris
jor Macklin, "will not be allowed." "But," said
oner, and should like to know the future." "I Col. Waite, "can I not make my official report?
have here, sir," replied Major Macklin, "paroles," To send an officer to headquarters, after impor(handing
a manuscript to Col. Waite,) "which tant events, is the custom of all armies and troops
the officers are at liberty to avail themselves of." among civilised people." "Perhaps it is, sir;"
One of these was then read by Col. Waite. replied Major Macklin. After a long conversation,
"Such a paper I shall not sign," said Col. Waite and the excitement somewhat abated, Major
indignantly; " it is highly objectionable, and I Macklin was asked if he would grant to each offishall
remain a prisoner. "Very well," answer
cer twenty-four hours to consider upon the subed
Major Macklin; " these paroles will not be pre
ject, when they would report to him in person,
sented to you again without you request it." their determination. To this he agreed, and per"
What rank do you hold, sir ?" enquired Colonel mitted each officer to take one of the manuscript
Waite. " I am a major," replied Major Macklin. paroles for consideration. The guard at the door
"In the provisional or regular army ?" enquired was then dismissed and the officers retired.
Col. Waite. "In the regular army, sir, of the
Confederate States," responded the Major. Wednesday, April 24, 1SGI.
The officers met at twelve M., to-day, at the ofA
general conversation ensued among all par
The officers met at twelve M., to-day at the ofties,
in hich there as much an g en xcitem en t fice of the commanding officer, Major Macklin, as
ties, in which there was much angry excitement.
Major Macklin improved the first opportunity agreed upon yesterday. No farther modifications
to speak, and remarked that " he should send could be had of the terms offered yesterday, exthe
officers to Victoria, one hundred miles dis
cepting a provision for exchange as prisoners of
tant, to Col. Van Dorn's headquarters," and de
war, and the privilege granted to Col. Waite to
sired to know how soon Col. Waite could be report the facts and past transactions to his Govready,
and suggested to-morrow-even intimated ernment. The terms now were, the acceptance
to day; whereupon Col. oWaite and the officers of the paroles or to be treated as prisoners of war.
present said: "It was impossible to arrange their There was no alternative but to be subjected to
fanlily affairs in so short a time." " IHow lonr a the rabble, to crowds of undisciplined troops retime,"
asked he, " do you require-one, two or gardless of authority or control, to the vindictive
three days?" "I presume we can have trans
and active prejudices of men in authority who
portation ?" suggested Col. Waite. " There will had already stipulated terms, or take the paroles
be transportation for you, sir i" replied Major offered, and ask safe conduct out of the State.
Macklin, with emphasis and anger. Again a gen-The latter was determined upon as the only
eral conversation took place; still much excite
method which could secure safe egress or escape,
ment was evinced among all parties. The en
and place the officers within reach of the authoriquiry
was made of Major Macklin, if he had any ties of the United States Government. Each
discretion in the matter ? He replied that he had fficertook hs parole under the protest made b
none. The character of paroles and the rights of Col. Waite the day previous.
prisoners then became a general subject of con
Col Waite and his officers were now prisoners
versation. Each officer present said he desired of war-on parole. To remain in the State in
at least twenty-four hours to consider the subject, this situation no possible good could result; inas
it was of great importance. deed, it was the desire of true and loyal citizens
Col. Waite asked for one of the manuscript that they should leave as soon as possible, thus
paroles, when Major Macklin, in a very offensive removing all cause of irritation, as they were conmanner,
declined, saying, "he had use for them." sidered obstinate enemies to the cause. A Union
This again caused much evident, excited and sentiment still lingered in the community, and
indignant feeling. "It is my desire," said Col. there was a hope entertained by influential men
Waite, " to put some officer in charge of our sol
that with the populace, when brought to serious
diers to be left here (the Eighth infantry, band reflection, their exertions would be of some avail.
and clerks at headquarters) as prisoners, should "But," said they, " if representatives of the FedI
accept the parole, to attend to their personal eral Government are in our midst, evil passions,
rights, police and comfort." " You need have leading to violent acts, will be excited, when we
no concern about that, sir," responded Macklin; must come to your support, and thus endanger
we will save you that trouble; we will attend our lives, and jeopardise the safety of our prop
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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/m1/32/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .