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: 33 of 36
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erty and families. Tn the ranks were men from army, and report yourself in person to the Genthe
North as well as the South with arms in their eral-ln-Chief.
hands, who sought private opportunities to ex
I am sir, very respectfully,
press to officers their devotion to the Union, but Your obedient servant,
their personal safety as well as security to their [Signed] C. A. WAITE,
property, compelled them to espouse a cause re
Col. United States Arny.
pugnant to their education, sentiments and feelings.
The rapid and fearful current of disunion About this time a detachment of nfantry,
was too powerful for individual resistance, and thirty-two men, arrived in San .ntonio from the
of .taying or dinterior. They were at once surrounded by an
the only prospect of staying or directing it, as arned force of two hundred men, and required
in uniting in the wild and wayward frenzy gov
t r unconditionally. Tle soldiers proerning
the public mind. Paroles were given by en ed
eachofficer as followstested and commenced breaking their arms upon
each officer as follows: I
the ground, declaring "that no enemy to their
Parole. government should ever use them." The intcrPa~ro
l~e. ~ference of the officers put a stop to these evidenHEADQUARTERS
CONFEDERATED ARMY IN TEXAS, ces of loyalty, in which they cordially particiN.SAN
ANTONIO, TEXAS, April 23, 1861. f pated, but resistance was certain destruction, if
lN'0i~Vo~. 1~. ~not starvation, as provisions could only be ob1
hereby do declare, upon my honor, and tained from the United States stores in the hands
pledge myself as a gentleman and a soldier, that of Texas. An officer was designated to take
[ will not take up alrms or serve in the field are of these men, but the day after, his actions
against the government of the Confederated States were circumscribed, upon receiving the following
in America, under my present or any other com
letter from the military commander:
mission that I may hold during the existence of
the present war between the United States and HIADQUARTERS CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY,
the Confederated States of America; and that I SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, April 28, 1861.
will not correspond with the authorities of the COLONEL: I understand that Lieutenant C. L.
Unitel States, either military or civil, giving infor
Hartz, Eighth infantry, visited Capt. Lee's commation
against the interest of the Confederated pany on yesterday, and excited them to be true
States of Amnrica, lunless regu7larly exchanged. to their allegiance to the United States, etc.
[Signed] J. T. SPRA(;UE, When I granted leave to visit the company, I did
Brevet Major and Captain Eighth Infantry not expect such a course would be pursued. I
United States Army. am compelled therefore to forbid any visiting
Accepted. only in company with an officer of the Confeder[Signedl
S. MACK,IN, ate States Army. When they are to be visited,
Mlajor of Infantry, Confederate States Army, Capt. James Duff will accompany the officer, or
Witnless,T Capt. o. I u. aCola(ing. some other officer will be detached by him.
itnllcss, Capt. C. L. ,vkYRE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Your obedient servant,
Confederate States Army. [Signed] S. MACKLIN,
Major Confederate States Army, Commanding.
Safiegutards were placed in the hands of the To Col. C. A. WAITE, United States Army,
ntiorrs a fnllnows Present.
HEADQUARTERS CONFEDERATED STATRS ARMY IN TEXAS,
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, April 26, 1S61.
To all guards, patrols, citizens, and all concerned,
within the limits of the Confederated
States, the bearer, Brevet Major John T. Sprague,
Ulited States Army, a prisoner of war, on his
parole of honor, is hereby permitted to pass
through each and any of the Confederated States,
without let, or hindrance, or molestation of any
[Signed] S. MACKLIN,
Major Confederated States Army, Commanding.
Col. Waite then issued the following order to
the officers with him:
No. 3. SAN ArTONIO, TEXAs, April 25,1861.
SIR: Having been forcibly seized on the twentythird
instant, by an armed force of Texas troops,
and your services being no longer required here,
you will proceed to the headquarters of the
The troops from Fort Bliss, six hundred miles
distant, in command of Brevet Lieut.-Col. J. V.
D. Reeve, three hundred men and six commissioned
officers, known to be on the way to San
Antonio, caused much solicitude. Every effort
was made to communicate to him the state of
affairs in San Antonio, that he might retrace his
steps, or cross the Rio Grande into Mexico.
Mexican guides, intimately acquainted with the
Indian Trails, were employed at high compensations;
one was paid seven hundred dollars, conditioned
upon his returning a written acknowledgment
of his success. From the recent
capture of Col. Reeve and his command by the
Texans, it is presumed these messengers could
not have effected the object. These troops are
now in Texas, prisoners of war. Paroles were
refused them; the authorities there declaring
their determination to retain them as hostages.
So far removed from the Federal Government,
and all communications by mail directed to Washington
intercepted, there was no hope, or expectation
of relief or support from any quarter
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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/m1/33/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .