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: 5 of 36



hundred and seventy-five miles. The other sta
the want of animals, wagons, and subsistence.
lions vary from one hundred and forty miles to Such a procedure, together with the unreserved
four hundred and fifty, and from each other from avowal of State sovereignty, and a general denuneighty
to one hundred miles. The communication ciation of Federal authority on the part of the
is kept up by horse expresses, consisting, gener
Department Commander, Texas had only to make
ally of four or six men, according to the activity the necessary preliminary arrangements having
and hostility of the Indians. San Antonio is one the semblance of law, when the property of the
hundred and fifty miles from Indianola, the entre
General Government would fall into her hands
pot upon the coast, or Matagorda Bay. The ag
without remonstrance, on the exhibition of a reggregate
number of the United States troops with
ular force. The officers and soldiers, instead of
in the department of Texas, in February last, being concentrated at San Antonio for the secuwas
two thousand five hundred and fifty, and rity of public supplies, were helpless at the dissixty-ttwo
commissioned officers, consisting of tant posts, and had no knowledge of what had
cavalry, artillery, and infantry. transpired until orders came to abandon the
On the fifth of December, 1860, Brevet Major
Gen. David E. Twiggs, U. S. Army, arrived at The following document, the "Report of the
Indianola, Texas, and, by orders from Washington, Committee on Public Safety," give, in detail, the
assumed command of this military district, known steps taken to perfect these treasonable designs,
as the Department of Texas. For two years he together with the arrangements made for the dehad
resided in New-Orleans, La., retired from ac
parture of the United States troops out of Texas:
tive military duties, owing to age and impaired
health. Forty-eight years he had been in theREPORT NO. .-
service of the Federal Government. Nature hadSAFETY.
endowed him with a sagacious and active mind, COMIrTrEE-ROOM, March 6, 1861.
far higher than with that element so essential to To the Hon. O. M. Roberts, President of the Cona
soldier. Caution and self-preservation distin
guished his career in the army. Upon reaching The Committee on the Public Safety, beg leave
Indianola, he expressed to the citizens his opin
to submit through you, to the Convention of the
ions as to the critical situation of the country, People, the following report in detail of the iuowing
to the election of Abraham Lincoln as merous and important matters which were conPresident
of the United States. Leaves of ab
fided to them, both during the sitting of the Consence
were tendered officers of the army, to the vention, and during the recess from the adjournfull
extent of his authority, with the avowed ob
ment on the fifth day of February, and the reject
that they might repair to their various States assembling of the same, on the second day of
and attend to their professional interests, declar
ing, at the same time, " the Union at an end in After the passage of the Ordinance of Secession,
less than sixty days, and if they had pay due by the Convention, the Committee, believing that
them to draw it at once, as it would be the last." it would be of the highest importance to secure,
These sentiments were promulgated throughout to the State of Texas, the property belonging to
Texas, with a corresponding degree of excite
the United States, then within the State; that
ment and malignity, suited to the tastes and the public safety demanded that Texas should
habits of a class of men there, seeking distinction have control of the arms and munitions of war
and office upon the ruins of their country. The within her limits, it was too manifest for the Composition
he occupied, the patronage and resources mittee to hesitate as to their duties on this subof
the General Government in hand, together ject. The policy of coercion, it was believed,
with the general belief, that under his auspices would be adopted by the incoming Administraand
advice, the officers and soldiers of the army tion of the late United States Government, and
would espouse his cause, good and patriotic citi
with about two thousand eight hundred United
zens were nisled, and induced to look upon seces
States regular troops, stationed at different points
sion as the only remedy from apprehended evils in the State, all of whom were well supplied with
in the dissolution of our Government. Upon arms and ammunition, the Committee believed
reaching San Antonio, steps were immediately their presence, under the command and control of
taken to destroy the power and energy of this United States officers, was dangerous to the welmilitary
department, as had been the example in fare and safety of the State, especially if they reWashington
City, by conspiracy, robbery and mained here without change, until secession of
fraud. Officers were invited, solicited, to flee the State of Texas became a finality.
from the dissolving Government, and the private It was also believed by the Committee, that
soldier counselled as to the policy of his adhering although many of the army officers in command,
to a service represented to be so doubtful in char
in the Eighth Military District of the State of
acter, both in regard to permanency and pay. Texas, would never consent to use the military
The means of transportation were cut off at all forces, under their command, against the people
the posts, and the amount of ammunition and of Texas, yet the Committee did not know, and
subsistence reduced to the consumption from could not, how soon the friends of the South might
week to week. During the months of February be superseded, and our enemies placed in their
and March, there was not a command in Texas stead. In view of these facts, and the fact that
able to move one hundred miles from its post, fori Texas was justly entitled to her share of the pub

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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. ( accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .