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: 8 of 36
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REBELLION RECORD, 1860-61.
or minute men, to guard the same safely while it v
shall be controlled by you. 1
You are instructed to take the most special care (
that nothing shall be wasted or destroyed, but I
that everything be faithfully guarded and held for g
the use of the State, and to be accounted for. s
Whatever military force that shall be raised, a
must be kept in strict subordination; and no vio
lation of person or property of any person must
under any circumstances be allowed. l
If, after your arrival at San Antonio, circum
stances shall occur which are not covered by the s
foregoing instructions, you will immediately report
to the Committee for further orders, unless I
they be so urgent as not to admit of delay, in E
which event you must use your discretion, but t
immediately report your course of action.
You will take all pains to ascertain the tone 1
and temper of the officers and men of the Federal
army, and may give them the assurance of the
influence of Texas in securing to them the same
or higher grades in the service of the Southern
Confederacy, as those now held by them, if they
are inclined to accept the same.
Take every pains to conciliate them and attach
them in sentiment to the cause of Texas and the
You will avoid every appearance of making a
proposal to Gen. Twiggs, or any other officer under
his command, which would wound a soldier's
pride and honor. They should, however, be reminded
that they have been stationed in Texas
for the protection, and not the subjugation of her
people, and that patriotism is incompatible with
warring against the liberties of their fellow-citizens.
You are specially charged, in the performance
of the service assigned you, that you will do
nothing that will conflict with the powers herein
conferred. You will from time to time make full
and complete reports to this Committee.
J. C. ROBERTSON,
Chairman Committee of Public Safety.
Vested with the authority contained in the
commission and secret instructions, three of the
Commissioners, to wit: T. J. Devine, Sam Maverick,
and N. P. Luckett, on the sixth day of
February, set out for San Antonio. On the eighth
of February, said Commissioners forwarded by
express to the Committee, the following communication:
SAN ANTONIO, February 8, 1861.
J. C. Robertson, Esq., Chairman Committee of
The undersigned, in accordance with their instructions,
called on Gen. D. E. Twiggs, and by
his request met him at two o'clock this afternoon;
and, in presence of Major Nichols, we stated our
mission and presented our credentials, (which
Gen. Twiggs did not ask or evince the slightest
desire to have read to him, or even to look at,)
and carried out our interview in accordance with
the letter and spirit of our instructions as nearly
Gen. Twiggs expressed himself strongly in faI
ror of Southern Rights, and caused copies of his
etters to the War Department to be read to the
Committee, in which he asserts that he will not
be instrumental in bringing on civil war, and a
great deal more in that line which may mean
;omething or nothing, according to circumstance,
and he very significantly asserted that we had
He expressed a willingness to keep everything
under his control as it now is, until the second of
March next, and would give us information if he
should be superseded; and, in the event of the
State being in favor of secession, would, on denand
made by the Convention, deliver all up, but
expressed a fixed determination to march the
troops under his command out with all their
arms, transportation facilities, and extra clothing
to be delivered to them, etc.
The undersigned, after considerable conversation
on the subject of their mission, retired for
consultation; and being desirous of avoiding, if
possible, the necessity for collecting a force around
the city, for the purpose of compelling a delivery,
Mr. Maverick was deputed to obtain from the
General a statement, in writing, of what he was
willing to do, in the hope that it would, under
our instructions, be admissible. HIe refused to
make any statement or give any pledge in writing.
Upon ascertaining this fact, we determined to
send an express, without delay, to Col. Ben.
McCulloch, to bring as large a force as he may
deem necessary, and as soon as possible, to San
The substance of Gen. Twiggs's conversation or
verbal offer was this: "That he will hold things
as they are, and will, if in command on the second
of March next, deliver to the Commissioners all
the public property that is not desirable or convenient
for him to carry away on or after that
He professed great admiration for the manhood,
soldiership and patriotism of Gcn. Scott,
and is evidently inclined to imitate him in the
present crisis in many respects.
He is, no doubt, a good Southern man, as far
as hatred to Black Republicanism can make a
man such. There is, however, a higher element
than hatred. We do not know to what extent
that sentiment prevails with Gen. Twiggs, but
we are of opinion that Gen. Twiggs will not permit
it to interfere with what he believes to be
due to himself
He spoke, during the interview, of his feeble
health; of his having received an offer from Georgia
for a command in that State, and of his having
refused it on the ground of ill-health. He referred
to the great expenditure of the army, exclusive of
the pay of the troops-said it is more than a million
and a half-and enquired where Texas could
obtain means to meet that outlay, which she would
lose by seceding. These, and other remarks on
the question, by him, forced a somewhat unwilling
conviction on the minds of the undersigned,
that he was decidedly averse to the secession of
Texas. He mentioned the omission of Capt. Ross
to do full justice to Serg't Spangler, and the omis
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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/m1/8/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .