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: 9 of 36
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sion of Gov. Houston to give credit to Major Van
Dorn for his success in the Comanche fight, and
remarked that these were indications of the temper
of Texas towards the officers and men of the
army. The conclusion we have arrived at is this:
That we must obtain possession of that which
now belongs to Texas of right by force, or such
a display of force as will compel a compliance
with our demands, and that without an hour's
unnecessary delay. In all these movements, celerity,
secrecy and strength, should be our motto.
If there are any men to spare on or near the
Colorado, we think it would be well for them in
as large numbers, and as speedily as possible,
to move towards the city, to support, if necessary,
Col. McCulloch's movements. Whatever is
to be done up north, it is well should be done
speedily. You had better inquire of Messrs. Hall
and Hyde, of the Legislature, the condition of
Forts Bliss and Quitman; as the men and munitions
in those Forts could be moved, without delay,
to New-Mexico-giving to the Federal Government,
at Washington, a large body of troops
to hold that country against the Southern movement,
and thus build up a Free State to injure
and annoy us in the not very remote future. By
referring to the enclosed order, you will perceive
Gen. Twiggs is preparing for a move. We are
decidedly of the opinion, for the reasons set forth,
with reference to New-Mexico, that it will be unwise
to permit a single company of United States
troops to march from any portion of Texas into
New-Miexico. If the officers are determined to
carry them to aid Lincoln's Government, let them
go by the way of the coast, or we can disband
them, if we so decide. We repeat it, we must
not let a single company from Fort Bliss to Fort
Brown, leave the State by the Kansas, New-Mexico,
or any other route, save the coast.
The Captain commanding the Ordnance Department,
at this point, is not friendly to our cause.
He is said to be in possession of about forty thousand
dollars, for the construction of the United
States Arsenal. What do you suggest respecting
his being compelled to deliver it up, if in his
possession, and what course do you suggest in
the premises ?
We would like to have any suggestions or instructions
you may consider necessary. We would
adhere to them, if circumstances demanded it, (if
in our power;) if not, we will do what the emergencies
of the hour demand, doing what we believe
to be our duty, and leaving the consequences
to God. In haste, we remain yours, etc.,
THoMiAS J. DEVINE,
S. A. MAVERICK,
P. N. LUCKETT.
On the ninth of February, the Committee forwarded,
by express, the following instructions to
Col. Ben. McCulloch, the military commander, in
addition to those contained in the secret instructions
to the Commissioners. It was thought prudent
and expedient to enlarge his sphere of action,
since it was now evident that he was called
into the field.
To Col. Ben. McCulloch:
SIR: Having received information that the Commissioners,
Sam. A. Maverick, and others, sent
to San Antonio, to confer with Gen. Twiggs, have,
under their instructions, called you into the field,
the Committee have resolved to confer upon you
the military commission of Colonel of cavalry, to
date as of the third inst., in the District embracing
a point on the Rio Grande, half-way between
Forts Duncan and McIntosh, and with the frontier
to Fort Chadbourne, including San Antonio
and all intermediate posts; and in addition to the
instructions given to the Commissioners heretofore,
(with whom you are advised freely to confer
on all subjects of interest as far as possible,) you
are instructed that should it be deemed advisable
to retain any portion, or all of the Federal troops,
in your District, in the temporary service of the
State, you can do so; and assure them that Texas
will use her best endeavors with the Southern
Confederacy to be formed, to have them incorporated
into the army of said Confederacy, with the
same rank now held by them.
In case any or all of them should express a desire
to depart from the country peaceably, you may
permit them so to do, upon such terms as will
not dishonor them, and as will insure the public
safety, and in such manner as will insure safety
to their persons and property. The Committee
also desire, that the Commissioners will, under
the powers heretofore given them, furnish such
aid and assistance, as may be deemed necessary.
In all other matters, not contained in these or
the previous instructions, you will observe your
best judgment and discretion in any emergency
which may present itself.
Any information that you may desire to give
to the Committee, will be expressed to John C.
Robertson, Galveston, Texas.
JOHN C. ROBERTSON,
Chairman Committee of Public Safety.
[Attest] R. T. BROWNRIGG,
Secretary to Committee.
On the tenth February, said Commissioners to
San Antonio, sent the following communication
to the Committee:
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 10, 1861.
John C. Robertson, Chairman Committee of Public
DEAR SIR: We have nothing to communicate
since our letter of the eighth, unless it be the receipt
of a communication from Col. McCulloch,
informing the undersigned of his having received
our communication, and that he expected to be
at or near Seguin on the thirteenth or fourteenth,
with whatever force he could raise.
After despatching our communication to you,
we determined if possible to prevent the necessity
of resorting to a display of force around this city;
and with that object in view, we again communicated
with General Twiggs in writing, requesting
from him a written statement of what he was
willing to do. The answer to this was an order
to Major Vinton, Major Macklin, and Capt. Whiteley,
to confer with the undersigned to transact
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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/m1/9/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .