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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 1, Ch. VII–Confederate Correspondence.


February 1-June 11, 1861.


NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 19, 1861.

Hon. JOHN PERKINS, Jr., Montgomery, Ala.:

DEAR SIR: Availing myself of your suggestion, I will trouble you with a few lines on a subject I consider important to our President. I have a confidential communication this morning from an old classmate in Texas, the commander of a fine battery of light artillery, in high condition. He is very anxious about his status; says he can and will bring over his whole command if it will be received. A large portion of the troops in Texas, he thinks, can be relied on in the same way; but their great fear is an attempt on the part of Texas to disarm them. Wound a soldier’s honor in this way, and he will fight for it against his friends. Might they not be invited into our service? They consider their allegiance as gone, their obligations no longer binding.

We are getting on well in our organization, and strengthening our defenses rapidly; still we are not in condition for a war; but neither are our enemies. A number of young officers of the Regular Army are coming in, and our prudent governor is appointing them in preference. To get clear of bad subjects, who come well recommended, he allows me to bring them before a military board to be examined. The importance of this subject must excuse this hasty note, just as I am leaving to see the governor at Baton Rouge.

Yours, most respectfully,



WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, February 23, 1861.

To the DELEGATES from, Texas to the Congress of the Confederate States:

GENTLEMEN: In response to the communication submitted by you to the President in relation to the military complications in your State, he has instructed me to say that he appreciates the embarrassments of your position, and in his anxiety to remove them is disposed to assume every responsibility compatible with the relations of this Government to the State of Texas; but, as you are aware, this Government has no official notification of the secession of your State from the Government of the United States, and until this occurs, however hopeful the President may be of the result of the reference of the action of your Convention to the popular vote, you will readily perceive that this Government could not assume formal jurisdiction over the questions submitted by you. The President, however, instructs me to say that he considers it due to international courtesy that the Government of the Confederate States, Texas included, after her withdrawal from the United States, should accord to the troops belonging to that Government a reasonable time within which to depart from her territory. The probability is that the Government of the United States would not be inclined to keep these troops within your territory after the secession of your State. Should it be otherwise, the President does not hesitate to say that all the powers of this Government shall be promptly employed to expel them.

Meantime it is considered by the President, under the circumstances, that it would be proper in the authorities of Texas to suspend any attack upon the forts, arsenals, or other military occupations of the Government of the United States within her territory, as this Government is {p.608} charged with the power to negotiate and to conduct all military operations. It may be proper to add that, deeming it probable a portion of the officers and men belonging to the Army of the United States now stationed in Texas may, after the secession of your State, consider their allegiance due rather to this Government than to the Government of the United States, and under the influence of this sentiment may feel inclined to acknowledge that allegiance by reporting themselves here, I do not doubt the disposition of this Government to receive them favorably. The special facts, however suggestive of this belief, are better known to yourselves than to this Department, and you will, I doubt not, communicate, them to the authorities of your State.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.


NEW ORLEANS, February 25, 1861.

His Excellency JEFF. DAVIS:

We have reliable information that the United States troops from Texas are to pass through this city. Shall they be allowed to land? A large number of the officers and men can probably be secured for your service. Please advise me on the subject. General Twiggs was ordered to turn over the command to Colonel Waite, a Northern man, but preferred surrendering to Texas.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Montgomery, February 25, 1861.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding, New Orleans:

SIR: Your dispatch of this date to the President has been received, and in reply he instructs me to say that the question submitted for consideration is not altogether free from difficulty. The circumstances of the case are peculiar and exceptional, and must be disposed of in a spirit of liberal courtesy. It seems, therefore, to the President, if there, was a formal capitulation by the troops of the United States or an informal understanding with the authorities of Texas upon which they acted either in the surrender or abandonment of the forts, that they should have peaceful exit through the territories of the Government. This understanding should be carried out in good faith, upon their verbal assurance that their sole object is to reach the territory of the United States, and not to disturb the property or peace of any of the States of this Government through which they may pass, or to possess or occupy any of the forts, arsenals, or other property of this Government within these States. Should this assurance be refused, it will be your duty to arrest their progress, and keep them below Forts Jackson and Saint Philip until further ordered.

The President instructs me to add that he has entire, confidence in your discretion and prudence, and feels satisfied that whilst you scrupulously guard the honor and rights of this Government, you will do no act unnecessarily to precipitate a war. Should any of the officers or men desire to enlist in the service of this Government, it would be proper and right, and altogether acceptable, to receive them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.



SAN ANTONIO, TEX., February 25, 1861.


DEAR SIR: Inclosed you will find the order of General Twiggs.* I send it that you may see what sort of spirit prevails in the Army here, from General Twiggs down, with one or two exceptions. They will do nothing to benefit the South. This order itself is an insult to the commissioners and the people of the State; besides, is calculated to make a wrong impression, and mislead everybody in regard to the terms of the agreement between the commissioners and General Twiggs, which are, they are simply allowed to leave the State by way of the coast, with their arms, two batteries of light artillery being taken as the arms belonging to that branch of the service. Many of the officers, who are Southern men, say they will not serve Mr. Lincoln, yet they will neither resign nor do anything else to assist the section that gave them birth. I hope the Southern Confederacy will aid them as little in future as they are helping her now. What goodwill their resignations do the South after they have kept their commands embodied and turn them over with arms in their hands to Lincoln, to be placed in some Southern garrison on our coast, or otherwise used to coerce the Southern people? This force ought to be disorganized before it leaves this State. If the Southern Confederacy intends raising a regular army, these men ought to be enlisted into her service at, once. Let recruiting officers be sent forthwith to this place, Indianola, and Brownsville, or the mouth of the Rio Grande, with the necessary funds to pay the proper bounty, and you may depend upon it Mr. Lincoln will never get many of them to leave this State. I shall urge the Convention to take prompt action to defend our frontiers. Some of the cavalry regiments would do for that service; the infantry would do for those passes on the Rio Grande; yet such men don’t wish to go into service unless it was permanently. This the State cannot, offer. One year, if not sooner discharged, is the terms she will offer. It suits volunteers. The arms we get from the Federal Government are, not such as will be of much use to the State, particularly in defending her frontiers. We ought to purchase some for that particular service. The Colt pistol and the Morse altered gun are the best, if we can get them. I propose, if Virginia secedes, to go at once to her and get, if possible, those Morse guns that are at Harper’s Ferry, and get them here in time to be placed in the hands of the men who have to march against the Indians.

If you think worth while, show this letter to the other delegates. I wrote Colonel Wigfall yesterday. Sergeant Spangler will make an excellent recruiting officer for Indianola. He is in the Second Cavalry, and wishes to remain in the State. Money must be had to effect much with these men.

Yours, truly,


*No inclosure found. Reference is probably to Special Orders, No. 25, February 14, 1861, p. 589.


WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, March 4, 1861.


MAJOR: The secession of Texas from the United States, and the consequent withdrawal of the troops of that Government, leaves the frontier of your State exposed to Indian depredations.


In advance of the organization of the regular army, the Congress of the Confederate States have, passed an act “to raise provisional forces,” and to obviate the necessity of a detailed explanation of its, provisions I herewith inclose you a copy of the act.

The regular army bill has been introduced into Congress, but will not pass for some days to come. But even if it were now the law, the process of enlistment, as you are aware, is never rapid, and the necessities of your defenseless frontier demand instant action.

Under these circumstances, with the concurrence of the President, I have determined to request you to raise, without delay, a regiment of mounted riflemen, to be organized and received into the service of the Confederate States under the provisions of the act aforesaid; the regiment to consist of ten companies, and each company to be composed of not less than sixty nor more than eighty men.

This communication will be handed to you by C. L. Sayre, acting assistant adjutant-general, who will muster the regiment into the service of the Confederate States according to the terms of their enlistment.

You will report to this Department. In the event it should not be agreeable to you to undertake the duties of the position hereby tendered, you are authorized and requested to designate some suitable person for that duty, and transfer this communication and accompanying act to him for his guidance, and report the fact to this Department.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.


EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Baton Rouge, La., March 6, 1861.

Messrs. MAVERICK , LUCKETT, and DEVINE, Commissioners on behalf of the Committee of Public Safety of the State of Texas

GENTLEMEN: I have, in compliance with the wishes of the authorities of your State, authorized Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, Louisiana Army, to extend every facility and courtesy, consistent with the safety of our State, to the United State troops in transit through Louisiana, by way of the Mississippi River. I take pleasure in stating to you that Major-General Twiggs, late commanding the Department of Texas, was recently welcomed to New Orleans with civic and military honors worthy of his bravery, his talents, and his long and very distinguished services. I remain, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THO. O. MOORE, Governor of the State of Louisiana.


GALVESTON, March 8, 1861.


DEAR SIR: I deem it my duty, placed as I am by the Convention commandant of Galveston, to call to your attention the situation of the port. Should it become necessary to make a defense here we will find ourselves poorly prepared. We now have six 24-pounders, two siege and four battery guns, two howitzers, and two mortars, and about three hundred ball and shell, which were brought from Brazos Santiago. We may receive more of the same kind from there.


Nature has given us very good defenses in our sand banks, but it is important we should have heavier guns, say 68-pounders. One of the committee of the Convent-ion (General Rogers) went to Louisiana to procure guns, but obtained none but one thousand stand of muskets, which had been altered from flint to percussion locks, and are of but little use; in fact, they are not safe. Small-arms, however, may be procured at San Antonio. I have written to the Convention on the Subject. I am preparing to place in battery on the beach what guns we have, but they will be of little use against heavy metal.

Another subject I would call to your attention. I learned last evening that our Convention had passed a resolution to the effect that all vessels belonging to the Federal Government coming to our ports to convey away troops should not be molested. Of course, they passed this resolution previous to receiving Mr. Lincoln’s inaugural.

The question now to consider is, whether it would be good policy to allow these troops, fully armed and equipped as they are, to go to any post they may think proper held by the Federal troops, or shall they be required to go direct to New Orleans?

Allow me also to call your attention to Lieutenant Stevens, late of the United States Engineer Corps. He has resigned his commission, and now offers his services to the State or Confederacy. He has served upwards of ten years as lieutenant, and in 1862, by the Army Regulations, he will be entitled to a captaincy. He is now aiding me in superintending the placing of our battery.

In great haste, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

S. SHERMAN, Commandant of Galveston.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Austin, Tex., March 13, 1861.


SIR: Your letter of March 2d [1st] has been received by his Excellency Governor Houston, and I am instructed to reply.*

The people of Texas, by their vote on the 23d ultimo, having severed their connection with the United States, Texas, on the 2d day of March, the present mouth, assumed once again the position of a sovereign and independent State. No act of the people since that period, and certainly none anterior to it, has warranted the construction that Texas is other than independent. Your letter of March 2, however, informs his excellency that the President of the Confederate States “assumes control of all military operations in this State.” The inference, therefore, is that Texas is regarded as one of the Confederate States, and as such subject to the Provisional Government established for the same.

While Texas has by the vote of a majority of the people determined to resume once again the nationality with which she parted on becoming annexed to the Federal Union, her position before the world, and especially in relation to the Confederate States, seems to be misunderstood. This may arise from the fact that the Convention which assembled in Austin on the 28th day of January last, and has since reassembled, elected seven delegates to the Convention of seceding States at Montgomery, {p.612} Who, on the 2d of March, as his excellency has been unofficially informed, took their seats in the Congress of the Confederate States, by virtue of which Texas was declared one of the Confederate States. Leaving out of question the fact that on the 2d of March the said delegates had no information as to the withdrawal of Texas from the Federal Union, there is no evidence that they had received any warrant from the people of Texas for the act. The Convention which elected them as delegates represented but a minority of the people of Texas. The legislature delegated to it the power to submit the question of secession to a vote of the people. Neither by the terms of the call under which the delegates were elected, the vote they received, nor the act of the legislature recognizing them to perform the function assigned, were they empowered to elect delegates to aid in the formation of a provisional government with other States, who, after creating the same, should constitute themselves members of Congress.

The object of the Convention was declared to be to provide the mode by which the people of Texas should reassume their complete sovereignty. Yet, judging from the tenor of your communication, Texas was on the day provided for declaring her independence of the United States, and before any considerable portion of her people knew the result of the vote, again deprived of her sovereignty, and, instead of an independent nation, became one of the Confederate States, subject to a government which her people had no share in making, and a constitution which but few of them had ever seen.

Admitting even that the Convention had power to elect delegates and members of Congress to the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, the facts show that even in its estimation the delegates elected were not empowered to annex Texas to said Provisional Government on the 2d day of March, and that, until official information is received that Texas has been admitted as one of the Confederate States, Texas maintains the independent position resulting from the vote of her people on the 23d of February. The Convention itself did not, until the 5th day of March, pass an ordinance ratifying the constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States and instructing its delegates to apply for the admission of Texas. There can be no other conclusion, therefore, than that, at the time your communication was addressed to his excellency, Texas was not, even in the estimation of the Convention, one of the Confederate States, and, therefore, not subject to the Provisional Government or in any way under the “control” of its President. Until, therefore, his excellency is informed from some official source that the people of Texas have parted with their sovereignty and become a part of the Government on whose part you write, I am instructed to say he cannot recognize any obligation to the same. The people alone have the right to say what form of government they will have; and while his excellency fully appreciates the fact that your communication has been addressed him with a conviction arising from the presence of delegates from Texas in the councils of the Provisional Government that the people have acted, but frankly assures you that such, in his opinion, is not the case.

It also becomes my duty to inform you that his excellency has notified the Convention, whose delegates are accredited to Montgomery, that he does not recognize it as a convention of the people of Texas, its powers having terminated with the reference of the question of secession to a vote of the people of Texas. Since the submission of the ordinance he has had no correspondence with the Convention other than to deny their authority.


His excellency had no intimation of the proposed operations against the forts and arsenals upon the frontier until after they had been taken in possession by the Convention. I feel at liberty to say, however, that none of the arms, munitions Of war, forts, &c., lately held by the United States in Texas have come into the possession of his excellency or officers acting under him, except the post at Camp Cooper, which was taken possession of by Col. W. C. Dalrymple, of the State troops. The United States cavalry, some two hundred and fifty in number, were allowed to take up the line of march to San Antonio, where all the public property, arms, &c., excepting side-arms of officers, are to be delivered to competent State authority. His excellency is informed that a number of the other military posts, with the public property thereto belonging, have fallen into the possession of agents of the Convention, who have acted without his knowledge or sanction, and still hold the same independent of his authority. He has learned that by the terms of the agreement made the troops are permitted to carry off their arms and artillery companies their field batteries.

The public property lately belonging to the United States being nearly all in the possession of the Convention, the information you desire can be obtained at its hands. I will also state that an ordinance was passed by that body on the 9th instant declaring the title to all such property vested in the State of Texas.

I take pleasure in assuring you, on the part of his excellency, that nothing but a sense of the obligation he owes to the people and a desire to maintain their rights and interests leads him to the course indicated in this communication. The States which have formed the Provisional Government have his ardent wishes for their welfare and prosperity. The people of Texas are now bound to them in feeling and sympathy no less closely than when members of a common Union. Like circumstances induced withdrawal from the Union. Like peril and uncertainty are before them. No matter what the position of Texas may be, she cannot but feel that ties of no common nature bind her to those States. But however close those ties may be, in feeling, there are requirements due the national pride and dignity of a people who have just resumed their nationality which do not sanction the course pursued in annexing them to a new government without their knowledge or consent.

His excellency desires me to tender you the assurances of his esteem and consideration.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. W. CAVE, Secretary of State.

* Reference is to a circular informing the governors of the several States that, under an act to raise Provisional Forces, &c. I the President of the Confederate States “assumes control of all military operations in your State having reference to, or connected with, questions between your State and powers foreign to it,” &c. The circular and law referred to will appear in Vol. 1, 4th Series.


MONTGOMERY, March 16, 1861.

Col. EARL VAN DORN, Jackson, Miss.:

Appointed colonel. You were ordered yesterday to Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Would prefer your going to Texas and securing the United States troops for our Army. Immediate action necessary. Answer.

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.



WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, March 21, 1861.


SIR: You are directed to proceed to the State of Texas and ascertain from the proper authorities of that State what portion of the property, arms, and munitions of war appertaining to the Army of the United States, recently stationed in that State, they may be desirous to turn over to this Government and make chargeable to it. Being advised upon this point, you will at once receive into your possession all such property, arms, &c., and execute to such persons as the State may designate a receipt for the same; the value of such property to be hereafter determined between the State of Texas and this Government, or this Government and that of the United States, as the case may be.

You will from time to time, as such property, arms, &c., may be turned over, make report to this Department of the character, quality, and condition of the same, and the disposition made thereof under the directions herein given, with such recommendations and suggestions in reference to the same as may occur to you. You will provide for the safe-keeping of such property, arms, &c., either at the places where they may be delivered, or have them transported to places where this can be provided with greater economy and safety, or to such points as may hereafter be designated by this Department. You are authorized to make contracts for the transportation contemplated in these instructions and also for the safe-keeping of said property, arms, &c. Such of the property turned over, strictly perishable in its nature, as may have been condemned, or as may be, or be considered to be, unfit for use, or as may be liable to deterioration before it can be applied to use, may be disposed of as you deem best, provided that the authorities of Texas shall agree to receive the proceeds of sale, should a sale be made, and to discharge this Government from liability for the same beyond the amount for which it may be sold; but you are required at once to report to this Department the fact of any such disposition of property, with the reasons which induced it. You are authorized to employ such clerical assistance as you may require in making the returns contemplated herein, paying therefor a reasonable compensation.

After you shall have determined your route in visiting the several forts and depots, you will report such route to this Department, indicating at the same time, the most convenient channel for communicating with you, as it may become necessary, from time to time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.


INDIANOLA, TEX., March 26, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to report my arrival at this place, and to inform you that the troops of the United States are yet in camp at Green Lake, about twenty miles from the coast, awaiting transports to remove them. They are ignorant yet of their destination. I have seen but two of the officers , Maj. E. K. Smith and Lieut. Thornton Washington. The former has resigned, and is on his way to Montgomery to offer his services to the Southern Confederacy. Major Smith has always been considered by the Army as one of its leading spirits, and his career in Mexico and subsequently won for him from the Government during the {p.615} administration of President Pierce, and when General Davis was Secretary of War, a high appointment in the Second Regiment of Cavalry. He is so well known to the President, however, that it would be superfluous to say anything to call his attention to his merits as an officer. If I have been appointed colonel of Cavalry, as I have heard, it would be very gratifying to me to have him appointed lieutenant-colonel in my regiment.

Lieut. T. Washington has tendered his resignation, and has written to you by Major Smith, offering his services to the Southern Army. He was aide-de-camp to General Twiggs until the general left Texas, and was the adjutant of his regiment. He was also for a while the acting assistant adjutant-general at department headquarters. These positions, assigned him by his superior officers will speak more in his behalf than anything I can say. He desires an appointment in the Quartermaster’s Department or Adjutant-General’s Department. He is well qualified to fill either station.

I think I shall have no difficulty in securing many of the troops and officers. I leave in a few minutes for the Green Lake camp. The Army, I am told by Major Smith, is strongly for the South, and he has no doubt but that the troops would all like to go with us if they had the opportunity.

Very respectfully, sir, I am, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Colonel, C. S. Army.


AUSTIN, TEX., March 26, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.:

SIR: On yesterday the Convention adjourned. On Saturday last, 23d instant, the ordinance of ratification was passed-made a finality, with but one dissenting vote.

I would draw your particular attention to the state of the former U. S. Army within this State. An impression had grown up before my arrival that the rank and file of the Army was not desired by the President of the Confederate States, and nothing has been done to obtain their services in the Army of the Confederate States. I am satisfied from authentic sources that a large majority of the Second Cavalry could be obtained if the proper officer was here. You are aware, and certainly much better informed than I am, of the effect of discipline and the esprit de corps that exists even among the privates of any regular army. In addition to that, I am sure that our State service can afford no inducements, not only on account of the want of permanency, but really the want of respect and antagonism they feel to militia, volunteers, and uneducated officers. In addition, they feel some mortification as to their capitulation and the terms by which they feel they are expelled by State force from our territory.

I feel satisfied if Colonel Van Dorn was here holding the command, even though the necessities or requirements of the service might demand his removal within a short period, he could obtain the best men in the United States service. I would earnestly urge his being sent here immediately. They are now collecting in large numbers, and recruiting depots established at convenient points, each recruiting officer being of the former U. S. Army, and when obtainable attached to the Second Cavalry. Besides obtaining the flower of the old Army and weakening the power of our enemies, we save an enormous expense, and obtain the {p.616} best body of troops for our service. I hope this will have your most favorable consideration. In addition, there is a vast amount of arms, ammunition, transportation, horses, mules, &c., that require immediate attention.

I will further state that Maj. G. Tom Howard will furnish subsistence upon your desire for the horses and men until a definite contract can be made.

Permit me to call your attention to the application of George Fairfax Gray, who has been our State engineer since he resigned his commission in the U. S. Navy. His abilities, scientific attainments, and great experience in the management of heavy ordnance would commend him to your consideration with great force for immediate service.

Our State is gliding on quietly under the administration of Governor Clark. General Houston, since he was deposed, has sunk quietly beneath the waters and left not a ripple upon the surface.

Yours, respectfully,



Q. M. GENERAL’S OFFICE OF THE STATE, OF TEXAS, San Antonio, Tex., March 28, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Confederate States of America

SIR: As one of the commissioners for securing the property of the late U. S. Government, and also as quartermaster and commissary general of the State, I have taken the liberty of addressing you informally with reference to the property, and also with regard to the estimates for the two regiments which are being called into service in this State. Inclosed you will find an enumeration of the most important items taken from the late Government.*

I regard it as a matter of great importance that this property should be turned over to the Government of the Confederate States at as early a date as possible. I have just seen Hon. Thomas J. Devine, commissioner and prominent member of the Convention, who informs me that the Convention would have turned over the property to the Government had they not been so pressed for time. The Convention has adjourned. The legislature is in session, and I have no doubt that they would act promptly upon suggestions of President Davis in reference to this matter.

It is essentially necessary that we should have a commanding officer in this department at as early a date as possible. Colonel Maclin (formerly a paymaster, U. S. service, and now adjutant and inspector general and chief of ordnance of the State) has been performing the duties of commanding officer here. In a few days the companies which are to form the regiments authorized by the State and Confederate States will be concentrating here. You will, therefore, see the necessity of having a commanding officer here to organize and station the two regiments.

Inclosed you will find a rough estimate to enable the quartermaster and commissary to supply the two regiments for three months. I have taken Fort Lancaster as a mean distance of the various posts formerly occupied by U. S. troops, and made my estimates for that distance.* The estimates would be much less for the next three months.

Owing to the immense amount of transportation taken to remove the {p.617} Federal troops, and the scarcity of grass, the mules have been greatly reduced. It will require the greatest care to have them in condition to place the two regiments at their various posts. I will remark that the State has never furnished one dollar to carry on the expenses of this whole business. I seized some thirty thousand dollars belonging to the Pay Department. There were debts due from this money, amounting to about sixteen thousand dollars. I will have on hand about ten thousand dollars at, the end of this month, after paying the above debts and the necessary expenses.

I will remark that, by contracting for the transportation of supplies at the present contract prices, we can reduce transportation expenses for two regiments at least thirty thousand dollars per annum. Such was the estimate of Captain McLean, of the U. S. Army, and quartermaster at this place.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. N. LUCKETT, Quartermaster and Commissary General, Texas.

* Not found.


SALURIA, March 30, 1861.

J. H. REAGAN, Postmaster-General, C. S.:

DEAR SIR: I returned here late yesterday evening from Powderhorn. Colonel Van Dorn has not succeeded in engaging many of the officers or soldiers to join the Army of the Confederate States.

There are some five hundred soldiers assembled here, and two men-of-war and five sea-steamer transport vessels lying outside our bar to receive the troops here and as they arrive, and the Fashion is chartered by Captain King to remain here and lighter the men to the sea vessels. I very much fear the plan of Lincoln is to delay delivering up Fort Sumter until the whole Texas Army can be concentrated for an attack on Pensacola, and by a brilliant stroke arouse Northern enthusiasm in favor of coercion.

I shall start to Austin to-day to petition the legislature to give State aid to establish a line of steamships to run on the Gulf.

Ought not President Davis to give immediate orders that all the steamships in the Gulf should be seized at the parts where they may be found upon the first spark of war?

Our towns are entirely undefended, and those now carrying the mails are at the mercy of an enemy having steamers that can cross our bars. Morgan and Harris are both at Powderhorn.

Yours, in haste,



CITY OF AUSTIN, TEX., March 30, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War of the Confederate States:

SIR: My brother, Maj. Ben. McCulloch, to whom your order to raise a volunteer regiment for the protection of the Texas frontier was sent, has transferred it to me, and I am now raising the troops under it, and will have them in the field with as little delay as possible.

I have just returned from my command under the authority of the State on the northwestern frontier, where I have five companies actively engaged in its defense, three of whom will be mustered into the service of the Confederate States, and will not leave their posts for a day. These Companies being on that portion of the frontier from Red River to the {p.618} Colorado, and having a partial personal knowledge of that entire, region of country from the Red River to the Rio Grande at Fort Duncan, and it being fully as much territory as my command can conveniently protect, I respectfully ask to be assigned to that service, leaving the Rio Grande, including El Paso, to be protected by Colonel Ford, of the State troops. I also desire to be permitted to use some of the friendly Indians in the Indian Territory, if I can procure their services, in my scouting parties and expeditions against the hostile Indians. These people can be made of great service to us, and can be used without any great expense to the Government.

Permit me to suggest the necessity of adopting the State regiment under Colonel Ford into the service of the Confederate States, and the appointment or designation of a general officer to the command of this department, with the remark that the commanding officers of the regiments are now in the active duties of the field.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,



MONTGOMERY, ALA., March 30, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: Feeling it incumbent on us as a duty to our constituents, we take the liberty of calling your attention to the condition of the frontier of Texas, and making some suggestions which we deem worthy of consideration in providing for its defense.

Our frontier may be divided into three sections, each presenting its peculiar aspect. First, that portion bounded by the Rio Grande, from the mouth of that river to New Mexico; second, the frontier settlements in the State from Preston, Red River, to the Rio Grande; and, third, the northern boundary of the State on Red River, from the southwest corner of Arkansas up to Preston.

The first section is between one thousand and fifteen hundred miles in length, and is the boundary line between Texas and Mexico. Upon this line there should be, as we conceive, permanent military posts, occupied by troops of the Regular Army, of sufficient force to preserve good order on the line and prevent lawless incursions across it. The upper settlements on this line are exposed to Indian depredations from the wild tribes of the plains and from Mexico. To guard against that danger a cavalry force should be added to that service.

The second section or line of frontier settlements from the Red River to the Rio Grande is one of great difficulty. This line is from six hundred to one thousand miles long. For the last ten years the settlements have extended westward about fifteen miles annually. From one end of this line to the other the settlements are exposed to the depredations of the wild tribes of the plains. These Indians make their incursions in small parties, stealthily, and generally in the night, stealing large droves of horses and killing other stock. Families exposed and unprotected are murdered; individuals are chased, and frequently overtaken and murdered. These Indians are perfect horsemen, always move with great rapidity, and are never overtaken unless the pursuit is instantaneous. If preparation is necessary before starting after their trail is discovered, the pursuit had as well be abandoned. They always avoid a conflict with a force of anything like equal numbers, and upon finding themselves pursued, scatter in all directions and conceal themselves.

You will readily perceive that a particular character of troops is {p.619} necessary to guard our frontier against the incursions of such an enemy. They must be brave, good horsemen, acquainted with the country, and able to perform the most fatiguing service. They must be acquainted with the character and habits of the Indians, and always ready to mount the saddle and start in the pursuit the moment the trail of the enemy is discovered. The volunteer rangers of Texas possess an these requisites, and are better qualified for this service than any others whatever.

Permanent military posts on this line are wholly useless. The troops should be kept constantly moving and on the lookout for the enemy. They should range the whole of this line of frontier in small detachments, arranged in such a manner that a rapid concentration could be effected whenever necessary. Detachments of sufficient strength should be frequently sent high up the country to hunt out the Indians. We believe that this is the only mode in which this section of our frontier can be successfully defended against depredations.

On the third section no defenses are necessary, as our neighbors on that line are the highly-civilized and agricultural tribes of Choctaws, and Chickasaws, who are in friendship with Texas and the Confederate States.

The people on this second section have for years been terribly exposed to the depredations of the Indians. Numerous families and individuals have been murdered, and thousands of dollars’ worth of property have been stolen and destroyed. The Government of the United States has not afforded anything like adequate protection. It is true that gallant officers and men have been stationed on the frontier, but they were entirely unable either to guard the country or follow up the Indians and chastise them. For such service regular infantry are wholly useless. In some instances the cavalry stationed on the frontier have met the Indians and chastised them. The destruction of life and property has been so great as almost to depopulate portions of the frontier, causing hundreds of families to abandon their homes.

The inattention of the United States Government for the last three or four years to the exposed condition of this portion of our people forced the State government to take charge of the matter and expend an enormous sum of money in giving that protection which it was the duty of the Federal Government to afford. At this time the attention of the State authorities is especially directed to the subject. In consequence of the withdrawal of the United States troops the Indians have presented themselves in considerable bodies at various points. To guard against them the legislature of the State, now in session, has provided for the raising of a regiment of mounted riflemen of one thousand men, to be enrolled for one year, unless sooner discharged, to be put into the service at once. The officers and men are to furnish their own clothing, horses, &c. The State is to arm and equip the officers and men, who are to receive the same pay as allowed in the Confederate States. Should the Confederate States receive the regiment as a part of their military force, it is to be subject to their orders and laws.

As the defense of the frontier belongs properly to the General Government, we respectfully suggest the propriety of receiving the regiment above referred to into the service as a part of the volunteer force allowed to be raised. We believe the force necessary, in addition to the regiment already ordered to be raised in Texas. The representatives Of the people of Texas in the convention and legislature have declared it necessary by their action in ordering it to be raised. The acceptance of the {p.620} regiment by the Confederate States will give peace and quiet to the frontier, and inspire the confidence of the people in the Government.

We can assure you that nothing contributed more to destroy the bonds of affection which bound the people of Texas to the United States than the fatal disregard of the dangers to which they were exposed to the Indians, and the reckless denial of adequate protection. The people had a right to expect ample protection. It was a part of the bond of annexation as well as a duty without any express stipulation. Our people are not mercenary. Their calls for protection were misunderstood. They were forced by the Federal Government to protect themselves, while they were annually sending off $20,000,000 of exports upon which imports were returned to Northern ports, and upon which revenues were collected and distributed amongst hungry jobbers and speculators rather than expended for the protection of the people.

We have taken the liberty of making the foregoing suggestions for your consideration in providing such a system of defense as the condition of the frontier requires.

We are, respectfully, your obedient servants,



WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 1, 1861.

Hon. JOHN HEMPHILL and W. S. OLDHAM, of Texas, Montgomery, Ala.:

GENTLEMEN: The general subject of your letter of the 30th ultimo has specially occupied the attention of this Department almost from its organization, and your ample and precise statements increase the solicitude with which the Government has steadily regarded the exposed condition of the frontier of Texas. In evidence of the watchful interest with which the Department has viewed the subject, it is proper to state that as early as the 9th of last month (March) a special messenger was dispatched to the State of Texas bearing authority to one of her citizens to raise a regiment of mounted riflemen for the protection of the frontier, and although Do official information has yet been received, it is hoped that the regiment is in rapid process of formation.

Again, an officer of the Confederate Army has been detailed, and is now in Texas, with orders to muster into the service of this Government, if it can be done, the troops of the United States recently stationed there, and another has been sent to Saint Louis to intercept such as may return through Kansas from New Mexico. It is thought that in this way a regiment of these troops may be raised, and when so raised it is the purpose, of the Department to send them to the Rio Grande.

In conclusion, gentlemen, I repeat the assurance that this Department will exert all its energies and exhaust all the means at its command to secure the citizens of Texas against Indian and other depredations. It has so far acted fully up to the measure of its ability, and as its capacity and resources are increased it will continue to augment and perfect the system of frontier defense.

With high consideration, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.



EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Austin, Tex., April 4, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States:

SIR: This communication will be handed to you by General J. H. Rogers, who goes to your Government as the accredited agent of Texas, He is fully authorized for the purposes of his mission, which are to negotiate for the reception into the service of the Confederate States Of the regiment of cavalry recently raised by Texas.

This regiment was authorized by an ordinance of the Convention of Texas for the purpose of defending our suffering frontier from the depredations of hostile Indians and the possible invasion of Mexican guerrillas. The provision was made during our transition state, before we had a right to expect the protection of your Government, and before you could have afforded us any security. It was an act of immediate, imperative necessity. Having 1,700 miles of frontier, with the ungoverned Mexicans on the west, who bear no love to us, and the Indians on the north and west, who are our perpetual foes, we were forced to take some steps for immediate protection. Now, however, that we are under the guardianship of the Government of the Confederate States it is right that the defense of our frontier (which is its frontier) should not be assumed by this State, but should be sustained by that Government upon which devolves the military defense of the entire country.

It is more than probable that an effort will soon be made by the submission party of this State, with General Winston at its head, to convert Texas into an independent republic, and one of the most effective arguments will be that the Confederate States have supplied the place of the 2,800 United States troops formerly upon our frontier with only a single regiment, and that Texas has at her own cost been forced to bring another regiment into the field, and to bear the burden of its maintenance The people of this State have been positively assured that their protection would be far more perfect under the Government of the Confederate States than it was under that of the old United States, and upon this assurance they now rely. Hence I cannot too urgently press upon you the policy and equity of accepting the regiment of mounted volunteers which Texas has ordered out. Our protection properly devolves upon you, and if we receive it, Texas will not only be secured against a spirit of dissatisfaction and dissension with the Confederate States, but there, will be given an eternal quietus to that spirit of opposition which is always grumbling in our midst.

Our situation in detail will be unfolded to you by General Rogers, who was one of the committee on public safety, and has familiarized himself with all the facts.

Very respectfully,



WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 11, 1861.

HOD. JOHN HEMPHILL, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: Resuming the general subject in part discussed in my letter of the 1st instant to Hon. W. S. Oldham and yourself-I mean the frontier defense of Texas-I have the honor to submit to you the following views and propositions:

The Department has considered the question of the military necessities of Texas with the deliberation its importance demanded, and hold {p.622} ing that the settlers of the frontier of that State are entitled to the most, favorable regard of this Government, it has sought to make its action conform to their wishes as well as to their pressing needs. In proof of this disposition of the Government I need hardly remind you of the fact, well known to the authorities of Texas and yourself, that the Department of War, within a very few days after its organization, transmitted orders to Texas by a special agent for the raising as rapidly as possible of a regiment of mounted riflemen for this Government, to be assigned to service on the northwestern and northern frontiers of the State. This at the time was a measure fully commensurate with the ability of the Government, then, as now, charged with duties of the gravest responsibility, involving not only the expenditure of great sums of money, but the far higher consideration of giving protection to such of our cities and their populations (alike entitled with the people of Texas to that protection) as were in the actual presence of the enemy. If I refer to these facts (which have doubtless been fully weighed and nicely appreciated by so close an observer as yourself of public affairs) it is that I may ask your State authorities and yourself to concede to this Department a just allowance for the embarrassments growing out of the importance and the multiplicity of the business which was suddenly devolved upon it when this Government came into power.

The question now specially before the Department is whether, in addition to the regiment ordered to be enlisted for the defense of Texas, a second regiment of mounted men authorized to be raised by the Convention of your State can be received into the service of the Confederate States. The Department has most maturely and with a warm desire to protect fully the interests of Texas and to accommodate itself to local ideas of the necessities of the case considered this question, and it has arrived at the conclusion that the vast expense of maintaining mounted troops on your border ought (for the present and until a smaller force shall have been demonstrated to be insufficient) to prevent the acceptance by the Department of a second mounted regiment; but at the same time it is deemed expedient to receive this second regiment into the service, if the State should acquiesce, as a regiment of infantry, to be assigned to the defense of the line of the Rio Grande. The orders necessary to carry this determination into effect, if it be agreeable to the authorities of Texas, will be immediately issued.

While the character of the war, if it can be called so, on your borders continues merely predatory and incursional, and carried on only by roving tribes of Indians, it is believed by the Department that quite effectual protection can be secured to the settlers by a regiment of mounted riflemen, which, upon occasion, may be divided and subdivided, as the necessity for aiding different points may appear. Together with a regiment of infantry for the Rio Grande, subject to the same disposition, it ought to avail at least for all except very extraordinary demands.

The excessive cost of transportation, forage, &c., in the frontier service, especially for cavalry, furnishes just reason why this Government should only on demonstration of its necessity incur addition to the enormous expense of two regiments so situated.; but I beg to assure the authorities of Texas and yourself that when that necessity shall have proved itself, this Government will, at whatever cost, place on your exposed lines whatever force and of whatever description the exigency may require.

With great consideration I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER , Secretary of War.



WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 11, 1861.

His Excellency EDWARD CLARK, Governor of Texas:

SIR: Col. Earl Van Dorn proceeds to Texas, under instructions from this Department, authorized to call into the service of the Confederate States such portion of the volunteers or militia of Texas as may be deemed necessary to the execution of his orders. It is hoped that this action of the War Department will meet the approbation and cooperation of your excellency.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.



Col. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. Army, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: The Secretary of War directs that you repair to Texas with the least practicable delay, and there assume command. You are charged with the important duty of making the necessary arrangements to intercept and prevent the movement of the United States troops from the State of Texas, and for this purpose you are authorized to call into service such amount of volunteer force from Texas as may be necessary, in your judgment, to accomplish that object. The whole of the United States force, both officers and men, must be regarded as prisoners of war. Such of the men as may be disposed to join the Confederate States Army you are authorized to take into service; those not so inclined must be held as prisoners of war, at such place as may be judged to be most safe. The commissioned officers may be released on parole, and in special cases, of which you must judge, the men may be released on oath not to serve against the Confederate States.

The above instructions are given under the circumstances that hostility exists between the United States and Confederate States.

By direction of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.



Col. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. Infantry, Austin, Tex.:

SIR: The following communication has been submitted to the Department of War by Hon. J. H. Reagan, Postmaster-General:

INDIANOLA, April 9, 1861.


DEAR SIR: In stirring times like these I deem it proper to advise you of the state of things here. The Mohawk, the Empire City, and the Crusader-I believe those to be the names of war vessels and sea transports lying at Saluria this morning. The Fashion chartered by the United States Government, brought in about 12 o’clock to-day stores from the Empire City. There are nine companies concentrated here and at Green Lake, about twenty miles distant, for embarkation, mostly here. There is a strong wind blowing, which will prevent, till it ceases, their embarkation, and has already delayed it four days.

The Arizona is at Brazos with three hundred troops, which were embarked three days since for this place to join the troops here, but she is yet detained outside the bar by heavy weather. {p.624} There are yet seven companies hastening to the coast from the upper posts for embarkation here.

Our last advices are warlike, and it may be important for President Davis to be informed of these facts, and I accordingly write this by steamer just leaving, it being now 1 p.m. The wind is high, and likely to render embarkation impossible for several days.

Yours, very truly,


You are hereby instructed to give the orders heretofore received by you a liberal construction, and to arrest and seize all troops and stores of the United States, in transitu or otherwise, wherever found in the State of Texas, and to use for that purpose all the means of this Government which you can make available in said State.

This communication will be borne by Lieutenant Major, who is specially detailed to bear dispatches to Texas.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector Genera&


WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 15, 1861.

His Excellency Governor CLARK:

SIR: This Department has been duly informed by its authorized agents in Texas, through letters bearing date the 5th and 6th of April, of the seizure of a train of wagons, under charge of I. Francis Davis, loaded with supplies for the troops of the United States in New Mexico, purchased in part by Pierce & Bacon, of Boston, Mass., for William S. Grant, of Tucson, N. M. I have to thank your excellency for your judicious and prompt action in this business. Whether the goods so seized be paid for or not by the Government at Washington does not alter the case under the state of war existing between this Government and that at Washington. They are goods for provisioning the forces of the enemy, and are contraband of war. You will therefore oblige me by duly transferring this property to either one of the agents of this Department now acting in Texas, to wit: Major Maclin, acting quartermaster, Captain Muihr, and H. P. Brewster, general agents, either one of whom is fully authorized to act in the premises.

Orders have been sent to our proper officers in Texas to issue supplies to the troops of the Mounted Rifle Regiment as they are mustered into service.

Your excellency will please receive Lieutenant Major as the special bearer of this dispatch, and accept assurances of the high consideration with which

I have the honor to be,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 16, 1861.

Col. EARL VAN DORN, Commanding in Texas:

COLONEL: The inclosed copy of a note in pencil, from the “News” office at Galveston, comes from a highly respectable and reliable source. It indicates, among other things worthy attention, a change of policy on {p.625} the part of the Government at Washington in respect to the forces of that Government in Texas. It appears that fifteen hundred of these troops are to be concentrated at or near Indianola, and points to the complicity of General Houston in the business. The whole subject is referred to your special consideration, in connection with your previous orders to capture the troops of the United States in Texas.

By authority of the Secretary of War.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,



“NEWS” OFFICE, GALVESTON, Tuesday Morning, April 9, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I write in a hurry by Major Bickley a brother of General Bickley, the head of the K. G. C. The major has had much to do with the working of secession in Western Texas, and can give you a good deal of news. General Austin has returned at his suggestion, as no time is to be lost.

I write to say that in case of hostilities we are totally unprotected here. There are a number of pieces of artillery here, brought from Brazos, but there is no powder, no military organization, no leader, no nothing. All our sea coast, and consequently all our ports and harbors, will be at the mercy of any small vessel of war that may choose to appear off Galveston, Indianola, &c., and dictate such terms as may please her commander. A vessel of war can come within two miles of our island, and we could be shelled without trouble.

Your Government should take instant steps to arm the Texas harbors. A good many people begin to ask why the other ports should be put in defense and those of Texas not. The Convention did nothing for us in this respect, as they thought it the duty of the Confederate Government to provide artillery and engineers and a commanding officer for the State, &c.

You can fancy our position if our trade with New Orleans were stopped suddenly by one of Father Abraham’s war steamers. We should have a military commander for the coast, With power to organize a corps of artillery and engineers; some columbiads, powder, &c. We have several hundred well-drilled men here, but they are not organized, and without that, would be inefficient.

Captain Talbot, of the steamship Mexico, informed us yesterday that be learned the day before from Captain Murray, of the steamship Fashion (chartered by the United States officers to take the United States troops from Indianola to the transport steamships outside), that he had been told suddenly to hold off, as he would not be needed until July. He seemed to think that it was the intention to retain and concentrate the rest of the United States troops in Texas (some fifteen hundred) at or near Indianola.

We have published letters from Brownsville, Austin, and Washington that show it was Houston’s design, in case his late appeal to the people took effect, to call on the United States troops to back him.





EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Austin, Tex., April 17, 1861.


SIR: I have the honor to submit to your consideration the following facts.

On the 3d instant Maj. Thomas G. Rhett, paymaster in the U. S. Army, and lately stationed at El Paso, in Texas, arrived in San Antonio.

Previous to his arrival it had been ascertained that there was in his possession a considerable amount of United States funds at the time that the United States property in Texas was surrendered to this State. According to the construction placed on the stipulations entered into between General Twiggs and the commissioners of the State of Texas, it is held that money is Government property. Therefore, the authorized official of this State, acting in San Antonio, formally demanded of Major Rhett all the public funds under his control. Major Rhett complied with this demand by giving to the agent of this State an order on Judge S. Hart, of El Paso, with whom be had left all the public funds under his control, for all money subject to his (Rhett’s) order. In compliance with an act of the recent legislature, all the property in Texas lately owned by the United States Government is transferred to the Government of the Confederate States. Hence I have given instructions that the money received from Major Rhett remain in its present possession until disposed of by your Government.

I will direct your attention to a single fact in relation to our coast defense. The town of Indianola, at once one of the most important and most exposed of our seaboard towns, has not one piece of ordnance for its defense. There are at Fort Clark, distant more than two hundred miles from the sea coast, several heavy guns, which are utterly useless at that point, and which, if transported to Indianola, would enable its fortification to be rendered quite effectual.

Does not prudence suggest that the Confederate States Government issue the necessary orders for having these guns immediately conveyed to Indianola?

I have the honor to remain, your excellency’s obedient servant,

EDWARD CLARK, Governor of Texas.

I may add that the amount to be received from Major Rhett is probably $20,000.



Capt. J. M. GALT, New Orleans:

Send the following order to Capt. John C. Moore, in, New Orleans:

“Captain Moore, of artillery, will proceed to Galveston and plant batteries for its defense by using the 24-pounders now there and such 32-pounders as may arrive, to be put on truck carriages and hewn-timber platforms behind sand-bag breastworks. Ammunition for the same ordered from Baton Rouge.”

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.




Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Confederate States of America:

SIR: The news by mail this morning indicates clearly that war exists between our Government and that of the United States. The commissioners of Texas agreed with General Twiggs that the United States troops then in Texas might pass out of the State with their arms. At that time war did not exist. Things have changed. There are seven companies of troops still in Texas, and some of them may be now on their way from El Paso to this point. Is it proper and right now to permit them to pass through this portion of the territory of the Confederate States with their arms, embodied as United States troops, when their Government is at war with ours? In a few days more I will have six companies of troops here ready for the field, anxious to render service to their country, and with your permission-yes, without I receive orders to the contrary from your Department-with the lights now before me, think I shall require, them to surrender their arms and disperse. It will be several days before they will be able to reach this place, and it would gratify me much to receive the information by telegraph through New Orleans that I have the consent of the Government to pursue the course I have indicated.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. E. McCULLOCH, Colonel, Commanding.


MONTGOMERY, ALA., April 20, 1861.


SIR: The frontier defenses of Texas geographically divide themselves into the line of the Rio Grande and the line of the western frontier-the first, from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Fort Duncan, some three hundred and fifty miles; the second, from the Rio Grande to Red River, some five hundred miles. Brownsville, Ringgold Barracks, Forts McIntosh and Duncan commanding the lines of communication with Mexico are the important points on the first line of defense. Brownsville and Ringgold are on the direct line of communication with Monterey and Victoria, and would be the base of operations for an enemy operating from Mexico. Fort Duncan, within a radius of forty miles, includes some flourishing Mexican towns, a good corn-producing region, and is on the direct line of communication from Chihuahua to San Antonio.

The line of the Rio Grande is alone exposed to Indian depredations from its upper or northern extremity. The absence of grass renders the subsistence of cavalry on this line extremely difficult, and should the supply of corn from Mexico be intercepted, almost impossible.

The points indicated on the line of the Rio Grande should, therefore, be occupied by infantry and artillery. Regulars or well-disciplined troops should alone be employed, that amicable relations may be maintained with Mexico.

If the line, of the Lower Rio Grande is to be maintained, Fort Brown should be fortified and batteries thrown up at Brazos Santiago and the mouth of the Rio Grande. These works can be of a temporary nature-field works. Besides the artillery companies for the works at Fort Brown and the mouth of the river one regiment of infantry, distributed as follows, should be sufficient for the defense of the line of the Rio Grande:


Two companies at, Duncan, one at McIntosh, two at Ringgold, and five at Fort Brown and the mouth of the river.

In considering the defense of the line of the western frontier of Texas our relations with the civilized Indians north of Red River are of the utmost importance. Numbering some eight thousand rifles, they form a strong barrier on the north, forcing the line of operations of an invading army westward into a region impracticable to the passage of large bodies of troops. Regarding them as our allies, which their natural affinities make them, the line of the western frontier reduces itself to the country between the Rio Grande and Red River.

Two regiments of mounted troops are necessary for the defense of this line. Inge, Verde, Mason, Colorado, and some point near Belknap should be occupied, and the cavalry collected at few points can be more readily concentrated, and will more effectually protect the frontier. One company of infantry should be stationed Red at each of the above points.

The remaining five companies of the regiment can occupy the El Paso road. If our communications with New Mexico are to be preserved, one additional regiment of infantry should occupy Forts Bliss, Quitman, Davis, Stockton, and Hudson.

By the above estimation two regiments of cavalry and three of infantry will be required. It presupposes the line of the Rio Grande and the line of Red River secured by friendly relations with Mexico and the civilized Indians.

These regiments as far as practicable, should be regulars, or called into service for the war, or for a period of service not less than three years. All our experience has shown that volunteers are more expensive than regular troops, and their cost is at an inverse ratio with their term of service.

The regiments, not regular troops called into service should as far as practicable be armed by the Confederate Government, that their arms may be of the same pattern and their supply of ammunition be secured. Their commissariat should be on the same footing with the commissariat of the Confederate troops. No soldiers called into service can find their own supplies and be efficient. They will be found without provisions when a movement is ordered. The two systems will not work together.

In addition to the five regiments called to the frontier, measures should be taken for a thorough organization of the militia of the State, which should be put immediately upon a war footing. The five regiments would constitute a nucleus round which the militia of the State could rally in the event of an invasion.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major, Artillery, C. S. Army.




I. The undersigned hereby assumes command in Texas, having authority to do so by orders from the War Department.

II. During my temporary absence Maj. S. Maclin, C. S. Army, will command the troops in, and in the vicinity of, San Antonio.

EARL VAN DORN, Colonel of Cavalry, C. S. Army, Commanding.



MONTGOMERY, April 26, 1861.

Col. HENRY E. MCCULLOCH, San Antonio, Tex.:

You have the consent of the Department to pursue the course indicated in your letter of the 17th Hold them as prisoners of war.



WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Montgomery, April 27, 1861.

His Excellency EDWARD CLARK, Governor of Texas, &c., Austin:

SIR: The letter of your excellency addressed to the President, and bearing date 17th April, has been referred for answer to this Department. It gives me pleasure to inform you that an officer has been already sent to Indianola with instructions to make examination into the necessary defenses at that point. Colonel Van Dorn will be also instructed in relation to the feasibility of removing the guns from Fort Clark adverted to by you. The moneys of the United States surrendered by Major Rhett, at your command, can be paid over to Major Maclin, of the Confederate service, with instructions to hold for further orders. Before this reaches you General Rogers will, doubtless, have handed you my reply to the subject of his agency.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.



His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Southern Confederacy:

DEAR SIR: At a large meeting held in this city on the 27th instant, the undersigned were appointed a committee on the public safety, thereby being invested with full power and authority to provide means, adopt measures, and to do all things necessary to secure protection for the citizens of this place and its immediate, vicinity. Our exposed posit-ion must be apparent to every one. The city of Corpus Christi being situated on the seaboard, accessible from the ocean by two passes, neither of which have any fortifications or other military defense, are, liable at any time to be entered by the enemy, while, on our rear we are exposed to Indian depredations, besides being threatened with another predatory war by Cortinas. The people here are all united in the great cause of the South. Since the first gun was fired at Fort Sumter, differences of opinion in this city have ceased to exist. Our citizens are all united, and are determined to resist Northern aggressions at all hazards. We are all ready and willing to fight and defend ourselves; but we are destitute of arms and munitions of war. Under these circumstances the undersigned, composing the committee on public safety, have been instructed by the meeting to communicate to the President of the Confederate States our exposed and defenseless condition, and to solicit at the same time such aid in arms and munitions of war as will be necessary to enable, us to protect ourselves until such time as peace may be restored or other military defenses established by the Government. Our citizens are now enrolling themselves into three military companies, viz, artillery, infantry, and cavalry. Now, to {p.630} enable them to be of any permanent service to the country, they must have ordnance, arms, and munitions of war, and these can only be obtained through your Government.

The latest intelligence received here from the West reports that the Black Republicans have landed upon our soil, their object, no doubt, being to recapture all the forts heretofore held by the old United States, and for the purpose of coercing Texas back into the old Union, or they design to encourage the Mexicans to commence a predatory war upon our frontier. Our position is peculiar and critical. We therefore strongly urge that the necessary orders for ordnance, arms, &c. will be immediately issued by your excellency, requiring the same to be forwarded to this place at the earliest opportunity. We have learned that at San Antonio there is an overplus of ordnance and arms, while here we have none, except what can be gathered from private sources. If the Government has no way or mode of transportation, if we receive the orders for artillery and other arms and munitions of war, the citizens of this place will furnish transportation, &c. Your earliest attention to the above will be highly appreciated by your numerous friends in this portion of Texas.

With the greatest respect, we remain yours, &c.,

BENJAMIN F. NEAL, Chairman. OTTO T. NOESSEL et als., Committee on Public Safety.



Col. EARL VAN DORN, Cavalry, C. S. Army, San Antonio, Tex.:

COLONEL: The governor of Texas has, in a communication to the Secretary of War, suggested the importance of defending the harbor of Indianola by the removal of some heavy guns left at Fort Clark, where they are not needed, to the former place. The Secretary of War has informed him that you will be instructed in relation to the feasibility of removing the guns to the place assigned for their use. You will, therefore, give your attention to the subject, and communicate with his Excellency Governor Clark.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.


SAN ANTONIO, TEX., May 2, 1861.

Col. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. Army, Commanding Department of Texas:

COLONEL: Agreeable to my receipt from H. P. Brewster, esq., agent of the Confederate States, to receive the public property lately seized by the authorities of this State from the Government of the United States, I have made, under the instructions of the governor, this reservation: The State regiment commanded by Colonel Ford is to be furnished with camp and garrison equipage, quartermaster’s stores, medical stores, transportation sufficient to place it in the field, and provisions equal to the supplies I turn over. You will see by this arrangement that a {p.631} regiment of State troops will be in the field furnished from the stores and supplies now under your control, but subject to the above-named requisitions.

In order to avoid any conflict in the military command in the State the governor is exceedingly desirous that you should accept the above-named regiment into the service of the Confederate States. It will also avoid all complication of accounts, and give you fall control of all the military stores and provisions lately in the possession of the State.

At one time the Government at Montgomery refused to accept the State regiment. At that time we were at peace. War now exists, and I assure you that from my long experience on the Rio Grande I believe we have every reason to fear that serious raids, similar to the Cortinas raid, will take place, all of which could be prevented by making use of this regiment.

Colonel Ford’s regiment is partly in the field-three companies on the Rio Grande, i. e., Davidson’s, Nolan’s, and Littleton’s; Walker’s and Pyron’s are here, and five more are to rendezvous here on the 10th of the mouth. This regiment was called into service under peculiar political state of affairs. They have entered the service at great inconvenience and sacrifice, and it would be a great hardship were they not continued in service. Under these circumstances, if consistent with your views, I would recommend most earnestly that you receive them into the service of the Confederate States.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

P. N. LUCKETT, Quartermaster and Commissary General, State of Texas.


ORDERS, No. 3.


I. Colonel McCulloch, after putting his cavalry command in readiness for the field (which he will do without unnecessary delay), will march, with ten days’ rations, and take position on the Leon, at or near the crossing of the road from San Antonio to Castroville, and await further orders.

II. Captains Wilcox, Duff, Navarro, Maverick, and Kampman will hold their companies in readiness to march at three hours’ notice, with ten days’ rations, and with baggage reduced to the smallest limit.

III. Captain Edgar will take means at once to put his battery of artillery in readiness for the field, and will then join the command of Colonel McCulloch, on the Leon.

IV. The companies of the State troops, under orders from the governor to report to Colonel Van Dorn, and on the march to San Antonio, will allow no unnecessary delay in reporting at these headquarters. They will receive instructions upon their arrival.

V. The quartermaster will furnish the necessary transportation and camp equipage upon the usual requisitions, to enable the troops to march under the above orders. Each company will be allowed seven tents. The sick will be left in the hospital at San Antonio.

By order of Col. E. Van Dorn:

W. T. MECHLING, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.



HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS. San Antonio, Tex., May 3, 1861.

The colonel commanding the troops in Texas acknowledges with pride the valuable services of the volunteers called out by his orders to arrest the United States troops at Indianola. With short notice they sprang to arms, and joined him at Victoria with a celerity amounting to eagerness, that will ever stand as a proof that the State of Texas has nothing to fear from invasion from any quarter. With the fatigue of forced marches, in night watches, exposure, on the crowded decks of the transports in Lavaca and Matagorda Bays, and scanty provisions, there was no murmur of dissatisfaction and no unwillingness manifested to obey any order. The aged man and the youth without beard, the father and his sons, the heroes of San Jacinto and the rangers who be came veterans in the Mexican war, were seen side by side in the ranks, with faces expressive of that determination to win or die that ever gives assurance of success, and which gave success.

The companies which reported at Victoria on the 23d and 24th of April were

Captain Herbert’s company, Colorado; Captain Scarborough (Davis Guards), De Witt; Captain McDowell, Lockhart.; Captain A. C. Horton, Matagorda; Captain W. R. Friend, De Witt Rifles; Captain Hampton, Victoria; Captain Upton, Colorado; Captain Holt, Fort Bend; Captains Jones an(] Harris, Colonel De Witt’s command, Gonzales; Captain Williams, Lavaca County; Captain Fulkrod, Goliad; Captain Kyle, Rays County; Captain Stapp, Indianola; Captain Searcy, Colorado; Captain Phillips, Lavaca Town; Captain Finlay, Lavaca Town; Captain Pearson, Matagorda; Captain C. S. Olden, Texana; Captain Barkley, Fayette; Captain Gordon, Matagorda County.

In addition to the above, there were many companies who reached Victoria too late to participate, and were turned back without reporting. Nevertheless, they are entitled to all honor for their zeal and patriotism.

The command of Col. H. E. McCulloch, consisting of five companies, of cavalry, under Captains Pitts, Tobin, Ashby, Bogges, and Nelson, and the battery of light artillery, under Captain Edgar, from San Antonio, made extraordinary exertions to reach Victoria on the day specified for the rendezvous, for which the greatest praise is due them, and, although they were not enabled to reach Lavaca in time to participate in the maneuvers on the bay (as the movement was made before the time appointed), they proved that they could be relied upon in any emergency.

The colonel commanding desires also to acknowledge the services of Judge Hawes, of Saluria, who promptly secured two pieces of artillery, unavoidably left on this wharf on the night the Star of the West was seized, and who tendered the hospitalities of his house during the drawing up of the agreements between the commanding officer of the United States troops and the colonel commanding.

Captain Chubb, of the Royal Yacht, from Galveston, did material service in giving facilities of communication between the vessels in the bay, and afterwards in transporting arms and munitions Of war (taken from the United States troops) to Indianola and to Galveston, free of charge, for which he also deserves, and has, the thanks of the colonel commanding.

Messrs. R. A. Howard and T. J. Ward, Captains Bradfute and Mechling, Captain Minter and Lieutenant Major, C. S. Army, acting as staff {p.633} officers, are deserving of the highest praise for their energy and for the efficient aid they rendered during the whole of the operations.

By order of Col. E. Van Dorn:

W. T. MECHLING Captain, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.



Brig. Gen. S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Montgomery, Ala.:

SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose a report of Major Maclin, quartermaster, in regard to the seizure of a train of wagons and subsistence stores intended for the United States troops in Arizona, together with some correspondence, &c., on the same subject, given to me by Colonel Luckett, quartermaster of the State of Texas. I am unable to determine whether or not the wagons and teams should be kept as lawful prizes, and must refer the matter to you for the decision of the Secretary of War. There are dues to the teamsters and other employés belonging to the train. In case the decision should be in favor of retaining the property, the employés should, I presume be paid by the Confederate States Government. The correspondence on the subject and the report of Major Maclin make it unnecessary for me to enter into the details of seizure.

Very respectfully, sir, I remain, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Colonel, Commanding.


SAN ANTONIO, TEX., May 2, 1861.

Col. EARL VAN DORN, C. S. Army, Commanding Troops in Texas:

COLONEL: In obedience to your order, I have the honor to report that on the 20th of last mouth Col. P. N. Luckett, quartermaster-general of the State of Texas, seized, under the order of the governor, a train of forty-one wagons and four hundred and nine oxen. This train was claimed by Mr. Francis Davis, agent of W. S. Grant, as private property. I have no evidence in my possession determining the legal character of the property, but it was admitted by those in charge of the train, as I understand, that the wagons were loaded with subsistence stores for the United States troops, and that the oxen were to be turned over to the commissariat of the U. S. Army in Arizona. It was admitted, therefore, by the agent of W. S. Grant, the contractor, that he was engaged in transporting subsistence stores to our enemies through our own territory. Thus, by necessity and usages of war, the subsistence stores, wagons, and oxen were forfeited to the Confederate States of America. In order, however, that this matter may be properly adjudicated, it is referred to you for your consideration-more especially as to the right to retain the wagons and oxen, as I apprehend the other part of the subject cannot admit of a doubt. I have neglected to state that all this property is now in our possession by order of the governor of the State.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

SACKFIELD MACLIN, Chief Quartermaster, C. S. Army, Texas.



GALVESTON, TEX., May 7, 1861.

Memorandum for Lieut. Col. L. A. Thompson.

The service upon the northern and western frontiers of Texas is needed almost entirely by mounted troops.

There are now in the arsenal at San Antonio some four thousand stand of muskets and rifles, which were taken by Col. Ben. McCulloch from General Twiggs; besides, there are about one thousand stand of the same description of arms in the hands of the citizens of San Antonio belonging to the Government, they having been loaned to the mayor of that city by General Twiggs previous to his surrender.

Colonel Van Dorn has taken from the troops at Indianola upwards of five hundred stand of arms, and he expects to capture some eight hundred stand more from other troops now approaching the coast for embarkation. Of these parcels of arms a large quantity are not suitable for the service needed upon our frontier, therefore they are remaining in store at San Antonio to rust and spoil, unless otherwise appropriated. There are likewise several light batteries of artillery at San Antonio more than are, necessary for service there, and likewise a large amount of transportation material.

The available force embraced in the military command of Galveston amounts to twenty-five hundred men and upwards. Fully fifteen hundred of these men are without arms. The commanding officer of this post has, therefore, thought proper to ask of the Confederate Government at Montgomery a requisition upon the quartermaster or military storekeeper at San Antonio for such arms and munitions as are not needed for the service in the interior and are so much needed at the post of Galveston, together with transportation for the same. Understanding that the same shall be held subject to the order of the Confederate Government and deliverable on call, this request is made in view of the very defenseless condition of this important post unless arms can be procured.

WM. F. AUSTIN, Adjutant and Inspector.



HEADQUARTERS TROOPS IN TEXAS, San Antonio, Tex., May 13, 1861.

It is the pleasing duty of the colonel commanding to thank the volunteer troops of Texas for the valuable services they have again rendered to the Confederate States. Being called upon at short notice to take the field, they responded with that promptness which proved how high is the military spirit of the State, and how ready her people are to seize up arms in defense of her honor and in vindication of their rights. It was not the wish of the volunteers of Texas, however, to fight against those troops of the United States who had been defending their frontiers for years, and who found themselves on their soil in the attitude of enemies only because of political changes which they did nothing to bring about, many of whom had been personally endeared to them by long association and by their gallant deeds (well remembered) as their old comrades in the war with Mexico. With the true spirit of brave men who know how to appreciate a soldier’s honor, they marshaled in such numbers before them that the rugged necessities of war might be accomplished without bloodshed and without the loss of reputation to {p.635} their gallant opponents. There was no exultation over the surrender of the troops of the old Eighth Infantry. This would not be the case were the volunteers of Texas called out, under arms, to contend with an invading force sent against them from the North; far from it. There would then be no regrets, no affection, and no disparity of numbers, and “death to the foe and victory after the fight” would be the object and the aim of every true Texan.

Colonel Van Dorn feels proud of the command the President has assigned him. The troops to whom these commendations are due were H. E. McCulloch’s command, consisting of Captains Pitts’, Tobin’s, Ashby’s, Bogges’, Nelson’s, and Fry’s companies, of McCulloch’s regiment; Captains Pyron’s, Walker’s, and Hardeman’s companies of Ford’s regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Baylor; Captain Edgar’s battery of light artillery; three small detachments of cavalry, under Captain Good, Lieutenants Paul and Dwyer, and a section of artillery under Captain Teel; and Lieutenant-Colonel Duff’s battalion of infantry, consisting of Captains Wilcox’s, Maverick’s, Navarro’s, Kampman’s, and Prescott’s companies, from San Antonio, Maj. John M. Carolan. Colonel Van Dorn is also indebted to the gentlemen who did him the honor to serve on his staff for the occasion: Col. P. N. Luckett, Judge F. Tate, Judge T. J. Devine, General James Willie, Capt. D. D. Shea, Dr. Fretwell, Capt. W. T. Mechling, Messrs. Pit. A. Howard, J. T. Ward, D. E. Tessier, Maj. T. G. Howard, and Dr. H. P. Howard, and especially to Col. J. A. Wilcox, and Capt. J. F. Minter, and Lieut. J. P. Major, C. S. Army, for the happy manner in which they executed their delicate mission to the commanding officer of the United States troops.

By order of Col. Earl Van Dorn:

W. T. MECHLING Captain, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.



Col. EARL VAN DORN, Regiment of Cavalry, Commanding, San Antonio, Tex.:

SIR: The Secretary of War directs that you cause to be sent to Dallas, Tex., with as little delay as practicable, one battery of field artillery of six pieces, including two howitzers, completely equipped, with horses, &c., and a supply of ammunition for the same; also two thousand stand of arms, including Sharp’s carbine and rifle, United States rifles, and Colt’s pistols, with ammunition for the same. These supplies are understood to be in depot at Sail Antonio, and they are to be sent to Dallas in charge of Captain Bradfute, or in his absence some other capable officer of your command. The transportation of these stores, including the horses for the field battery, will be turned over at Dallas to the orders of General McCulloch.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.




Col. EARL VAN DORN, Commanding-Department of Texas, San Antonio, Tex.:

SIR: Your letter of the 10th instant, reporting the capture of ten officers and three hundred and thirty-seven men, consisting of the command of Brevet Colonel Reeve, U. S. Army, has been received and submitted to the Secretary of War. In answer, I am instructed to say that the Department is constrained, under existing state of things, to order that both officers and men of this command be retained in Texas as prisoners of war until further orders or until duly exchanged. All future communications for this office will be directed to Richmond, Va.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.


Main TitleThe War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Corporate NameUnited States. War Department.
Published/Created[S.l.], L.McKee and C.G. Robertson, 1859.
ContentsSer. I. v. 1-53 [serial no. 1-111] Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern states, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, order and returns relating specially thereto. 1880-1898. 111 v.--ser. II. v. 1-8 [serial no. 114-121] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war and to state or political prisoners. 1894 [i.e. 1898]-1899. 8 v.--ser. III. v. 1-5 [serial no. 122-126] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) note relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It embraces the reports of the Secretary of War, of the general-in-chief and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments ... 1899-1900. 5 v.--ser. IV. v. 1-3 [serial no. 127-129] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but including the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series. 1900. 3 v.--[serial no. 130] General index and additions and corrections. Mr. John S. Moodey, indexer. Preface [by Elihu Root, Secretary of War]. Explanations. Synopsis of the contents of volumes. Special index for the principal armies, army corps, military divisions and departments. General index. Additions and corrections [arranged consecutively by volumes]. 1901.