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46 Series II Volume I- Serial 114 - Prisoners of War

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Page 46 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

lic street. As Colonel Waite was passing into the custody of the guard, Major Sprague said to Captain Wilcox, "Do you consider me as one?" "Yes," he replied; "come along. " "Then," said Major Sprague, "I concur fully in every word uttered by Colonel Waite in regard to this outrage. "

Major Sprague then joined Colonel Waite, and proceeded amid a crowd of boys. Arriving at the buildings where the public offices are, the command halted, and Captain Wilcox ordered the other officers, viz, Major W. A. Nichols, assistant adjutant-general of department; Major Daniel McClure, Pay Department; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, Third Infantry; Captain K. Garrard, Second Cavalry; Dr. E. H. Abadie, Medical Department; Dr. Joseph R. Smith, Medical Department; Dr. E. P. Langworthy, Medical Department; Captain A. T. Lee, Eighth Infantry; Lieutenant E. L. Hartz, Eighth Infantry; Lieutenant E. W. H. Read, Eighth Infantry; and Captain R. M. Potter, military storekeeper, who had been previously arrested, and were within the building in charge of a sentinel, to proceed. The officers in a body, under the guard, proceeded to the office of Major Maclin. After a few moments' silence Major Maclin said:

"Colonel Waite, it becomes my duty to arrest you and the other officers as prisoners of war. "

"By what authority, sir?"

"That is my business, sir, not yours," responded Major Maclin.

"But," said Colonel Waite, "I should like to know by what power I am deprived of my personal rights. "

"I have the power from the President of the Confederate States," answered Major Maclin.

"Such authority I do not know, nor shall I obey it," said Colonel Waite. "Have I or my officers committed any offense? did we not come here as friends, and have we not been such to all the interests of Texas? More than that, is there not an agreement with the Texas commissioners, guaranteeing to the men and officers - my entire command - to go out of Texas unmolested? That, sir, has been carried out faithfully on our part, in every respect. By what right am I to be restricted of my liberty? and by what authority am I and my officers made prisoners of war? I protest against it. "

"There is no use of protesting," said Major Maclin. "I do not wish to hear any protest; it is unnecessary. I have my orders. "

"But I will protest," replied Colonel Waite. "In the name of my Government, I protest. I denounce it as an act of unwarranted usurpation, and against the custom of war, and in violation of my personal rights. I suppose you intend to regard the rights and customs of civilization. I know no war. We have been acting as friends. We are not here in a hostile attitude. We came into the country as friends, and are going out as such. "

"Yes," responded Major Maclin; "I have my duty to perform, and shall do it. "

"I repeat," said Colonel Waite, "it is gross, unheard-of, unwarranted, and treacherous. Nothing but the presence of a force requires me to listen to such measures, much more obey them. Had I the means it would be quite different. I would resist until death. "

"I am aware of that," answered Major Maclin. "I have as much confidence in the courage of your officers as you have. "

"What do you propose?" inquired Colonel Waite. "I am obliged to consider myself a prisoner, and should like to know the future. "


Page 46 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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