Today in History:

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


Delivery of the First and Public Property and Attempted Withdrawal of the U. S. Troops.


[For Reports, Correspondence, etc., between the Headquarters of the Army and General Twiggs, and other important records relating to this event, not included herein, see Series I, Vol. I, pp. 503-636.]

San Antonio, February 19, 1861. *

Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith the proceedings of a military commission, constituted by virtue of Special Orders, Numbers 20, of this year, from this department, to meet the commissioners on the part of the State of Texas. It will be observed that the meetings of the commissioners were abruptly terminated by the entrance into this city, on the morning of the 16th instant (before day), of an armed body of State troops, numbering over 1,000 men, under Colonel Ben. McCulloch. On that morning I received a summons requiring me "to deliver up all military posts and public property held by or under your control. "It is herewith, marked Numbers 2. I immediately (with Major Nichols) proceeded to my office and found the troops and public property surrounded by the Texans. After a conversation with the commissioners, in presence of all my staff and the officers of the post, it was agreed that the U. S. troops should march out of the city, taking with them their arms, clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and all the necessaries for a march out of Texas.

On the 17th instant I received another summons from the commissioners (copy herewith, marked Numbers 3), to which I replied under the same date, a copy of which is herewith, marked Numbers 4. The commissioners replied to this (copy herewith, Numbers 5), stating the conditions of the march out of Texas (see letter referred to in the proceedings of the commission) and demanding the surrender of the guns of the light batteries, a demand to which I could not accede. The commissioners were instructed to demand that the route of the troops should be by way of the coast. I objected to this strongly until I found that unless I yielded that point there would be immediate collision, and deeming it probable that by yielding this I could save the guns of the light batteries, I reluctantly did so. (See my letter of the 18th instant, marked Numbers 6, addressed to that body.) The commissioners in reply (copy herewith Numbers 7) accepted my conditions. I hat whilst the commissioners were in session the State troops were in rapid march upon the city of San Antonio. General Orders, Numbers 5 (herewith Numbers 8) will inform you of the disposition of the troops. A copy of the circular of the commissioners is also herewith, Numbers 9.

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


Bvt. Major General, U. S. Army, Commanding the Department of Texas.


*This report with its inclosures was transmitted to Washington February 26, 1861, by special messenger. See Special Orders, Numbers 34, p. 8.