Today in History:

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


rendered, on the 18th of February, 1861, on the demand of the authorities of Texas, the military posts and other property of the United States in his department and under his charge.


Secretary of War.

By order of the Secretary of War:



San Antonio Barracks, Tex., March 1, 1861.


Headquarters Department of Texas, San Antonio, Tex.

SIR: Pursuant to the orders of the commander of the department, I have the honor to submit the following report of the taking possession of the public property in San Antonio on the morning of the 16th ultimo:

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I had ordered that our men should not leave their quarters, but should be prepared to resist any attempt to take their arms; and between 9 and 10 o'clock, wishing to relieve them from this constraint, and to avoid any chance of accidental collision, I proposed to move the command into camp at a convenient distance from town. The commissioners objected to this arrangement unless I would assure them that I would not move from the camp except to leave Texas by the coast. I told them I could give no such assurance without the consent of the general commanding, as I might be otherwise ordered. After some discussion of the feasibility of the plan of the troops going out by Indianola and up the Mississippi, with the approbation of General Twiggs, who was present, I gave the assurance asked for, and immediately issued the necessary orders for the companies to go into camp. The headquarters of the post and Eighth Infantry and band of the Eighth remain in town.

As required by the colonel commanding the department the reports of Major Smith and Captain King are submitted herewith.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel Eighth Infantry, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

CAMP SAN PEDRO, TEX., February 23, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM HOFFMAN,

Eighth Infantry, Commanding San Antonio Barracks.

COLONEL: In compliance with instructions that I should report such information as I possess on the subject of the events which transpired in San Antonio on the 16th instant, I have the honor to state as follows:

For several days previous to the 16th there were many rumors of the formation of forces to take possession of the public property at the depots. They were not generally credited until the 14th, when more reliable information was received that a strong force of citizens was collecting from the counties to the east and northeast. This was confirmed on the 15th, and it was generally understood that several hundred men would enter the city the next morning. The orders given to the guard were that they should not resist a large organized force, but