Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE TWIGGS SURRENDER.
EARLY in December, 1860, a rumor reached San Antonio, Texas, that Captain John R. Baylor, well known throughout the State, was organizing a company of one thousand men for a buffalo-hunt.* As Captain Baylor's secession sentiments were well known, this was believed to be a mere pretense, and his read design to be to surprise and seize the arsenal in San Antonio, in time to prevent any resistance on the part of the Union States, should Texas go out of the Union. The Union citizens, alarmed lest the few soldiers stationed there should prove insufficient, appealed to General David E. Twiggs, then commanding the Department of Texas, to increase the force. He accordingly furnished several hundred men, consisting of Knights of the Golden Circle (a secret secession organization), the Alamo Rifles, two other citizen companies, and an Irish and a German company. This quieted apprehension for a time, but in January these troops were quietly withdrawn. At this time General Twigg's loyalty to the United States Government began to be questioned, as he was known to be often in consultation with prominent secessionists, some of them ladies. Toward the end of January the Union men again appealed to General Twiggs, but nothing was accomplished, whereupon they armed themselves, waiting with undefined dread for the next move. Meanwhile no one trusted his neighbor, since spies and informers abounded, and to add to the terror, there were fears of insurrection among the negroes, some of whom were arrested; while all of them were forbidden to walk or talk together on the streets, or to assemble as they had been accustomed to do.
Late in January was held the election for delegates to a State convention which should consider the question of secession.
San Antonio was crowded. Women vied with each other in distributing the little yellow ballots, on which were printed in large
type, "For Secession," or "Against Secession." Many an ignorant Mexican received instructions that the ballot "with the longest
words" was the right one. The carteros from New Mexico, who were in town with their wagon-trains, were brought by the
secessionists, and some were known to have voted three times. It was well known that the Federal civil officers were loyal;
the French and German citizens were emphatically so; and