No. 7. Reports of Colonel C. A. Waite, First U. S. Infantry, of events from February 19 to April 23, 1861.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS,
San Antonio, February 26, 1861.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with Special Orders No. 22, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, January 28, 1861, I assumed command of the Department of Texas on the 19th instant.
I send herewith, by Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel D. T. Chanler, U. S. Army, a communication, dated the 19th instant, of Brevet Major-General Twigs, giving a full account of the forcible entry into and occupation of this city by the troops of this State, on the 16th instant, together with the proceedings of the military commission therein referred to, and the papers connected with it.*
On my arrival in San Antonio, I found the city filled with armed men. The public property, including the funds in the hands of Captain Reynolds, assistant quartermaster - some ten thousand dollars - had been seized by an armed force under Colonel General McCuloch, who was acting under the authority of the People of Texas, and that General Twigs had already entered into an agreement with said commissioners,in which he stipulated that all the posts should be evacuated, the pubic property surrendered to the State authorities, and threat the troops should leave Texas by way of the coast. An order for the evacuation of the posts was immediately issued by General Twigs. The moment the secession movement commenced, the people of Texas became much excited on that subject, and immediately after the passage of the secession ordinance, several large bodies of Texans were collected and threatened an attack upon some of our posts. Their main object appeared to be the public property. No one at a distance can form a correct idea of the state of public feeling. There is strong feeling against the General Government, and the Army, being the representative of its power, shares that dislike.
The troops in this department are stationed at different camps or posts in small garrisons, and speed over a very large extent of country. To concentrate a sufficient number to make a successful resistance, after the Texans had taken the field, was not practicable. Besides, we had no large depot of provisions to move upon, and the means of transportation at the posts were so limited that the troops could have taken with them a supply for only a few days. An attempt to bring them together under these circumstances would have, no doubt, resulted in their being cut up in detail before they could get cut of the country. Under these circumstances, I felt it my duty to comply with the agreement entered into by General Twigs, and remove the troops from the, country as early as possible. With this view, arrangements are being made to bring the troops to the boast in time ot meet the transports, if possible. Under this date I have made the necessary requisition for transports, and have indicated the points of embarkation and the number of the troops. The commissioners of this State will communicate with the government of Louisiana, and will endeavor to get such authority as will permit the troops, if necessary, to go up the Mississippi River. If such authority is granted, Colonel Candler will be advised of it, and will give you the necessary information.
*See Twigs to Thomas, February 19, 1861, pp.503-516.