Believing that a proper construction of the agreement referred to will not authorize the retention of the funds lately in the possession of Captain Reynolds, and seized prior to the agreement between the commissioners and General Twigs, I have to require that they may be returned to him immediately.
I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. A. WAITE,
Colonel, Commanding Department.
Messrs. T. J. DEVINE,
P. N. LUCKETT,
S. A. MAVERICK,
Commissioners on behalf of Committee of Public Safety.
SAN ANTONIO, February 22, 1861.
SIR: We are in receipt of your communication of the 21st instant, in which you state that "the funds placed in the hands of Captain Reynolds, assistant quartermaster, and pertaining to his department, have been seized by an armed body of Texans, and are no longer in his possession." You likewise state that the commissioners "formally and solemnly agreed with Bvt. Major General David E. Twigs, commanding the Department of Texas," that "the necessary nears for regular and comfortable movement, provisions, tents, &c., and transportation," shall be allowed the troops, and that "the public property at the various posts, other than that above recited," shall be turned over to agents, &c. You further state: "The words
'public property' do not include money, and certainly not money in the hands of disbursing officers," &c. You likewise state that "a proper construction of the agreement referred to will not authorize the retention of the hands lately in the possession of Captain Reynolds, and seized prior to the agreement between the commissioners and General Twigs," and "I (you) have to require that they may be returned to him immediately."
In reply to that portion of your communication referring to our agreement with General Twigs, for the comfortable movement of the troops, &c., we have to remark that our actions with reference to the movement of the troops will attest our villingness to perform our part of the agreement, and we are now, as we have been heretofore, ready and willing to carry it out according to the letter and the spirit of the engagement.
With reference to that portion of your communication relating to the words "public property, not including money," &c., we heave to say that if the word "money" was not used in our last communication to General Twigs, it was simply owing to the fact that our communication of a previous date, as well as our original demand on General Twigs, contained that word and its equivalents. That communication in which we agreed to the terms of the note of the 18th instant, in which General Twigs claimed the retention of two batteries of Light Artillery, refers to our previous communications, in which we claimed all public property, and the reason is apparent. We claim no interest in or desire to meddle with private property; but we do now, as we have heretofore done, claim as public property all money belonging to or held for the benefit of the Federal Government.
Again, if it were necessary to show that nothing was withdrawn by the undersigned from their original and repeated demands, or understood to have been withdrawn on our part by General Twigs, it will be found in the demands made by that officer and several others for transportation,