War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0528 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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[Inclosure C.]


San Antonio, February 25, 1861.

GENTLEMEN: I have already acknowledged the receipt of your letter of the 22nd instant, and the pressure of my public duties must be my apology for not answering it at an earlier date.

In regard to the five questions proposed in your communication, and your request that the "various disbursing officers or heads of departments be required to furnish you with answers, 'certified to' by them 'on honor,'" I have to state that I have no power to compel a compliance with your wishes. An order of that kind would be illegal, and they would not be bound to obey it. As regards myself, it I were to issue an order that would endanger the public funds, or cause a disposition of them not sanctioned by law, I should place my commission in jeopardy and render myself liable for the amounts involved.

In relation to the payment of the claims against the United States, i would remark that the disbursing offices by whom the debts were contracted are the proper persons to pay them, as they alone can know the amounts actually due.

I will here repeat, what I have more fully stated in a former communication, that I cannot recognize the right of Texas to claim any portion of the funds in the hands of the disbursing officers. In this view of the case I am confirmed by the most positive assurance of General Twigs that he had not at any time or in any way consented to the transfer of the public funds to the State of Texas.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Department.

Messrs. T. J. DEVINE,



Commissioners on behalf of the Committee of Public Safety.

[Inclosure C1.]



San Antonio, March 1, 1861.

MAJOR: On the 26th ultimo I had the honor to report, verbally, to the colonel commanding the department that I, with my clerks and messenger, had been summarily effected, by order of the Texas commissioners, from the room occupied by me as the office of the chief quartermaster of the Department of Texas; that a sentinel from the Texas troops was placed over the room, and that all access thereto by myself and employes was thereby cut off and prohibited. I have now further to report that the commissioner who executed the order of ejectment gave no reason for his conduct; that when asked if i could have access to my papers, gave no satisfactory answer, and when the keys of my iron safe, containing a small amount of public funds, were offered to him, he declined to receive them. I have since applied to the commission to remove the restrictions thus imposed without success - no reply being vouchsafed. What good results they may have expected from the course they have, thought proper to pursue is more than I can conjecture, but I have to complain that it has been productive of great inconvenience to the service in which I have the honor to serve. It has debarred me