War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0538 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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to retain those men until the arrival of the Arizona, and then to return them to camp, unless in my judgment it should be necessary to retain them. Accordingly, on the evening of the 20th, the Arizona having arrived, I ordered the cavalry detachment back to camp. Having heard a rumor to the effect that the steamer General Rusk was en route for Brazos with several hundred men, I communicated the same by express to the commanding office. This express left Brazos about sunset of that day (the 20th); at what hour it arrived at Fort Brown I know not. Next morning, the 21st, the steamer General Rusk appeared, and anchored outside the bar. Mr. E. B. Nichols was landed in a small boat, and presented himself as commissioner delegated by the Convention of the State of Texas to receive and receipt for all the property under my charge. The conference that ensued began and ended between the State of Texas to receive and receipt for all the property under my charge. The conference that ensued began and ended between the hours of 12 and 2 o'clock of that day. The demand of Mr. Nichols was backed by a force of between five hundred and six hundred men. I accordingly delivered up possession of the property, and marched my detachment away from the island. Returning to Fort Brown, I met a detachment for my re-enforcement; also, an officer with instructions for me to destroy the property at Brazos. Both came too late for the execution of sails order.

Respectfully submitted.

JAMES THOMPSON,

First Lieutenant, Second Artillery.

Lieutenant G. D. BAILEY,

Second Lieutenant, Second Artillery, Post Adjutant.

BROWNSVILLE, February 22, 1861.

DEAR SIR: As commissioner of the State of Texas I am delegated to have an interview with you in relation to matters of business between the Government of the United States and Texas. I would be pleased to have such interview at the earliest possible time, when I will make known to you the object of my mission.

Hoping to hear from you soon, and that you will appoint the time and place of meeting, I remain your obedient servant,

E. B. NICHOLS, Commissioner,

By H. B. WALLER, Secretary.

Captain B. H. HILL, Commanding Fort Brown.

BROWNSVILLE, February 22, 1861.

SIR: I had the honor to transmit to you by my secretary, Mr. Waller, a written communication requesting a conference in reference to the resumption by the State of Texas of her sovereignty, to which I received an indefinite verbal reply. While awaiting your formal answer, I beg to say that a rumor has reached me that an attack is contemplated by your authority upon the Texas troops now encamped upon Brazos Island. I need not allude to the consequences of such an act against the sovereignty of my State, because the fate of individuals on either side is a matter of little consequence compared with the national results. Civil war, with all its horrors, which we may not see the end of, would inevitable ensue. As my immediate course of action depends upon the nature of you reply, I respectfully ask for it at once, and in writing.

E. B. NICHOLS, Commissioner,

By H. B. WALLER, Secretary.

Captain B. H. HILL, U. S. Army, Commanidng Fort Brown.