form here; therefore I presume they will soon be removed (though we do not object to their presence among us, for we regard them as fiends), and that the property now under their charge at this place, placed here for the use of the State of Texas, becomes the property of the republic of Texas upon the separation from the Federal Government, and ought to be delivered to the properly constituted authorities of Texas.
As my business calls me back to Galveston at an early period, in order to receive and forward the balance of the troops destined for the protection of this frontier, I will be pleased to receive an early answer form you, that I may carry back with me to my people the gratifying intelligence that there will be no acts of hostility between the United States authorities here and the Texas troops.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. B. NICHOLS,
Captain B. H. HILL, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Brown.
HEADQUARTERS FORT BROWN,
February 23, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date. It would be impossible, without instructions from my Government, to accede to your quest to deliver into your possession the public property, or any portion thereof, at this post. In assuming that this property, "placed here," as you say, "for the use of the State of Texas, becomes the property of the republic of Texas upon the separation from the Federal Government," you have raised a question upon which my government will doublers take action in due season, but which meanwhile cannot affect my military duties or responbilities.
I take pleasure in reciprocating personally the courtesy and good will implied in your assurance that "no act of the Texas troops in this vicinity shall justify a hostile collision with the Federal troops." Further than this, that assurance has no official weight or application, inasmuch as the said Texas troops, numbering several hundred, have already committed an act of hostility against the United States in seizing the public property at Brazos Santiago, dispossessing therefrom a guard of twelve United States soldiers, placed there for its protection.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. H. HILL,
Captain, First Artillery, Commanding.
General E. B. NICHOLS, Commissioner.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS,
San Antonio, March 21, 1861.
COLONEL: Under cover herewith I have the honor to transmit copies of a correspondence between Captain S. D. Carpenter, First Infantry, commanding Camp Colorado; Captain Colonel E. K. Smith, Second Cavalry, commanding Camp Colorado; Lieutenant Colonel G. Morris, in command of Fort Chadbourne; and certain persons who represented themselves to be commissioners on the part of the State of Texas, and authorized to demand the surrender of those posts.
It appears that at first the demands of these commissioners were resisted; but finding that a large force was gathering around them, and no prospect of being re-enforced, the officers above named finally