CAMP COOPER, TEX., February 19, 1861.
SIR: Your letter of the 18th instant, informing me that the armed body of men encamped in this vicinity were State troops and armed citizens under your command, has been received. I have also received your letter of this date, demanding, in the name of the State of Texas, a surrender of this camp. Until the reception of your first note I was satisfied, form all the information I could obtain, that I was threatened with an attack by an unauthorized force, and accordingly took such measures as were necessary for my defense. My reply to your demand, notwithstanding it is made in the name of Texas, and by an officer holding a commission from its governor, as commanding officer of the Federal troops stationed at this camp, could be no other than an unqualified refusal; but in the present agitated political condition of our country I feel compelled to regard, in connection with this demand and its refusal, the perilous consequences that must result to the whole nation. The policy of the administration and the wisest statesman of the land is to avert, if possible, the shedding of blood, and while I have before me this fact exemplified at Forts Sumter and Pickens, and especially in the case of the Star of the West, and also the fact that the arsenals throughout the South have been yielded to State authorities without a struggle, I do not feel justified to act from the prompting of a soldier.
It matters not that this camp from its positions incapable of a prolonged defense; it matters not that your force is now far superior in reliable information I am positively assured that this whole community the Federal Government now in Texas, I would be actuated by the same motives which now control me in every-day events, provided the consequences of my refusal to your demand were to be the inauguration of a civil was that must eventually involve all the States in fraternal strife.
Guided, then, by a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to the Union, and by what I conceive to be the counsels of the most enlightened of statesmen of the nation, and also by what I understand to be the policy of the general commanding the department, after due consultation with the officers of my command, I have determined to surrender this camp to the State of Texas, and if you will submit to me the terms upon which you desire to receive for the State the camp and Federal property in my charge, I will then give them an early consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. D. CARPENTER,
Captain, First Infantry, Commanding Post.
Colonel W. C. DALRYMPLE,
Commanding State troops, and Aide to the Governor.
FORT CHARDBOURNED, TEX., February 28, 1861.
Having met here with Captain S. D. Carpenter, First Infantry, commanding Company H and detachment of the Second Cavalry, consisting of the Companies D and H, which companies had surrendered to Colonel Dalrymple, of the Texas State troops, and feeling fully empowered by my commission and instructions to negotiate with them in order to facilitate their movements out of the country or their comfort in it, have offered them a position in the service of Texas upon the terms of my instructions, which they decline; yet, not being willing to see distinctions made between the different portions of the same command when it is in my power to avoid it, I agree, as commissioner, on my part,