No. 9. Report of Captain E. Kirby Smith, Second U. S. Cavalry, of the evacuation of Camp Colorado, Tex.
CAMP NEAR FORT MASON, TEX.,
March 1, 1861.
I have the honor to report the arrival this day of my company (B, Second Cavalry) at Fort Mason, Tex., where it awaits the orders of the colonel commanding the department.
Camp Colorado, Tex., was evacuated by my command on the 26th February, 1861, under Department Orders, No. 5, of February 18, 1861, under the following circumstances:
Colonel H. E. McCulloch, arrived at Camp Colorado, Tex., on the 22nd of February, and presented his papers, deriving from the convention and legislature of Texas authority as commissioner on the part of Texas to treat for the surrender of the public property at Colorado, Chadbourne, and Cooper. Under instructions from the same authority, Colonel McCulloch demanded the surrender of the arms, equipments, horses, &c., in the possession of the troops under my command, together with all the public property at the post. Colonel McCulloch presented his commission as colonel of cavalry in the service of the State of Texas, and enforced his demand by the presence of several companies of State troops encamped in the vicinity.
These demands met with an unqualified refusal, and in my interview with Colonel McCulloch on the 22nd, my reply was that I could never, under any circumstances, give up my arms and horses, or negotiac upon terms that would dishonor the troops under my command, and that, were such a demand persisted in, I would mount my command, and endeavor to cut my way through any force opposed to me.
Terms were agreed upon between Colonel McCulloch and myself for the surrender of the public property at the post, but before their signature, on the 23rd, the circular of the commissioners at San Antonio, with General Twiggs' order thereon, was received.
The inclosed is a copy of the document, signed by Colonel McCulloch and myself, in which we stipulate to be governed by the agreement entered into at San Antonio by General Twiggs and the commissioners on the part of the State of Texas.
Duplicate invoices and receipts were made and taken of all the public property turned over to Colonel McCulloch, the commissioner.
The post was evacuated on the 26th, and the troops marched out with their arms, equipments, horses, ten days' rations, and all the transportation in the possession of the A. A. Q. M. Owing to the want of transportation, private property and clothing belonging to officers and men were abandoned and sacrificed.
The evacuation of the post was hastened, as the presence of the undisciplined troops of the Convention, with the irritable feelings of our men under their unceremonious removal, might soon have occasioned a collision.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
Captain, Second Cavalry.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Department, of Texas.