War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0583 Chapter VII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC-UNION.

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Austin, Tex., January 20, 1861.

Major General D. E. TWIGGS,

Commanding Department of Texas:

MY DEAR GENERAL: The present pressure of important events necessarily induces prompt action on the part of all public functionaries. In this view of the matter I send to you General J. M. Smith, of this State, on a confidential mission, to know what, in the present crisis, you consider [it] your duty to do as to maintaining in behalf of the Federal Government or passing over to the State the possession of the forts, arsenals, and public property within this State, and also if a demand for the possession of the same is made by the executive, you are authorized, or [if] it would be conformable to your sense of duty, to place in possession of the authorities of the State the forts, arms, munitions, and property of the Federal Government, on the order of the executive, to an officer of the State empowered to receive and receipt for the same.

This course is suggested by the fact that information has reached the executive that an effort will be made by an unauthorized mob to take forcibly and appropriate the public stores and property to uses of their own, assuming to act on behalf of the State.

Any arrangements made with you by General Smith will be sanctioned and approved by me; and should you require any assistance to aid you in resisting the contemplated and authorized attack upon the public property, &c., and to place the same in possession of the State authorities, you are authorized to call on the mayor and citizens of San Antonio for such assistance as you may deem necessary.

I will hope to hear from you, general, through my confidential agent, General Smith, so soon as he can have the honor of a conference with you on matters embraced in the present epoch of our national affairs.

I am, general, yours, very truly,


P. S.-The legislature meets to-morrow. I will, as soon as possible, apprise you of its action.



San Antonio, January 22, 1861.

His Excellency SAMUEL HOUSTON,

Governor of Texas, Austin:

SIR: Yours of the 20th is received. I am without instructions from Washington in regard to the disposition of the public property here or the troops, in the event of the State's seceding. After secession, if the executive of the State make a demand of the commander of this department, he will receive an answer. I sincerely that the threatening indicated in your letter from parties unauthorized by the executive authority of Texas may not take place.

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


Brevet Major-General, Commanding.