War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0595 Chapter VII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Burleson. Captain Burleson's command is in the service of the State and under the orders of the governor.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Second Cavalry, Commanding Post.


CAMP ON RICHLAND, February 24, 1861.

Captain JOHNSON: I send to Fort Mason this morning two of your men that I have had in custody, and in doing what I have done I think I have acted right, and I think the commissioners on the part of the State of Texas are a set of jackasses in allowing the regular troops in leaving Texas with their arms; and, to be plain with you, if I had a sufficient force I would make all of you lay down your arms in short order, and if I can get men I will yet do it. One of the United States horses that I took I have sent an express to Austin on him, and when he returns I will send him to you if you have not left, and in that case I will turn him over to some of the United States officers. In conclusion, allow me to thank you for the kind treatment I received whilst at Fort Mason from you.

Very respectfully,


Captain, Commanding Camp Texas Rangers.


Texas, February 25, 1861.

Captain JOHNSON, Commanding Fort Mason:

SIR: I have seen a letter from Captain Burleson, Texas Rangers, to Captain Smith, Second Cavalry, of this post, saying that he had arrested your expressman en route for this place, opened the documents and letters, detained some of the property in his hands, and that he was acting under my orders. Captain Burleson was not called into the service by me, does not belong to my command properly, and I have given him no orders to interfere with any movement on this frontier. I did write to Captain Burleson to know if he would co-operate with me on the frontier and in all my service, and asked him to answer me at once, which he has never done, and should he have answered in the affirmative, should have given him orders, but certainly not to arrest the express from one of your posts to another. I regret the indiscretion of Captain Burleson very much, and am sorry to be compelled, in order to place myself right, to cast the blame upon him; but I cannot permit injustice to be done myself in order to shield another.

Captain Burleson is a young officer, and I have no doubt thought he was acting for the good of his State, and am sorry he should have been so indiscreet.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Commissioner, and Colonel Commanding Northwestern Frontier of Texas.

FORT MASON, TEX., February 27, 1861.

Major W. A. NICHOLS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department Texas, San Antonio:

MAJOR: It may be asked why I did not rescue my men at all hazards. I reply, that the first intimation I had of this high-handed measures was