War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0608 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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charged with the power to negotiate and to conduct all military operations. It may be proper to add that, deeming it probable a portion of the officers and men belonging to the Army of the United States now station din texas may, after the secession of your State, consider their allegiance due rather to this Government than to the Government of the United States, and under the influence of this sentiment may feel inclined to acknowledge that allegiance by reporting themselves here, I do not doubt the disposition of this Government to receive them favorably. The special facts, however suggestive of this belief, are better known to yourselves than to this Department, and you will, I doubt not, communicate them to the authorities of your State.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War.

NEW ORLEANS, February 25, 1861.

His Excellency JEFF. DAVIS:

We have reliable information that the United States troops from Texas are to pass through this city. Shall they m be allowed to land? A large number of the officers and men can probably be secured for your service. Please advise me on the subject. General Twiggs was ordered to turn over the command to Colonel Waite, a Northern man, but preferred surrendering to Texas.

BRAXTION BRAGG,

Major-Genera, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Montgomery, February 25, 1861.

BRAXTON BRAGG, Major-General, Commanding, New Orleans:

SIR: Your dispatch of this date to the President has been received, and in reply he instructs me to say that the question submitted for consideration is not altogether free from difficulty. the circumstances of the case are peculiar and exceptional, and must be disposed of in a spirit of liberal curtesy. It seems, therefore, to the President, if there was a formal capitulation by the troops of the United States or an informal understanding with the authorities of Texas upon which they acted either in the surrender or abandonment of the forts, that they should have peaceful exit through the territories of the Government. This understanding should be carried our in good faith, upon their verbal assurance that their sole object is to reach the territory of the United States, and not to disturb the property or peace of any of the States of this Government through which they may pass, or to possess or occupy any of the forts, arsenals, or other property of this Government within these States. Should this assurance be refused, it will be your duty to arrest their progress, and keep them below Forts Jackson and Saint Philip until further ordered.

The President instructs me to add that he has entire confidence in your discretion and prudence, and feels satisfied that whilst you scrupulously guard the honor and rights of this Government, you will do no act unnecessarily to precipitate a war. Should any of the officers of men desire to enlist in the service of this Government, it would be proper and right, and altogether acceptable, to receive them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War.