His excellency had no intimation of the proposed operations against the forts and arsenals upon he frontier until after they had been taken in possession by the Confection. I feel at liberty to say, however, that none of the arms, munitions of war, forts, &c., lately held by the United States in Texas have come into the possession of his excellency or officers acting under him, except the post at Camp Cooper, which was taken possession of by Colonel W. C. Dalrymple, of the State troops. The United States cavalry, some who hundred and fifty in number, were allowed to take up the line of march to San Antonio, where all the public property, arms, &c., excepting side-arms of officers, are to be delivered to competent State authority. His excellency is informed that a number of the other military posts, with the public property thereto belonging, have fallen into the possession of agents of the Convention, who have acted without his knowledge or sanction, and still hold the same independent of his authority. He has learned that by the terms of the agreement made the troops are remitted to carry off their arms and artillery companies their field batteries.
The public property lately belonging to the United States being nearly all in the possession of the Convention, the information you desire can be obtained at its hands. I will also state that an ordinance was passed by that body on the 9th instant declaring the title to all such property vested in the State of Texas.
I take pleasure in assuring you, on the part o his excellency, that nothing but a sense of the obligation he owes to the people and a desire to maintain their rights and interests leads him to the course indicated in this communication. The States which have formed the Provisional Government have his ardent wishes for their welfare and prosperity. The people of Texas are now bound to them in feeling and sympathy no less closely than when members of a common Union. Like circumstances induced withdrawal from the Union. Like peril and uncertainty are before them. No matter what the position of Texas may be, she cannot but feel that ties of no common nature bind her to those States. But however close those ties may be in feeling, there are requirements due the national pride and dignity of a people who have just resumed their nationality which do not sanction the course pursued in annexing them to a new government without their knowledge or consent.
His excellency desires me to tender you the assurances of his esteem and consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. W. CAVE,
Secretary of State.
MONTGOMERY, March 16, 1861.
Colonel EARL VAN DORN, Jackson, Miss.:
Appointed colonel. You were ordered yesterday to Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Would prefer your going to Texas and securing the United States troops for our Army. Immediate action necessary. Answer.
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.