Today in History:

57 Series II Volume I- Serial 114 - Prisoners of War


You are hereby instructed to give the orders heretofore received by you a liberal construction, and to arrest and seize all troops and stores of the United States, in transit or otherwise, wherever found in the State of Texas, and to use for that purpose all the means of this Government which you can made available in said State.

This communication will be borne by Lieutenant Major, who is specially detailed to bear dispatches to Texas.

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


Adjutant and Inspector General.

San Antonio, Tex., April 17, 1861.

Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, C. S. A.

SIR: The news by mail this morning indicates clearly that war exists between our Government and that of the United States. The commissioners of Texas agreed with General Twiggs that the U. S. troops then in Texas might pass out the State with their arms. At that time war did not exist; things have changed. There are seven companies of troops still in Texas, an some of them may be now on their way from El Paso to this point. It is proper and right now to permit them to paportion of the territory of the Confederate States with their arms, embodied as U. S. troops, when their Government is at war with ours? In a few days more I will have six companies of troops here ready for the field, anxious to render service to their country, and with your permission-yes, without I receive orders to the country from your Department-with the lights now before me, think I shall require them to surrender their arms and disperse. It will be several days before they will be able to reach this place, and it would gratify me much to receive the information by telegraph, through New Orleans, that I have the consent of the Government to pursue to course I have indicated.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

SAN ANTONIO, TEX., April 23, 1861.


Commanding Confederate Troops, San Antonio, Tex.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that agreeably to special orders from your headquarters I intercepted, with my company of citizen volunteers, this morning, at 6 o'clock, Captain A. T. Lee's company of the Eighth U. S. Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant E. W. H. Read, of that regiment, and in the same of the Confederate States of America demanded the unconditional surrender of the company as prisoners of war. Mr. Read asked to be allowed to consult with his commanding officer (Colonel Waite) before making answer to my demand. To this, knowing that the colonel had no troops with which to re-enforce lieutenant's command, I agreed, and ordered Lieutenant French, of my company, to accompany him to Colonel Waite's quarters.

On his (Lieutenant Read's) return he complied with my demand to surrender, at the same time protesting against my action as being in