Today in History:

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


respectable force. And I have no earthly doubt that all these things are known to these officers as well and even better than they are to me or any other secessionist in the State; they know, too, that every officer in this department is making extraordinary exertions to raise men to defend it, and that the troops are coming into the service very slowly; and if the invasion is hurried, it will be upon us before we can possibly be ready. These officers are know to be opposed to us; they associate constantly with that portion of our citizens that are the most disaffected; they are constant visitors at the house and family of Colonel C. Anderson whom I refused to permit to go North and now hold as a prisoners of war. One of them, Lieutenant Frank, wrote a letter (a copy sent you with this) to Major Sprague, which was intercepted at New Orleans, which shows the feeling toward us and indicates plainly, I think, that he at least would enter the service against us.

I am satisfied that to permit these officers to go to United States at this time would be jeopardizing the interests to this State more than the Secretary of War could have had any idea of at the time he consented to extend their paroles; and am unwilling under the circumstances to exercise the authority granted me to that effect without first placing the above information fully before him and await his further directions in the premises.

I occupy a peculiarly unpleasant position here, as General Hebert is in the department; but as he has not relieved me, while I am compelled to discharge the unpleasant and responsible duties of commander of the department I will do so according to my best judgment for the good of the country; and whenever my Government concludes that I am unfit for any position in which I am serving her the authorities have but to indicate the fact to me to get clear of any further annoyance by or trouble with me. I have no disposition to complain at or with any one, but you can readily perceive how very disagreeable now-an apparent usurper of the power legally belonging to another.

My regiment has been and is still anxious to be engaged in the most active portion of our service, and has been chafing to be with the fighting portion of our army, and I would have proudly received an order at any time to have le them upon such a field; but I have contented myself by saying to my commanding officer that we were ready for any service that our Government might require of us, preferring the most active and dangerous to any other.

I should be pleased to hear from the Department respecting the paroles of the prisoners at the earliest convenient period.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Provisional Army, C. S., Commanding Department of Texas.


Approve his conduct and applaud his discretion in declining to extend paroles.


SAN ANTONIO, TEX., August 6, 1861.

Major J. T. SPRAGUE, Albany, N. Y.

MY DEAR MAJOR: I have just learned that the letters can be sent North by Adams Express, so I will write you a few lines though I doubt much whether it ever reaches you. I suppose you have seen Colonel Reeve