Friday, February 18, 2011

What To Do With Texas

Union General David E Twiggs surrendered Texas on February 18th 1861.

The Texas Secession Convention made a decision to withdraw from the United States on February 1st 1861. At that point the United States’ Department of Texas had twenty military posts strung out through the state. These posts held about 2,100 soldiers. Union General David E Twiggs was the commander of the Department of Texas. Twiggs understanding the anti-Union feeling in Texas, wrote to his commander General Winfield Scott on December 13th 1860 looking for instructions as to what to do in the event of secession, and was told only not to wage war. Twiggs wrote again on December 27th 1860, and then again about a week latter, "Texas will certainly go out of the Union the latter part of this month. I respectfully ask instructions as to what disposition will be made of troops now in this department... arrangements should be made at once..." After still not getting instructions Twiggs wrote the adjutant general on January 20th 1861, telling him that since the government did not wish him to wage war against Texas, he would surrender all government property if the Governor of Texas demanded it.

About a thousand armed Texans surrounded Twiggs’ garrison at San Antonio on February 18th 1861. They forced Twiggs to surrender. The Texans allowed the Union soldiers to leave Texas with their arms. However the Confederate government of Texas took possession of $1.6 million dollars of United State property, this included 20 military installation, 1,900 muskets, 950 horses, 500 wagons, 400 pistols, 44 cannon, and 2 ammunition magazines. Because Twiggs surrendered his command in Texas, he was branded a traitor. President James Buchanan dismissed Twiggs from the Union Army on March 1st 1861. Ten weeks latter Twiggs excepted a commission in the Confederate Army as a Major General.

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