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TWIGGS SUSPECTED AND SUPERSEDED.
He was placed in command of the Department of Texas only a few weeks before he committed the treasonable act we are about to record. For forty years he had served his Government acceptably, and was honored with its confidence; but the virus that poisoned so many noble characters, destroyed the life of his patriotism. Not content with deserting his flag himself, he tried to seduce his officers from their allegiance. He began by talking gloomily of the future, and expressing doubts of the ability of the Government to maintain its authority. He soon spoke disparagingly of that Government; and finally he said to his officers :-"The Union will be at an end in less than sixty days, and if you bave any pay due you, you had better get it at once, for it is the last you will ever get."
Intimations of Twiggs's disloyalty had reached the Secretary of War, Holt, and on the 18th of January, in a general order, the veteran was relieved from the command of the Department of Texas, and it was turned over to Colonel Carlos A. Waite, of the First Regiment of Infantry. But the anticipated mischief was accomplished before the order could perform its intended work. When the Commissioners were informed of its arrival at Twiggs's head-quarters, at the Alamo, in the city of San Antonio, they took
riers by different routes. One of them was captured and taken back to San Antonio, and the other reached Waite, with the order, on the 17th of February.
Twiggs was cautious and had adroitly avoided committing himself to treason in writing. He always said to the impatient Commissioners :-"I will give up every thing." But the time had now arrived when temporizing must end. He was ready to act; but he must have a decent excuse for his surrendering the force under his immediate command, which consisted of only two skeleton companies under Captains King and Smith. Other troops had been ordered away from San Antonio by Twiggs when the danger of revolution became pressing, and they might be called to put down insurrection.
1 This is a very old building. It was a church, erected by the Spaniards, and was afterward converted into a fortress. There, during the war for the independence of Texas, many Americans, who had joined the Texans in the struggle, were massacred by the Mexicans. Among those who fell were Colonel David Crockett, and Colonel Bowie, the inventor of the famous bowie-knife, so much used by desperadoes in the Southwest.
SURRENDER OF NATIONAL FORCES TO INSURGENTS.
The excuse for Twiggs was readily found. Ben. McCulloch, the famous Texan Ranger, was stationed at Sequin, not far off. The Commissioners employed him to prepare and lead a sufficient military force to capture the National troops in San Antonio. He
At two o'clock on Sunday morning, the 16th, two hundred mounted men, led by McCulloch, rushed into the city, breaking the slumbers of the inhabitants with unearthly yells. These were soon followed by about five hundred more. They took possession of the Main Plaza, a large vacant square in the center of the city, and placed guards over the Arsenal, the park of artillery, and the Government buildings. A traitor in the Quartermaster's Department, named Edgar, had, at the first dash into the city, taken possession of the Alamo.'
February 16, 1861.
General Twiggs and Colonel Nichols met McCulloch in the Main Plaza, where terms of surrender were soon agreed to; and there, at noon,' was fully consummated the treasonable act which Twiggs had commenced by negotiation so early as the 7th. He surrendered all the National forces in Texas, numbering about two thousand five hundred, and composed of thirty-seven companies. Fifteen companies of infantry and five of artillery were on the line of the Rio Grande, and the other seventeen were in the interior. With the troops Twiggs surrendered public stores and munitions of war, valued, at their cost, at one million two hundred thousand dollars. Beside these, he surrendered all the forts, arsenals, and other military posts within the limits of his command, including Fort Davis, in the great cañon of the Lympia Mountains, on the San Antonio and San Diego mail-route, five hundred miles from the former city. It was then the head-quarters of the Eighth Regiment of Infantry, and, because of its situation in the midst of the country of the plundering Mescularo Apaches, and in the path of the marauding Comanches into Mexico, it was a post of great importance.
1 Galveston News, February 22, 1861. Sketch of Secession Times in Texas: by J. P. Newcomb, editor of the Alamo Express, page 11. Texas, and its Late Military Occupation and Evacuation: by an Officer of the Army.
2 On that day, Twiggs issued an order to his troops, informing them that the "Secession Act had passed the Convention" of the State, to take effect on the 2d day of March; but that he could not say what disposition would be made of the troops. He promised to remain with them until something was done, and make them as comfortable as possible. He seems to have made up his mind, as soon as the Secession Ordinance was passed, to betray his troops and the public property into the hands of the public enemy.
3Their value in Texas is much greater, and worth to the State at least a million and a half of dollars."— San Antonio Herald, February 23.
a March 1, 1861.
DISPOSAL OF TROOPS IN TEXAS.
By this act Twiggs deprived his Government of the most effective portion of its Regular Army, in strict accordance with the plans of his employers, Davis and Floyd. When the Government was informed of his actual treason, an order was issued," directing him to be "dismissed from the Army of the United States, for treachery to the flag of his country." Earlier than this, "Charity Lodge" of the "Sons of Malta," in New Orleans, who had heard of his infamy, expelled ⚫ February 25. him from their order by unanimous vote. On the 4th of March the Secession Convention of Louisiana, that had assembled that day, resolved to unite with the citizens of New Orleans in honoring Twiggs with a public reception. That honor was conferred eight days after he was dismissed from the service of his country for a high crime.
On the 18th, Twiggs issued a general order, in which he announced the fact of the surrender of his forces, and directed the garrisons C February. of all the posts, after they should be handed over to agents of the insurgents, to make their way to the sea-coast as speedily as possible, where,
according to the terms made with the Commissioners, they would be allowed to leave the State, taking with them their arms, clothing, and necessary stores. With this order went out a circular from the Commissioners, in the name of the State of Texas, whose authority they had usurped, in which they solemnly agreed that the troops should have every assistance, in the way of transportation and otherwise, for leaving the State, for, they said, "they are our friends, who have hitherto afforded us all the protection in their power; and it is our duty to see that no insult or indignity is offered them." It is apparent that at that very time the conspirators had determined to cast every obstacle in the way of the betrayed men on their way to the coast, and their departure from it, with the hope of persuading a portion of them to join the insurgents. In this they were mistaken. In all the vicissitudes to which
1 The Charleston Courier, on the 18th of May, 1861, published a letter written by General Twiggs to President Buchanan, threatening to visit Lancaster, and call him to a personal account for branding him as a traitor. "This was personal," he said, "and I shall treat it as such-not through the papers-but in person.`
A SAD DAY AT SAN ANTONIO.
they were afterward exposed, the private soldiers and most of the officers remained true to the old flag. The writer saw some of them at midsummer
in Fort Hamilton, at the entrance to New York Bay; and never was a curse by "bell, book, and candle," more sincerely uttered, than were those that fell from the compressed lips of these betrayed soldiers. These troops were the first who left Texas. They came from posts on the line of the Rio
Grande, and embarked in the Daniel Webster at Point Isabel, a place of much note in the history of the war with Mexico. They arrived a 1846-1848. at Fort Hamilton on the 30th of March, 1861.
At five o'clock on the evening of the 16th,' the little band of National troops in San Antonio marched sullenly out of the city, to the tune of "The Red, White, and Blue," and encamped at San Pedro Springs, two miles from the Plaza, there to remain until the arrival of Colonel Waite. They were followed by a crowd of sorrowing citizens. The tears of strong men were mingled with those of delicate women, when they saw the old flag disappear; and sullen gloom hung over the town that night, and for many days.' San Antonio was full of loyal men, and so was the State. There was wide-spread sorrow when the calamity of Twiggs's treason became known. It was a calamity for the nation, and it was a special calamity for the Texans, for these troops, now about to leave them, had been their protectors against the incursions of the savage Indian tribes, that were hanging, like a portentous cloud, along their frontier. The surrendered forts were to be garrisoned by Texas militia, but in these the people had little confidence.
Colonel Waite, who started for San Antonio, with an escort of fifteen cavalry, immediately after receiving his order from the War Department, arrived there early in the afternoon of the 18th. McCulloch had stationed troops on the regular route to intercept him. By taking by-paths he eluded them. But he was a few hours too late. Twiggs had consummated his treason, and Texan soldiers occupied the post. Waite was compelled to recognize the capitulation. Sadly he rode out to San Pedro Springs, joined the little handful of National troops there, and, on the following February 19. day, assumed the command of the department. Already
Twiggs's order for the evacuation of the posts in Texas had been sent, but
1 Secession Times in Texus, page 11.
FORTS SURRENDERED BY TWIGGS.
some of these were so distant and isolated, and the traveling so difficult at that season of the year, that it was several weeks before the order reached them. One of these is Fort Arbuckle, in Franklin County, situated west
from Arkansas, on the False Wachita River. It protects the northern frontiers of the State from the forays of the wild Comanches. At the time we are considering, it was garrisoned by detachments from the First Cavalry and one company of the First Infantry Regiment. Another was Fort
Wachita, sixty miles southeasterly from Fort Arbuckle, and, like it, on the Indian Reserve. It was garrisoned by two companies of the First Cavalry Regiment. Near this post, in the autumn of 1858, Major Earle Van Dorn, a gallant officer of the National Army, who appears for the first time, in
connection with Twiggs's treason, as an enemy of his country, had a successful battle with a band of warlike Comanches. Another important post was Fort Lancaster, on the mail-route between San Antonio to San Diego,