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THE AMERICAN CONFLICT.
TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO.
The frontiers of Texas, Mexican from New Orleans to San Antonio, and savage, were guarded, prior to and assigned to the command of the the outbreak of Secession, by a line of department, it was doubtless underforts or military posts stretching from stood between them that his business Brownsville, opposite Matamoras, to in Texas was to betray this entire the Red River. These forts were force, or so much of it as possible, located at average distances of one into the hands of the yet undevelhundred miles, and were severally oped traitors with whom Floyd was held by detachments of from 50 to secretly in league. Twiggs's age 150 of the regular army. San Anto- and infirmities had for some time nio, 150 miles inland from Indianola, excused him from active service, unon Matagorda Bay, was the head- til this ungracious duty-if duty it quarters of the department, whence can be called—was imposed upon the most remote post-Fort Bliss, on and readily accepted by him. Withthe usual route thence to New Mex. in 90 days after his arrival' at Indi. ico — was distant 675 miles. The anola, he had surrendered' the entire whole number of regulars distributed force at and near San Antonio, with throughout Texas was 2,612, compri- all their arms, munitions, and supsing nearly half the effective force of plies, to three persons acting as our little army.
“Commissioners on behalf of the When, soon after Mr. Lincoln's Committee of Public Safety," seelection, but months prior to his in- cretly appointed by the Convention auguration, Gen. David E. Twiggs which had just before assumed to was dispatched by Secretary Floyd take Texas out of the Union. The betrayal was colored, not fairly | ate service, recently a captain in our cloaked, by a slim display of mili- army, who had been sent from Monttary force in behalf of the sovereign gomery with authority to offer inState of Texas, Col. Ben. McCulloch, creased rank and pay to all who an original and ardent Secessionist, would take service with the Rebels. having undertaken and fulfilled the His mission was a confessed failure. duty of raising that force and post- A few of the higher officers had paring it in and around San Antonio, ticipated in Twiggs's treason; but no so as to give countenance to the de- more of these, and no private solmand for capitulation. It was fairly diers, could be cajoled or bribed into stipulated in writing between the deserting the flag of their country. contracting parties, that our troops Col. Waite was still at San Antoshould simply evacuate Texas, march- nio, when news reached Indianola ing to and embarking at the coast, of the reduction of Fort Sumter; where their artillery and means of and Col. Van Dorn, with three armed transportation were to be given up, steamers from Galveston, arrived with while they, with their small arms, instructions from Montgomery to capshould proceed by water to any point ture and hold as prisoners of war all outside of Texas; but these condi- Federal soldiers and officers remaintions, though made by a traitor in ing in Texas. Maj. Sibley, in comFederal uniform with fellow-traitors mand at that port, had chartered two who had cast off all disguise, were small schooners and embarked thereshamefully violated. Col. C. A. on a part of his force, when he was Waite, who, after the withdrawal of compelled to surrender again unconFloyd from the Cabinet, had been ditionally. Col. Waite was in like sent down to supersede Twiggs in manner captured at San Antonio, by his command, reached San Antonio order of Maj. Macklin, late an officer the morning after the capitulation, in our service, under Twiggs; Capt. when all the material of war had been | Wilcox, who made the arrest, anturned over to the Rebel Commis- swering Waite's protest with the sioners, and 1,500 armed Texans sur simple words, “I have the force.”' rounded our little band, in the first Waite, and a few officers with him, flush of exultation over their easy were compelled to accept paroles not triumph. Unable to resist this rap- to serve against the Confederacy unidly augmenting force, Waite had no less regularly exchanged. alternative but to ratify the surren- ! Of course, the forces at the several der, dispatching, by permission, mes- posts protecting the frontiers of Texas, sengers to the frontier posts, to ap- being isolated and cut off from all prise the other commanders that they communication with each other, or were included in its terms. Collect- with a common head-quarters, fell an ing and dispatching his men az rap- easy prey to the Rebels. A part of idly as he might, he had some 1,200 them were commanded by officers in encamped at Indianola ready for em- full sympathy and perfect underbarkation, when they were visited by standing with the Texas conspirators Col. E. Van Dorn, of the Confeder- for Secession, who, by means of the se
* December 5, 1860.
• Feb. 1. The Convention met this day at * February 18, 1861. He immediately and Austin, and at once passed an ordinance of openly declared that the Union could not last Secession, subject to a vote of the people at an 60 days, and warned oficers, if they had pay election to be held on tho 23d inst.; the ordi. due them, to draw it at once, as this would be nance, if approved, to take effect on the 2d of the last.
March. Texas was therefore still in the Union, * February 5, 1861,
even according to the logic of Secession.
MILITARY TREASON ON THE RIO GRANDE. 19 cret organization known as “Knights mander, Col. Loring, and his adjuof the Golden Circle,” having its tant, but only to find them both as Texas head-quarters at San Antonio, thoroughly disloyal as Crittenden. and its' castles' or affiliated lodges in He was rudely rebuked by them as a every part of the State, had prose- meddler with other men's business, cuted its undertaking at immense and ordered directly back to Fort advantage over the unorganized and Staunton, but found opportunity to often unsuspecting as well as unin- give notice to Capt. Hatch, comformed Unionists. The conspirators manding at Albuquerque, to Capt. had long before made themselves ac- Morris, who held Fort Craig, and quainted with the loyal or disloyal other loyal officers, of the treachery proclivities of the Federal officers; of their superiors, and the duty inand, wherever an important position cumbent on them of resisting it. was held by an inflexible Unionist, Meantime, desperate efforts were they were able, by secret representa- made by the prominent traitors to tions at the War Department, to pro- bring their men over to their views, cure such a substitution as they de- by assurances that the Union had sired; and thus Col. Loring, a North ceased to exist—that it had no longer Carolinian, deep in their counsels, had a Government able to pay them or been sent out by Floyd, in the Spring feed them—while, if they would but of 1860, to take command of the de consent to go to Texas and take serpartment of New Mexico, while Col. vice with the Confederacy, they should G. B. Crittenden, a Kentuckian, of be paid in full, and more than paid, like spirit and purposes, was appointed beside having great chances of proby Loring to command an expedition motion. To their honor be it recordagainst the Apaches, to start from ed, not one man listened to the voice Fort Staunton in the Spring of 1861. of the charmer, though Capt. ClaiLieut. Col. B. S. Roberts, however, born, at Fort Staunton, made several who here joined the expedition with barangues to his company, intended two companies of cavalry, soon dis- to entice them into the Confederate covered that Crittenden was devoting service. Of the 1,200 regulars in all his sober moments—which were New Mexico, one only deserted during few-to the systematic corruption of this time of trial, and he, it is behis subordinates, with intent to lead lieved, did not join the enemy. Fihis regiment to Texas, and there turn nally, the disloyal officers, headed it over to the service and support of by Loring and Crittenden, were glad the Rebellion. Roberts repelled his to escape unattended, making their solicitations, and refused to obey any rendezvous at Fort Fillmore, twenty of his orders which should be prompt- miles from the Texas line, not far ed by the spirit of treason. He finally from El Paso, where Maj. Lynde accepted a furlough, suggested by commanded. Here they renewed Loring, and quickly repaired under their intrigues and importunities, it to Santa Fé, the head-quarters of finding a large portion of the officers the department, making a revelation equally traitorous with themselves. of Crittenden's treachery to its com- But Maj. Lynde appeared to hold out * See liis testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.- Report, Part 3, pp. 364–72. against their solicitations. His forces, blame wholly upon Lynde. Our however, were so demoralized that, men were paroled, and permitted, as soon afterward,' when he led 480 | prisoners, to pursue their course of them, out of 700, to the village of northward, after listening to a speech Mesilla, some twenty miles distant, he from Col. Baylor, of their captors, fell into an ambuscade of 200 badly intended to win their good-will. armed Texans, and, after a skirmish, Their sufferings, on that forlorn wherein his conduct can only be vin- march to Albuquerque and Fort dicated from the imputation of cow- Wise, were protracted and terrible; ardice by the presumption of treason, some becoming deranged from the he ordered a retreat to the fort, which agony of their thirst; some seeking his men were next day engaged in to quench it by opening their veins, fortifying, when surprised, at 104 A. M., and drinking their own blood. Maj. by an order to evacuate that night. Lynde, instead of being court-marThe commissary was ordered to roll tialed and shot, was simply dropped out the whisky, from which the men from the rolls of the army, his diswere allowed to fill their canteens, missal to date from his surrender ;' and drink at discretion. No water and Capt. A. H. Plummer, his comwas furnished for the weary march missary, who held $17,000 in drafts, before them, over a hot and thirsty which he might at any moment have desert. They started as ordered; but, destroyed, but which were handed before they had advanced ten miles, over to and used by the Rebels, was men were dropping out of the ranks, sentenced by court-martial to be repand falling to the earth exhausted or i rimanded in general orders, and susdead drunk.
pended from duty for six months ! At 2 a. M., a Texan force was seen advancing on their flank, whereupon New Mexico, thus shamefully beLynde's Adjutant remarked, “ They reft, at a blow, of half her defendhave nothing to fear from us." Our ers, was now reckoned an easy prey men were halted, so many of them, to the gathering forces of the Rebelat least, as had not already halted of lion. Her Mexican population, igtheir own accord; and the officers norant, timid, and superstitious, had held a long council of war. Many been attached to the Union by conprivates of the command likewise quest, scarcely fifteen years before, took counsel, and decided to fight. and had, meantime, been mainly unJust then, Capt. Gibbs appeared from der the training of Democratic offithe officers' council, and ordered a cials of strong pro-Slavery sympathies, retreat upon the camp, saying, “ We who had induced her Territorial will fight them there.” Arrived at Legislature, some two years before, the camp, our soldiers were ordered to pass an act recognizing Slavery as to lay down their arms, and inform- legally existing among them, and ed, “You are turned over as prison providing stringent safeguards for its ers of war.” The subordinate offi- protection and security-an act cers disclaimed any responsibility for which was still unrepealed. Her this disgraceful surrender, laying the Democratic officials had not yet been • July 24, 1861.
• July 27, 1861.