length the importance of invading Texas
His plan was to have Matagorda Bay
as a base, and, with an army of 25,000 men, march upon Austin
, ‘through a population two to one in favor of the Union
He believed a respectable portion of the nine months troops in the Department of the Gulf would reenlist for three years for an expedition of this kind.
He advised that General Fremont
be selected to command it, who should carry with him 20,000 additional stand of arms.
He could enlist more Mexicans, half-breeds, and Germans on his way through Texas
(to say nothing of loyal native Texans) than any other man. The results which the Governor
expected would flow from the expedition were,—
1st, It would benefit the morale
of our men in the Gulf Department, by giving them active employment.
2d, ‘The transformation en masse
of many nine months regiments’ to three years regiments.
3d, The immediate relief of all Western Texas
from the Confederacy
4th, Five thousand mounted men could be recruited on the march through Texas
5th, On reaching Austin
, we could take control of the State Government
could be made the base, and the whole country, including Trinity Valley, could be held.
6th, This would entirely cut off all contraband trade in arms, supplies, &c., by the Rio Grande
, through Texas
to the Red River
7th, When wholly accomplished, the whole blockading squadron west of the passes of the Mississippi
would be relieved from that duty.
These points were elaborated by the Governor
, and enforced by various arguments respecting the practicability and importance of the enterprise.
, who was conversant with the subject, and who entered fully into the Governor
's views, was to confer confidentially with Mr. Stanton
, and give him all the information he possessed.
The scheme, however, did not meet with the favor of the Secretary
He was opposed to it, and, it is said, treated both Major Burt
and the suggestions of the Governor
with a degree of rudeness altogether unexpected.