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[44]

On the 5th of March, 1861, the convention having ratified the provisional Constitution of the Confederate States, and the government at Montgomery having received notice of said action, the military jurisdiction of the Confederate States was extended over the State of Texas. On the 16th, Earl Van Dorn was appointed colonel, and on the 26th he arrived at Indianola and assumed command in Texas, reporting that he anticipated no great trouble in the removal of the troops of the United States from the State. Indianola was then and long had been the principal port on the Gulf through which troops and their supplies were transported by water to western Texas. The Federal troops as they surrendered had been quartered at the fresh water 20 or 30 miles north of that port preparatory to their embarkation. Colonel Van Dorn made his headquarters at San Antonio, with Maj. W. T. Mechling, acting assistant adjutant-general.

Other preliminary dispositions to prepare Texas for a crisis were now rapidly made. On the 11th of April Gov. Edward Clark was formally notified by the Confederate government that Colonel Van Dorn was in Texas to organize troops for the army, and on the 16th Colonel Van Dorn was ordered to station Capt. John C. Moore at Galveston in command of a battery. On the 23d, with an armed force of thirty soldiers, Colonel Van Dorn called at the quarters of Colonel Waite and requested him to go with him to the office of Major Mechling, which Waite refused to do until force was exhibited that he could not resist. Upon his arriving there Major Mechling demanded his surrender as a prisoner of war. After many words of controversy, he with his inferior officers, including Lieut.-Col. Chandler, surrendered, and were paroled and furnished transportation to the coast. On May 3d Lieutenant-Colonel Reeve, with his officers and 270 soldiers, arrived in camp near San Antonio from military posts in New Mexico, and a messenger with a white flag was sent to him with a demand for unconditional surrender.

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