military district organized there, with its headquarters at some central point for the purpose of organizing, training and fitting out troops for the war, to be sent where needed in an efficient body, and not to be sent in small bodies to different parts of the country out of the State
, as seemed then to be the tendency of military operations.
In other words, their object was the formation of a Texas army; and there were in the district indicated, men and means of every kind for that purpose.
A proposition was written and signed by those members and forwarded to the secretary of war
, through one of our senators, who after presenting it gave assurance of its approval, but it was not acted upon.
Still it had a good effect in the end, from the fact that Col. Henry E. McCulloch
, having been appointed a brigadier-general and ordered across the Mississippi
, on his way, about the end of the year, was fully informed of the effort that had been made to form a new district and of its military resources.
He concluded, after failing to cross the river on account of its overflow, to go to the town of Tyler
and there establish his headquarters, which he did, prescribing for himself a district in Texas
, east of the Trinity river
, and north of what was known as the old San Antonio road, and requiring all commands, either raised or passing through the district, to report to him. A great deal of work was done there in advancing the service during the first half of 1862, as will appear further on.
Before the end of the year 1861 the people of Texas
had heard of the two splendid victories of the Confederate forces, that of Oak Hills
and that of Bull Run
; and while the information inspired a joyful pride, it discouraged the necessity for continued effort to follow the success attained.
Volunteering in the service was very slow, especially in forming infantry battalions and regiments.
The Confederate officers that were sent to organize troops in Texas
were personally unknown, and consequently could exercise but little influence.