A commander without an army.
While the disintegration of the army was going on General Kirby Smith
was en route from Shreveport
, a journey which occupied many days at that time.
Upon his arrival he issued an address (May 30th) to the soldiers of Texas
, from which the following extracts show the condition in which he found military affairs: ‘My purpose,’ he said, ‘was to concentrate the entire strength of the department, await negotiations, and, if possible, secure terms alike honorable to soldier and citizen.
Failing in this, I intended to struggle to the last.
I reached here to find the Texas
troops disbanded and hastening to their homes. * * * Soldiers, I am left a commander without an army, a general without troops.
You have made your choice.
It was unwise and unpatriotic, but it is final.
You have voluntarily destroyed your organization and thrown away all means of resistance.’
On June 2d General Smith
visited the blockading fleet off Galveston
and there ratified with the Federal
) the terms of the convention between Canby
agreed to on May 26th, and three days later Captain Sands
landed and hoisted the United States
flag over the custom house.
Shortly afterwards Federal troops took possession of the place, and on the 19th the Federal
general (Gordon Granger
) assumed command of ‘the military district of Texas,’ under the new regime.
The dissolution of the Confederate
military organization in Texas
was followed by an universal feeling of the most intense anxiety and suspense, which increased each day. An outburst of wrath throughout the North
against the fallen South
had followed the assassination of Lincoln
Some of the leading newspapers accused the Confederate
authorities with having been implicated in the plot.
The inflamed state of the Northern
mind rendered the preposterous accusation easy of belief, while the bitter feeling engendered by the war was intensified by the crime.
Threats of the direst punishment, of wholesale prosecution for treason and confiscation of property filled the Northern
An influential New York journal, on April 25th, in an editorial, complacently disposed of the policy to be pursued towards the Southern
people as follows: ‘It will, beyond all doubt, be the aim of President Johnson
to break up and distribute the large lands and properties in the South
This object Mr. Johnson
proposed to accomplish by a vigorous enforcement of the confiscation laws against the rebel land holders. * * * The division ’