This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 of war according to military rules. Owing to the sparsely settled country, the difficulty of diffusing information at that time and the immense area of Texas, it is more than probable that a majority of the late Confederate soldiers in this State never heard of the order. June 19th was a date prolific of orders and proclamations. Beside that relating to the parole of the disbanded Confederates, and one for the liberation of the slaves which will be mentioned later, the general in command issued another on that day demanding the return of ‘all public property, arms, etc., belonging to the so-called Confederate States.’ The order was most peremptory and gave notice that ‘all persons not promptly complying to this order will be arrested as prisoners of war and sent north for imprisonment, and their property forfeited.’ Savage and threatening as this document appeared on its face, it did not strike much terror to the hearts of those old Confederate soldiers who had secured anything from the general wreck. They could not readily believe that after all the prisoners of war had been liberated a new prison system would be put in operation for the especial benefit of those who should not promptly ‘comply’ with the order to return the government effects, and as to a forfeiture of their own property, the average Confederate soldier at the close of the war would have gladly divided equally with the finder any property of his which could be discovered by General Granger or any one else. The order, however, was complied with to a certain extent. A few old muskets and Enfield rifles were turned in, and some unserviceable horses and mules were given up to the United States agents, but Confederate property in the hands of the old soldiers which was worth anything as a general rule remained in their possession. They generally showed no indisposition to return what was worthless, but scrupulously drew the line at anything of substantial value.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.