Their equipment was superb.
They had not been reduced to rags and starvation, like their comrades east of the Mississippi
They had not felt the federal blockade.
they were in splendid fighting condition and eager for the fray.
Perhaps the situation needs a word or two of explanation.
At that time the French
had been occupying Mexico
nearly four years. Maximilian
was on the throne, trying to permanently establish his empire, and Marshal Bazaine
was backing him with 75,000 soldiers, with expected reinforcements from France
King Cotton was still a power west of the Mississippi
, Fexas and part of Louisiana
produced immense crops, which were easily transported across the Rio Grande
and marketed for gold.
The federals were unable to prevent this traffic and for some reason did not try very vigorously.
Arms, supplies, luxuries and money poured into Texas
In every town the stores were filled with foreign goods, and gold
jingled in every pocket.
The State was a vast arsenal.
In every direction one could see inexhaustible supplies of ammunition, improved foreign muskets, rifles and artillery, clothing, provisions and medicine.
Stacks of guns and packs of cannon were rusting from disuse.
was able to furnish the whole Confederate army with a brand-new equipment.
Only the blockade east of the Mississippi
stood in the way.
knew these conditions, and he believed that President Davis
, who had not then been captured, would make his way to Texas
, with many of his ablest generals, and in a month or two probably 100,000 soldiers would succeed in following him.
applied to Kirby Smith
to make an aggressive fight.
The commander listened, assented and did nothing.
Then the daring Missourian
held a conference with several other generals and it was agreed to make a determined stand for the Confederacy
, under the leadership of General Simon Bolivar Buckner
, a soldier with all the dash and glitter of Murat
, and none of his fighting qualities.
agreed to the plan, everybody favored it. The next thing was to get rid of Kirby Smith
hunted up the old man, and told him all about the conference.
“The army has lost confidence in you,” he said.