Civil war road to secession

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  • 1. San Antonio before the civil war
  • 2. The following were important factors in the two decades preceding the Civil War.
      • Texas became a state in 1845.
      • San Antonio became the headquarters for the Trans-Mississippi Department of the United States Army in 1845.
      • A series of forts was built west and northwest of San Antonio during the 1840s and 1850s to protect settlers on the frontier.
      • Immigration into the State greatly increased, especially Germans.
      • The Mexican American War, 1846-1848, resulted in the addition of the Southwest to the U. S. and heightened the debate over the extension of slavery.
  • 3. The Town
    • “ This city sits on the verge of civilization.
    • To him who enters it from the west, it opens the
    • gate to the bustling, populous American world;
    • and he who departs from it to the west, enters a
    • wilderness.”
    • The Coming Empire; or, Two Thousand Miles in Texas on Horseback by H. F. McDaniel & N. A. Taylor
    • (NY: A.S. Barnes, 1877)
  • 4. To the North San Antonio extended to the north along Soledad, North Flores, and Acequia (now Main) streets to Romana Street and the Ursuline Academy. North Flores was the most beautiful street with gardens and houses to San Pedro Creek. On Soledad was the famous Veramendi home where Ben Milam had been killed in 1835.
  • 5.  
  • 6. Soledad Street looking north in the 1850s.
  • 7. Soledad Street (late 1860s) looking south to Main Plaza .
  • 8. Military Plaza Military Plaza was a center of commercial activity. The Spanish Governor’s Palace was there, but no longer a palace. There were small stores and Mexican jacals. By 1860 the infamous “Bat Cave” dominated the plaza. The lower floor served as City court and departments; the upper as the district court; and the jail was in the rear. Across from the Bat Cave (north side of Commerce St.) was the Orphan’s Home and residence of the Catholic priests.
  • 9.  
  • 10. Military Plaza looking west from San Fernando, shortly after 1873. The “Bat Cave” is the two-story building toward the back right of the plaza. The Spanish Governor’s Palace is the building just to the left and rear of the Bat Cave.
  • 11. A view of the northeast corner of Military Plaza, this time showing the rear of the Bat Cave (1860s) .
  • 12. Another view of Military Plaza, this time looking northwest, during the middle 1870s. The plaza was a very busy place .
  • 13. Main Plaza San Fernando was only what is now the rear (original structure) and looked much like one of the missions. Just north of San Fernando in the plaza was the Frost Bank, Carolan’s one-story auction house, and a few adobe and rock structures. The east side had several small buildings and one three stories. To the south was Quinta Street with the City’s first post office, which served as a storage facility during the Civil War. The French building was on the corner.
  • 14.  
  • 15. Northwest corner of Main Plaza in the 1860s .
  • 16. North side of Main Plaza (Commerce & Main) ca. 1868. The Yturri house is behind the wagon on the right.
  • 17. The north side of Main Plaza about 1868. From left to right: Yturri house, Plaza House (built 1847), Jack Harris’ Variety Theatre. The tall building at the far right was the Masonic lodge (courthouse).
  • 18.
    • The earliest known photograph of San Fernando.
  • 19. Alamo Plaza The Alamo was in poor condition. The Army had made some repairs and gave it its current facade. However, it served as the Army’s storage depot for hay, grain, etc. Just south was the Menger Hotel, much smaller than it is today, with its brewery. In the center was the meat market. This one was replaced in 1858 with one just east of Main Plaza on the north side of Market Street. In the summer Alamo Plaza, along with the other plazas and streets were hot and dusty. When it rained they became mud holes.
  • 20. Looking southwest toward Alamo Plaza and Blum from the Menger Hotel (1866).
  • 21. Looking west across Alamo Plaza from the Menger Hotel, probably in the late 1860s.
  • 22. Elsewhere Commerce Street lived up to its name being lined with businesses. Houston Street had only the Vance House (where the Gunter Hotel is today) which the U. S. Army contracted as Officers’ Quarters and later served as headquarters for the Confederate Army. Otherwise, there were only a few houses. West of San Pedro Creek was generally the Mexican part of town. There were some adobe and rock homes, and many jacals (adobe, straw, and sticks), with a chimney, small windows, and a door. Dance halls and gambling dens were well represented here.
  • 23. Commerce Street in the late 1860s .
  • 24. Looking west down Commerce Street from Military Plaza – 1870s.
  • 25. Looking east down Commerce Street, in the early 1860s, from the second story of the Plaza House at the corner of Main and Dolorosa.
  • 26. Commerce Street looking east from Main Plaza in the 1870s.
  • 27. The Alameda (late 1850s) by Herman Lungkwitz. Alameda was the name of Commerce street east of the San Antonio River.
  • 28. To the South The southern portion of the city was occupied by two very different neighborhoods. One was La Villita, the settlement of the Canary Island settlers of the 1730s. The other was the King William area with large homes and beautiful gardens. Near King William was the Arsenal - military headquarters. Below these two neighborhoods, except along the San Antonio River, was prairie.
  • 29.
    • La Villita—1873…. Yet other than the bridge, and a number of new homes, the area was much the same as in 1860.
  • 30. The River
    • “ The river was used by those who lived on its banks not only for drinking water but also for lavatory, laundry purposes and for bathing. I don’t see how anybody managed to live through it.”
    • The San Antonio River “was a clear, rapid brook, gliding onward to the sea to the melodious cadence of the mockingbird’s song…”
    • From I Remember by Mrs. John Herndon James
  • 31.  
  • 32. River scene in about 1876 with St. Mary’s Church in the center and the rear of the Twohig house at the right.
  • 33. Mill bridge and river about 1878. La Villita on the left and St. John’s Lutheran Church in the center.
  • 34. Women doing laundry (ca. 1877) near the crossing at Navarro St. with the French building and tower of San Fernando center rear.
  • 35.
    • We irresistibly stop to examine it, we are so struck with its beauty. It is of a rich blue and as clear as a crystal, flowing  rapidly but noiselessly over pebbles and between reedy  banks. 
    • Frederick Law Olmsted, 1857
  • 36. This map shows the San Antonio River, San Pedro Creek, and the acequias (ditches), all of which brought life-giving water to residents.
  • 37. Architecture “ After entering the city, “For five minutes the houses were evidently German, of fresh square-cut blocks of creamy-white limestone, mostly of a single story and humble proportions, but neat, and thoroughly roofed and finished. … From these we enter the square of the Alamo. This is all Mexican. Windowless cabins of stakes, plastered with mud and roofed with river-grass, or ‘tula;’ or low, windowless, but better thatched, houses of adobes (gray, unburnt bricks), …” A Journey Through Texas by Frederick Law Olmsted (NY: Dix, Edwards & Co., 1857)
  • 38. Mission San Juan de Capistrano (1856) – Herman Lungkwitz
  • 39. The Veramendi Palace. Built by Fernando Veramendi, local merchant and public servant. One of the largest homes in town. [Doors now at the Alamo.]
  • 40. The Quinta, originally home of the Curbelo family. Later, John Bowen’s house and the first U. S. post office in San Antonio. It was on Dwyer Ave.
  • 41. Mail Schedule Tri-Weekly Alamo Express 19 February 1861
  • 42. A Mexican jacal
  • 43.
    • This building was the Market House built in 1858 just east of Main Plaza on the north side of Market St., and later occupied by Heusinger Hardware Co. (photo taken 1921-1925).
  • 44.
    • The Casino Hall built in 1858 by a group of Germans and
    • Army officers served as a social center for ‘Anglos’ in the
    • community.
  • 45. Samuel Maverick’s house as seen from Alamo Plaza.
  • 46. The Groos Bank on Commerce Street as it was from 1866 to 1879.
  • 47. The French building built in 1858 served as the San Antonio National Bank during 1866-1868.
  • 48. “… near the Alamo a fine new hotel is being erected by an enterprising German,” -- Leslie’s Weekly January 18, 1859
  • 49. A booming town, San Antonio construction work regularly blocked the narrow streets.
  • 50. Society
    • “ I have never seen a population so mixed, and on this point I will match San Antonio against the world, giving all other places a big start in the game. … Of the twenty thousand population they assign one-third to the Americans, one-third to the Germans and Sclaves [sic], and one-third to the Mexicans and French, with batches of every other race under the sun, except the unappreciative Lap and Esquimaux.”
    • The Coming Empire; or, Two Thousand Miles in Texas on Horseback by H. F. McDaniel & N. A. Taylor (NY: A.S. Barnes, 1877)
  • 51. Sometimes a fandango, some times just a barroom dance
  • 52. Schools In 1860 San Antonio had 15 public and private schools. Enrollment: Private – 342 Public – 221 German-English School - 187 Churches San Fernando and St. Mary’s Catholic churches Paine Methodist Episcopal Church South (now Travis Park United Methodist Church) St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, building started just before the Civil War and was halted until after the war. St. John’s Lutheran Church First Presbyterian Church Organizations in 1860
  • 53. Social Groups Masonic Lodge Alamo Literary Society Youth’s Debating Club Alamo Rifles Casino Club Libraries The City had 10 private and church libraries with 5,460 volumes, but no public one.
  • 54. Chili Queens of San Antonio’s Military Plaza, circa 1850
  • 55. 1850 – 1860 U. S. Census Population 1850 1860 Austin 629 3,495 Galveston 4,529 7,307 Houston 2,396 4,845 San Antonio 3,488 7,643
  • 56. Population Growth of Texas Towns, 1850--1860
    • Austin 2,865 newcomers
    • Houston 2,449 newcomers
    • Galveston 2,778 newcomers
    • San Antonio 4,747 newcomers
  • 57. Emigrants into Texas, 1850-1860
    • 1850 Number 1860 Number % of Change
    • Tennessee 17,692 42,265 138.9
    • Alabama 12,040 34,193 184.0
    • Georgia 7,639 23,637 209.4
    • Mississippi 6,545 19,902 204.1
    • Kentucky 5,478 14,545 165.5
    • Missouri 5,139 12,487 143.0
    • Germany 8,277 20,553 148.3
    • Ireland 1,403 3,480 148.0
    • Mexico 4,459 12,443 179.1
  • 58. Bexar County 1850-1860 Population
    • 1850 1860
    • White 5,633 13,057
    • Free Colored 30 2
    • Slave 389 1,395
    • Total Bexar County 6,052 14,454
    • Total Texas 212,592 604,215
  • 59. During the decade of the 1850s
    • 40 people a month came to San Antonio:
    • They brought labor, market demand, entrepreneurial ability
    • They sought housing, meals, supplies….. all put pressure on the supply chain, albeit minimal…. The material needs; the material desires at a minimum.
  • 60. Advertisement from The Daily Ledger and Texan , 25 February 1861, showing some of the types of items available to the citizens of San Antonio .
  • 61. 1860: San Antonio’s Elite Real and Personal Property Value Number of Slaves
    • Maria Leal Dwyer [Widow] $62,000 6 slaves
    • George T. Howard [Merchant] $150,000 9 slaves
    • Nat Lewis [Builder; Miller] $160,000 8 slaves
    • John McCarthy [Merchant] $100,000 1 slave
    • Samuel Maverick [Land] $190,000 18 slaves
    • James Vance [Merchant] $165,000 2 slaves
    • William Vance [Merchant] $155,500 1 slave
    • Ralph Wooster, “Wealthy Texans, 1860” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, V. 71, p. 163
  • 62. The Military
  • 63. A Brief Chronology, 1845-1861
    • 1845 – Three companies of the 2 nd U. S. Cavalry arrive,
    • by 1846 a Supply Depot was established
    • 1846 – Some 1,400 volunteers are trained for the war with Mexico
    • 1849 – Quartermaster Depot at Alamo; $5,000 spent on restoration of Alamo buildings
    • 1850 – Vance House built and leased to Army as its headquarters
    • 1853 - Beginning of a series of frontier posts established
    • 1856, 14 May – First shipment of 34 camels arrive in Texas
    • 1861, Feb. – Gen. Twiggs surrenders his command
  • 64. Military Commanders in San Antonio
    • Col. William Harney 1845-1846
    • Brig . Gen. John Ellis Wool 1846-1847
    • Brig. Gen. W. J. Worth 1847-1849
    • Brig. Gen. William Harney 1849-1849
    • Brig. Gen. Perciver Smith 1849-?
    • Col. Albert S. Johnston 1 April 1855-18 May 1857
    • Brig. Gen. David E. Twiggs 19 May 1857-Feb. 1860
    • Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee Feb. 1860-Dec. 1860
    • Brig. Gen. David E. Twiggs Dec. 1860-Feb. 18, 1861
  • 65.
    • San Antonio, Texas
    • 22 Feb 1860
    •  
    • My precious Annie,
    •  
    • …“… I see but little change in San Antonio. Some good houses have been built in my absence but my former residence has lost for me all its charm. In the beginning of this month, the river rose eight feet & carried away the bathhouse, the only tenement in the lot I coveted. I do not know where to fix myself, nor whether to fix myself at all…”
    •  
    • --Robert E. Lee
    • Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Reading the Man, A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
    • (New York: Viking, 2007) pp. 242-243.
    •  
  • 66.
    • Albert Sidney Johnston served in Texas from 1834 as the Secretary of War for the Republic and later Department commander in San Antonio April 1856 to May 1857.
  • 67. Joseph Johnston
    • One of the Confederate luminaries familiar to pre-war San Antonio, Johnston, served as chief topographical engineer of the Department of Texas from 1848 to 1853.
  • 68. Military trails, like this one surveyed by Joseph Johnston and his team across Texas, opened the west and brought commerce to San Antonio.
  • 69.  
  • 70. Government trains provided economic impact
  • 71. Military Transportation by Contract in 1858
    • From To Pounds Distance Expense
    • Indianola San Antonio 3,931,174 140 49,139.67
    • San Antonio Camp Hudson 409,922 215 13,219.98
    • Fort Belknap 340,619 350 15,327.85
    • Fort Lancaster 316,736 310 14,728.22
    • Fort Fillmore 219,987 720 26,826.40
    • Fort Inge 165,508 90 1,638.52
    • Fort Davis 143,222 465 11,321.69
    • Fort McKavett 135,258 175 2,367.01
    • Fort Bliss 122,984 675 14,102.51
    • Camp Verde 119,116 65 825.31
    • Fort Duncan 113,563 155 1,936.24
  • 72. 1858 Government Contract
    • Number of wagons necessary to transport the same number of pounds in one year, traveling continually 18 miles each day, and transporting 2,500 lbs. each trip.
    • 200 wagons - $200 each
    • 1,400 mules - $70 each
    • 10 horses - $150 each
    • 10 bushels of corn ($1.25 each) for each mule each day
    • 220 teamsters, wages - $26 a month
    • 10 wagon masters, wages - $58 a month
  • 73.
    • From the
    • Daily Ledger and Texan
    • 3 October 1860
    • Invitation for contractor bids to
    • carry supplies to the western
    • forts.
  • 74. George T. Howard arrived in Texas in 1836. Coming to San Antonio in 1839 he served in many events: the Council House fight, Battle of Plum Creek (1840), the Santa Fe expedition, Somervell expedition, & the Mexican War. He served as Bexar County sheriff (1843-1845). From 1850 to 1855 he served as Indian agent for Texas. From 1855, until his death in 1866, he acted as a contractor for the United States and Confederate gover nments.
  • 75. Under Army contracts, “Howard ran nearly eight hundred ox and mule teams, averaging a profit of $30,000 to $50,000 per year…” In 1856, the U.S. Army employed 138 civilians with a $39,000 payroll. Total military expenditures in Texas surpassed $950,000 annually, 1849-1860. Thomas T. Smith, The U.S. Army & the Texas Frontier Economy, pages 11 & 54
  • 76. Politics of Secession
  • 77. Slaves and Free Persons of Color From the San Antonio Charter and Digest of Ordinances , 1857
    • Article 192. Any slave will be arrested after 9:15 p.m. if he does not have a written pass from his master.
    • Article 196. The marshal shall ring the bell every night at 9:00 as a signal for all slaves to go home.
    • Article 197. No slave, within the city limits, shall reside in any house other than his or her owners or their representative if hired out.
    • Article 198. No person shall hire a slave within the city limits at any time.
    • Article 199. No free person of color or slave, without permission of his owner, shall keep a boarding-house or eating place.
    • Article 200. It is illegal for anyone to sell to a slave any intoxicating liquors without written permission from his owner.
    • Article 201. No slave may sell slave produce to anyone without written consent of his master.
    • Article 202. No slave is allowed to carry a gun, or deadly weapon, without written consent of his master.
  • 78. Road to Secession
    • As early as 11 September 1860 the Union Club was formed with James P. Newcomb as its secretary.
    • “ We are opposed to all sectional issues being made the test of political faith, and to the violent agitation, in or out of Congress, of local questions which threaten a dissolution of the Union.” ( Alamo Express , 12 Sept. 1860)
  • 79. Gov. Houston Speaks In San Antonio
    • On the first Monday in October 1860 Gov. Houston spoke from the balcony of the Plaza House.
    • “… there were loud shouts and cries for his appearance, and he walked out on to the balcony amid deafening applause from the multitude. His remarks were brief, but every word was patriotic and heart-searching; nothing partisan or rabid, but calm, sober….”
    • The next day he spoke to a crowd of two thousand at San Pedro Park for two hours. A holiday atmosphere followed dinner.
  • 80. Alamo Express – 5 November 1860
    • “ Tomorrow, fellow citizens, our country will be on the verge of revolution-one of the greatest shocks we have ever encountered will happen, and it is the duty of every good citizen to stand by the flag of his country, the Union and the Constitution-The only question before the Southern people and the people of Texas is secession or no secession? How will you decide? All other questions are mere blinds.”
  • 81. The 1860 Presidential Election
    • Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln, who was not on the ballot in Texas.
    • The Democratic Party split:
    • Northern Democratic Party - Stephen Douglas
    • Statewide – 18 votes
    • Southern Democratic Party - John C. Breckinridge San Antonio - 725
    • Bexar County - 986
    • Texas – 47,454 (75.5%)
    • Constitutional Union Party - John Bell
    • San Antonio – 214
    • Bexar County – 293
    • Texas – 15,383 (24.5%)
    • Lincoln was elected November 6, 1860
  • 82.
    • Charles Anderson spoke in favor of staying in the Union.
    • Rev. Jesse Boring and Col. John Allen Wilcox spoke on behalf of secessionists.
    • Samuel A. Maverick spoke and chose a voice of moderation, urging San Antonio to wait for events to cool.
    “ Meeting on Alamo Plaza” on November 24, 1860
  • 83. Bexar Speaks
    • In late November 1860 a citizens meeting was called on Military Plaza.
    • As reported in the Weekly Ledger & Texan here is the first resolution
    • that came out of the meeting.
    • “ Whereas, through the election of Abraham Lincoln, as President of the United States, upon the ‘one idea of hostility to American slavery,’ by a sectional, fanatical party, which under the names of abolitionists, free-soilers and Black republicans, has long waged an unjust and unrelenting warfare against the institutions of the South; the people of Texas, with the people of her sister Southern States, have justly become alarmed for the safety of their lives and property, and for the preservation of their political rights and liberties.”
    • The meeting then called on the Governor to convene a special session of the Legislature to consult on what action the State should take for the future.
  • 84. The Alamo Express , the Unionist paper of San Antonio, published by James P. Newcomb. This item from 18 February 1861.
  • 85. Secession Legislature
    • Over the objections of Governor
    • Sam Houston, a secession
    • convention convened in Austin
    • January 28, 1861 .
    • A Secession Ordinance was adopted on 1 February.
    • A statewide election to approve the Secession Ordinance was held on 23 February.
  • 86. Secession Convention
    • Delegates from Bexar County (District 71) were
    • Thomas J. Devine, an attorney and judge
    • John A. Wilcox, attorney and leader of the Alamo Rifles
    • Robert W. Brahan, a planter on Cibolo Creek
    • Samuel S. Smith, Bexar County Clerk
  • 87.
    • One resolution of the Convention struck terror in the hearts of many.
    • “ Resolved, by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, that any person, whosoever, …oppose any resolution or ordinance of this Convention, or who shall in any manner give aid or comfort to the enemies of this state…shall be guilty of Treason against this State and conviction thereof, shall suffer death.”
    • (as printed in the Alamo Express , 5 February 1861)
    Reign of Terror?
  • 88. Secession Vote
    • February 1, the convention’s members voted by a margin of 166 to 8 to secede.
    • On 23 February a statewide election was held on the secession question .
    • Statewide : 46,129 for secession; 14,697 against
  • 89. Secession Election Results County For Against % Against Bandera 33 32 49 Blanco 108 170 61 Burnet 157 248 61 Kerr 76 57 43 Gillespie 16 398 96 Medina 140 207 60 Uvalde 16 76 83 Bexar 827 709 46
  • 90. Even before the secession vote was held Southern sympathizers sought to take control of federal supplies in San Antonio. Alamo Express , 20 February 1 861
  • 91. General Twiggs, seeking to avoid a physical confrontation between Federal and States troops, issued General Order No. 5, surrendering certain federal property, but not all, to State troops. If he had not done so, the Civil War would probably have begun in San Antonio, rather than Fort Sumter. Alamo Express , 20 February 1861
  • 92. Main Plaza, February 19, 1861 by Carl von Iwonski for Harper’s Monthly
  • 93.
    • While Iwonski’s picture is not entirely accurate historically, it does portray the hectic mood when Robert E. Lee arrived on his way to Washington.
    • A correspondent for the Austin State Gazette wrote, “Eight o’clock Saturday morning our usually quiet city is full of soldiers. All the important streets are guarded, and the main plaza looks like a vast military camp.”
    • Lee asked, “Who are these men?”
    • “ They are McCulloch’s,” explained Caroline Darrow. “General Twiggs surrendered everything to the state this morning, and we are all prisoners of war.”
    • From Carl Rister, Robert E. Lee in Texas
  • 94. The Alamo Express describes the evacuation of United States troops to San Pedro Park. Soon these troops and those from the western posts would march to the Texas coast to leave for the North. Alamo Express , 19 February 1861
  • 95. In the letter on the next two slides, Joseph Wood wrote to his sister on 21 February 1861. He mentions the arrival of Col. Ben McCulloch’s Texas troops and General Twiggs’ surrender of his 160 men and government stores to the Committee of Public Safety. “… Last week however the State troops came in and took possession of the Government Property which was given up by the U. S. officers and the Soldiers are now on their March to Indianola to be shipped to the North. It was a melancholy sight to see the “Star Spangled banner” hauled down to give place to the “Lone Star” and many turned away in tears. I don’t think that now there is any chance of an adjustment of the difficulties, and the Union will be completely divided, I hope without bloodshed, but fear the worst.”
  • 96.  
  • 97.  
  • 98. Bibliography
    • City of San Antonio. Charter and Digest of Ordinances , 1857
    • Crimmins, L. M. History of the Army in San Antonio 1845-1945
    • Ellsworth, Lois C. San Antonio During the Civil War
    • Government Printing Office. Population of the United States in 1850
    • Government Printing Office. Population of the United States in 1860
    • Handy, Mary O. History of Fort Sam Houston
    • James, Maria A. I Remember
    • Lathrop, Barnes F. Migration Into East Texas, 1835-186 0
    • McDaniel, H. F. & N. A. Taylor. The Coming Empire; or, Two Thousand Miles in Texas on Horseback
    • Olmsted, Frederick Law. A Journey Through Texas
    • Rister, Carl. Robert E. Lee In Texas
    • Sturmberg, Robert . History of San Antonio and of the Early Days in Texa s
    • Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide. 1931