Friday, April 29, 2011

April 25, 1861 (Thursday): A Surrender in Texas

Star of the West, from Frank Leslie's Weekly.

Reports of Maj. C. C. Sibley, Third U.S. Infantry, of the surrender of his command at Suluria, Tex.

Hdqrs. Bat. First, Third, and Eigth Infantry
                            Salubria, Tex., April 25, 1861.

SIR:  I have the honor to report that I have this morning surrendered this battalion, consisting of two companies of the First Infantry, with the adjutant and non-commissioned staff and band of the same regiment, three companies of the Third and two companies of the Eight Infantry, including nine officers, to the forces of the Confederate States under command of Earl Van Dorn.
   Two unsuccessful attempts have been made by me to escape with this command, the Star of the West (transport) having been captured before we were able to reach her anchorage, off Matagorda Bay, and on the night of the 24th of April three steamers, having some eight hundred men and some pieces of artillery on board, coming down the bay, and taking up such a position as to prevent our retreat in the two small schooners in which we were endeavoring to make our escape, and a fourth steamer, with some four hundred men, one 24 and two 6 pounder pieces of artillery, having early in the morning of the 25th taken up a position to prevent our escape by running out of the bay, I was obliged to capitulate under the most favorable terms which I could obtain.

Major Third Infantry, Commanding.

Trapped in Texas at the start of the war, denied free passage out, Sibley's command lost its way out when their passage, the Star of the West, was captured.  Here Sibley describes his surrender at Saluria, half way between Houston and Corpus Christi.

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