David Emanuel Twiggs "All I Have Is In The South" 1790 - July 15, 1862
David E. Twiggs, son of Revolutionary War hero Gen. John Twiggs, had served meritoriously in the U.S. Army for almost 50 years before the start of the Civil War. He was an officer in the War of 1812, and he fought in the Black Hawk and the Seminole Wars. For gallant service in the Mexican War Twiggs was breveted a major general and bestowed with a sword by the U.S. Congress. In 1856, at the age of 66, he was placed in command of the Department of Texas with the duties of protecting the settlers from Comanches and other marauding Indians.
Georgian Twiggs, whose headquarters was in San Antonio, sympathized with the southern States during the secession crisis. On January 15, 1861, Twiggs wrote one of several letters to his commanding officer, Gen. Winfield Scott: "I am placed in a most embarrassing situation. I am a southern man and all these states will secede... As soon as I know Georgia has separated from the Union I must, of course, follow her. I most respectfully ask to be relieved in the command of this department... All I have is in the South."
Though Twiggs repeatedly asked Scott what should be done when Texas seceded, he received no better answer than to protect government property without waging war or acting aggressively.
Those instructions proved impossible to follow when 1,000 armed Texans surrounded Twiggs's 160-man garrison on February 18, 1861, and he was forced to surrender. Twiggs made the best terms possible for removing his men and equipment from the state and then departed, leaving $1.6 million of government property to be seized by the Confederacy.
Twiggs was labeled a traitor in the North for surrendering Texas, and he was dishonorably dismissed from the U.S. army for "treachery to the flag". Twiggs was promptly commissioned a major general in the Confederate army, but never saw active duty. He died the next year.
Fascinating Fact: The mental anguish caused by Twiggs's dishonorable discharge from the U.S. army led to the rapid decline of his health.
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