The Civil War in Texas: An Exhibit from the Texas State Library and Archives

Before the War | 1860: Big Trouble | Secession! | 1861: Opening Act | Dissent

1862: Fiery Trial | 1863: The Tide Turns | 1864: No Way Out | End of the Ordeal | Further Reading

Kirby Smith to T.J. Sprague, May 1865 (undated)

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Kirby Smith to T.J. Sprague, May 1865

Head Quarters Trans Miss Dpt
Shreveport La 1865

Col. Sprague

The terms proposed by
Genl Pope, considering that my army
was menaced only from a distance,
that it is large & well supplied, & we
are [in] extensive country full of resources, was
not such as a soldier could honorably
accept. An officer can honorably
surrender his command when he
has resisted to the utmost of his
power, & no hopes rest upon his
further efforts. It cannot be said
that the duty imposed upon me
has been fulfilled to the extent
required by the laws of honorable
warfare[.] To have conceded the
terms demanded would
therefore have dishonored the
commander who submitted to

It is not contended that the
Trans Miss Department can without
assistance accomplish its independence
against the whole power of the
United States. It is conceded that
its people[,] its army & its commander
desire to avoid the unnecessary
effusion of blood & the attendant
disturbance of the Country.

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Kirby Smith to T.J. Sprague, May 1865 (undated). Records of the Adjutant General, General Correspondence, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 3, 2016