Texas and the Civil War Committee on Public Safety

Location: San Pedro Park, Corner of Dewey Place & San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, TX

Created by Texas Secession Convention, Jan. 1861. A committee of 15 men to prevent public disorder and--in the face of open hostlity from Governor Sam Houston--enforce secession convention mandates.

On Feb. 18, 1861, in what might well have been first battle of the Civil War, minute men under committee orders surrounded the Federal headquarters for the State, in San Antonio, and effected surrender of the alien force. Over $3,000,000 worth of ammunition, guns, army vehicles, military goods and money were seized. Prompt action here postponed hostilities. The captured foe was sent north without bloodshed on Texas soil. This move was followed by occupation of a chain of frontier forts won in the San Antonio action and useful in defense of Confederate Texas.

 The committee set up 3 military districts, placing troops on frontiers, coast and Mexican border. Texas was the only Confederate state with the problem of defenses on the border of a neutral nation.

Numbers of Texas counties also used for at least 2 years Committees on Public Safety, for protection against Indians and to obtain supplies.

The secession Convention and Committee on Public Safety did much to prepare Texas for War.