Description: Unlike other Confederate armies at the conclusion of the Civil War, General Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army disbanded, often without orders, rather than surrender formally. Despite entreaties from military and civilian leaders to fight on, for Confederate soldiers west of the Mississippi River, the surrender of armies led by Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston ended the war. After a significant decline in morale and discipline throughout the spring of 1865, soldiers of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department chose to break-up and return home. As compensation for months of unpaid service, soldiers seized both public and private property. Civilians joined the soldiers to create disorder that swept many Texas communities until the arrival of Federal troops in late June.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.