Sam Houston and Abraham Lincoln

Sam Houston

Sam Houston

On the day that Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States in 1861, the state of Texas seceded from the Union. It was March 4th.  Sam Houston saw the “dark clouds” looming. He correctly predicted that the Confederacy of seceded states could never win a war against the North. While many of his associates were advancing the notion of a “short war”- Houston knew better.  He was against disunion anyway. For that reason, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America. He was then removed as Govenor of Texas. His career was over. 
 
Sam Houston was no stranger to war. At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama in 1814, he was wounded twice. General Andrew Jackson took notice of the young Houston and promoted him to Second Lieutenant.
In 1836, with the war cry “Remember the Alamo” roaring the the mouths of his troops, Houston defeated Santa Anna’s army and won the independence of Texas.  He was afterward elected President of the Republic of Texas.
 
When Abraham Lincoln heard that Texas proclaimed sucession, he wanted to defend Houston. He gave serious thought to ordering troops to there. Lincoln knew that if Texas could be held in the Union with Houston still in power it would be a crucial loss to the rebellion. In fact, prior to the actual sucession, Lincoln had sent Major Frederick West Lander on a secret mission to Texas to try and turn the tide that was coming. The major met with Houston but it resulted in nothing positive.
 
Abraham Lincoln then made Sam Houston an offer-he would make him a major general and commander of all the United States troops in Texas. Lincoln promised Houston fifty thousand troops to try and save the state for the Union. Houston considered the matter over. He felt he was too old for such a task. Lamenting that he wished he were ten years younger, he burned Lincoln’s letter in the fire with great sadness. Abraham Lincoln would have to deal with the conflict without the aid of Houston.
 
“My God, is it possible that all the people are gone mad?” “…the civil war now being inaugurated (across the South) will be as horrible as his Satanic Majesty could desire.”     Sam Houston
 
In 1862 at the Battle of Shiloh, Sam Houston Jr., Confederate soldier, was badly wounded.
 
On July 26, 1863, Sam Houston, American patriot, soldier, father, and husband-died. He did not live to see the rebellion’s end. His was a humble burial. His widow couldn’t even afford a tombstone.
 
His last words had been:
 
“Texas-Texas!-Margaret-“
 
 
 
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4 Responses to “Sam Houston and Abraham Lincoln”

  1. I concur with Judge Willson on all counts. Sam Houston would never imagine making war on his own people regardless of his age or health. As for Lincoln’s obscene offer (made twice), Houston took the high road and left office with his dignity intact.

  2. B. Nash says:

    Gerald: I agree with you totally. Thanks for visiting the site and stop in anytime.

  3. Gerald says:

    Despite the morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims, the fact remains that Countries exist because of wars fought against their neighbours or rivals. Independence is largely secured through the employment of armed forces and the willingness to fight if threatened, this alone prepares us all for such an eventuality.

    I commend you on your site it contains a lot of quality information and is well done.

  4. Sam A. Willson says:

    “burned Lincoln’s letter in the fire with great sadness.” Bull crap. If Sam Houston felt emotion (probably so) over Lincoln’s offer to invade Texas it was disgust, not sorrow. Nice job of research short of the slander portion.
    As for Abe Lincoln, there is a more accurate legacy titled, “The Real Linclon”.

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