|Despite the overwhelming pro-Confederate sentiment of his constituency, Governor Sam Houston was not in favor of sacrificing “hundreds of thousands of precious lives for the bare possibility of Southern independence.”
When the state voted to secede, Robert E. Lee was stationed at Fort Mason, Texas as a Lieutenant Colonel. He shared Houston’s opinion, convinced that “secession is nothing more than revolution.” Lee was saddened to see Texans marching through the streets of San Antonio, shouting diatribes against the Union. He was then further upset to learn that the state had seized control of the military department.
Of course, the career of the future Confederate general did not depend solely on the fate of Texas. Lee’s commander informed him that he was to report to General-in-Chief Winfield Scott in Washington, D.C. Sensing correctly that Scott was about to grant him a special assignment, Lee confided to another officer that he planned to resign from the US armed forces. He could not bring himself to fight his native Virginia, and resolved to follow his home state “with my sword, and if need be, my life.”
Texas was formally admitted to the Confederacy on March 2, 1861. Its cause would be championed on the battlefield by one of its most prominent defenders - Robert E. Lee.
Mort Künstler painted this portrait of General Hood, a well known Texan General, with the Texas state flag behind him.