TEXAS SUFFERED LITTLE during the Civil War in comparison with other Southern states. Still, there was no government worthy of the name as summer began in 1865. The Confederate governor, Pendleton Murrah, had fled to Mexico along with many of his associates. Maximilian, the puppet emperor south of the Rio Grande, beckoned, and the prospect of extensive lands there to be had almost for the asking was too much to resist, especially when possible arrest and imprisonment awaited the former Confederate leader at home.
As a part of President Andrew Johnson's ill-fated policy of restoring the South to the Union, General A. J. Hamilton was appointed provisional governor on June 17, 1865. Hamilton had been a prominent figure in the state before the war, and, at the beginning of the conflict, he had entered the United States Army.1 At the time of his appointment, Hamilton was in New Orleans. He set out for Texas and landed at Galveston on July 21, 1865.2
The new provisional governor at once began organizing the government under the Johnson plan of reconstruction, which granted amnesty, with certain exceptions, to those who had served in the Southern forces during the war, provided that they executed an oath of allegiance.3 Hamilton filled the various appointive offices of the state with Unionists whenever he could, but when this was impossible he named former secessionists known to be capable and trustworthy. He became aware that the jurisdictions of the provisional civil courts were being____________________