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WAITE, CARLOS ADOLPHUS

WAITE, CARLOS ADOLPHUS (?–1866). Carlos Adolphus Waite, United States Army officer, was a native of New York. On January 28, 1820, he received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Second United States Infantry. He was promoted to first lieutenant on May 1, 1828, and to captain on July 3, 1836. On July 7, 1838, he assistant regimental quartermaster, a post he held until May 8, 1845. On February 16, 1847, he was promoted to major in the Eighth Infantry. Waite was assigned to Gen. Winfield Scott's army during the Mexican War and brevetted to lieutenant colonel on August 20, 1847, for "gallant and meritorious conduct" at the battles of Contreras and Churubusco. On September 8, 1847, he received a brevet promotion to colonel for his conduct at the battle of Molino del Rey. He was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant colonel of the Fifth Infantry on November 10, 1851. From March 10, 1851, through January 7, 1852, he commanded Fort Gates in Coryell County. On June 5, 1860, he became colonel of the First Infantry. On February 15, at the height of the secession crisis, Gen. David E. Twiggs, an advocate of the state's right to secede, was relieved of his command of the Department of Texas at his own request. Waite, the next senior officer in the department, was named his successor. He was a strong Unionist, however, and the Texas Committee on Public Safety reasoned that he would not surrender the federal property demanded of Twiggs. Waite's impending appointment to department command, therefore, precipitated Benjamin McCulloch's siege of federal troops in San Antonio on February 18, 1861, which culminated in Twiggs's surrender of all United States property in the state to Texas authorities. Ironically, Waite received his appointment as department commander on February 19, the day after Twiggs had turned over United States forts and heavy equipment and pledged to remove federal troops immediately by way of the coast. On March 13, 1865, Waite was brevetted to brigadier general for "long and faithful service" in the army. He retired from active duty on February 8, 1864, and died on May 7, 1866.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965).

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thomas W. Cutrer, "WAITE, CARLOS ADOLPHUS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwa12), accessed December 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.