From 1863 to 1865, Governor Thomas C. Reynolds convened his cabinet at Marshall in a rented house. He and his wife resided in a small, but well appointed 'Governor's Mansion' rented from Mrs. Mary Key for the outrageous sum for $225 a month.
Here's the twist: Thomas Reynolds was not the governor of Texas, but of Missouri.
The Missouri Capitol at Marshall, Texas
How could this happen?
It started with the election of 1860. As you probably know, Mr. Lincoln won, which lit the fuse of secession among the Southern states.
There wasn't a lot of love for the new president in Missouri. He had come in fourth there. But there wasn't a lot of sentiment for leaving the Union and fighting a war either.
Claiborne Jackson had just been elected governor and Thomas Reynolds his Lieutenant. Jackson tried to sit the fence, declaring that Missouri would be neutral in the coming fight. Old Abe was hearing none of that.
Lincoln sent Jackson a letter ordering Missouri to provide four regiments to fight the rebellion. Jackson responded, "Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on any unholy crusade."
Jackson did order the state militia to assemble near St. Louis for drills. Union general Nathaniel Lyon visited to camp disguised as a woman and was not pleased to find most of the commanders where secessionists.
The Federals soon took the field and the Missouri government was on the run.
By 1863, Jackson was dead of stomach cancer, Reynolds had ascended to the governorship and all state officials had fled to Texas.
Marshall was something of a rear staging area for the Trans-Mississippi Department. It had a powder mill and a hat factory where Confederate kepis were made.
It was from Marshall that Governor Reynolds lobbied his friend, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, to approve an expedition into Missouri to restore his authority.
In 1864 he got his wish and accompanied General Sterling Price on a raid into the state. But the Confederates where repulsed and Reynolds soon found himself back in Marshall, a Governor without a state.
When Lee surrendered to Grant in the spring of 1865, General John Pope offered the same terms to his Confederate counterpart in the Trans-Mississippi, General Kirby Smith.
Smith refused and summoned all the governors of the region to Marshall for a conference. There was much talk of carrying on a guerrilla war. They also discussed forming a defensive line on the Brazos, behind which men from across the South could rally and regroup, but few practical steps where taken.
Confusion reigned and it it was obvious the fight could not continue. General Pope was informed that the occupation could commence and would not be resisted.
That same day, what was left of a Missouri cavalry brigade started for Mexico. When they arrived at Austin, Texas Governor Pendleton Murrah joined the flight. Governor Reynolds, along with the governor of Louisiana caught up with them in San Antonio.
Reynolds took up residence in Mexico City where he became a railroad commissioner and unofficial adviser to the Emperor Maximilian.