War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0618 OPERATIONS IN TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO. Chapter VII.

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Colorado, and having a partial personal knowledge of that entire region of country from the Red River to the Rio Grande at Fort Dunca, and it being fully as much territory as my command can conveniently protect, I respectfully ask to b assigned to that service, leaving the Rio Grande, including El Paso, to be protected by Colonel Ford, of the State troops. I also desire to be permitted to use some of the friendly Indians in the Indian Territory, if I can procure their service, in my scouting parties and expeditions against the hostile Indians. These people can be made of great service to us, and can be used without any great expense to the Government.

Permit me to suggest the necessity of adopting the State regiment under Colonel Ford into the service of the Confederate States, and the appointment or designation of a general officer to the command of this department, with the remark that the commanding officers of the regiments are new in the active duties of the field.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


MONTGOMERY, ALA., March 30, 1861.

Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: Feeling it incumbent on us as a duty to our constituents, were take the liberty of calling you attention to the condition of the frontier of Texas, and making some suggestions which we deem worthy of consideration in providing for its defense.

Our frontier may be divided into three sections, each presenting its peculiar aspect. First, that portion bounded by the Rio Grande, from the mouth of that river to New Mexico; second, the frontier settlements in the State from Preston, Red River, to the Rio Grande; and, third, the north boundary of the State on Red River, from the southwest corner of Arkansas up to Preston.

The first section is between one thousand and fifteen hundred miles in length, and is the boundary line between Texas and Mexico. Upon this line there should be, as we conceive, permanent military posts, occupied by troops of the Regular Army, of sufficient force to preserve good order on the line and prevent lawless incursions across it. The upper settlements on this line are exposed to Indian depredations from the wild tribes of the plains and form Mexico. To guard against that danger a cavalry force should be added to that service.

The second section or line of frontier settlements from the Red River to the Rio Grande is one of great difficulty. This line is f rom six hundred to one thousand miles long. Of the last ten years the settlements have extended westward about fifteen miles annually. From one end of this line to the other the settlements ar exposed to the depredations of the wild tribes of the plains. These indians make their incursions in small parties, stealthily, and generally in the night, stealing large droves of horses and killing other stock. Families exposed and unprotected are murdered; individuals are chased, and frequently overtaken and murdered. These Indians are perfect horsemen, always move with great rapidity, and are never overtaken unless the purist is instantaneous. If preparation is necessary before starting after their trail is discovered, the pursuit had as well be abandoned. They always avoid a conflict with a force of anything like equal numbers, and upon finding themselves pursued, scatter in all directions and conceal themselves.

You will readily perceive that a particular character of troops is