regiment by the Confederate States will give peace and quiet to the frontier, and inspire the confidence of the people in the Government.
We can assure you that nothing contributed more to destroy the bonds of affection which bound the people of Texas to the United States than the fatal disregard of the danger to which they were exposed to the Indians, and the reckless denial of adequate protection. The people had a right to expect ample protection. It was a part to the bond of annexation as well as a duty without any express stipulation. Our people are not mercenary. Their calls for protection were misunderstood. They were forced by the Federal Government to protect themselves, while they were annually sending off $20,000,000 of exports upon which imports were returned to Northern ports, and upon which revenues were collected and distributed amongst hungry jobbers and speculators rather than expended for the protection of the people.
We have taken the liberty of making the foregoing suggestions for your consideration in providing such a system of defense as the condition of the frontier requires.
We are, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. S. OLDHAM
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Montgomery, April 1, 1861.
Honorable JOHN HEMPHILL and W. S. OLDHAM, of Texas, Montgomery, Ala.:
GENTLEMEN: The general subject of your letter of the 30th ultimo has specially occupied the attention of this Department almost from its organization, and your ample and precise statements increase the solicitude with which the Government has steadily regard the exposed condition of the frontier of Texas. In evidence of the watchful interest with which the Department has viewed the subject, it is proper to state that as early as the 9th of last month (March) a special messenger was dispatch to the State of Texas bearing authority to one of her citizens to raise a regiment of mounted riflemen for the protection of the frontier, and although no official information has yet been received, it is hoped that the regiment is in rapid process of formation.
Again, an officer of the Confederate Army has been detailed, and is now in Texas, with orders to muster into the service of this Government, if it can be done, the troops of the United States government stationed there, and another has been sent to Saint Louis to intercept such as may return through Kansas from New Mexico. It is thought that in this way a regiment of these troops may be raised, and when so raised it is the purpose of the Department to send them to the Rio Grande.
In conclusion, gentlemen, I repeat the assurance that this Department will exert all its energies and exhaust all the means at its command to secure the citizens of Texas against Indian and other depredations. It has so far acted fully up to the measure of its ability, and as its capacity and resources are increased it will continue to augment and perfect the system of frontier defense.
With high consideration, your obedient servant,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.