that the settlers of the frontier of that State are entitled to the most favorable regard of this Government, it has sought to make its action conform to their wishes as well as to their pressing needs. In proof of this disposition of the Government I need hardly remind you of the fact, well known to the authorities of Texas and yourself, that the Department of War, within a very few days after its organization, transmitted orders to Texas by a special agent for the raising as rapidly as possible of a regiment of mounted riflemen for this Government, to be assigned to service on the northwestern and northern frontiers of the State. This at the time was admeasure fully commensurate with the ability of the Government, then, as now, charged with duties of the gravest responsibility, involving not only the expenditure of great sums of money, but the far higher consideration of giving protection to such of our cities and their populations (alike entitled with the people of Texas to that protection) as were in the actual presence of the enemy. If I refer to these facts (which have bootless been fully weighed and nicely appreciated by so close an observer as yourself of public affairs) it is that I may ask your Safe authorities and yourself to concede to this Department a just allowance for the embarrassments growing out of the importance and the multiplicity of the business which was suddenly devolved upon it when this Government came into power.
The question now specially before the Department is whether, in addition to the regiment ordered to be enlisted of the defense of Texas, a second regiment of mounted men authorized to be raised by the convention of your State can be received into the service of the Confederate States. The Department has most maturely and with a warm desire to protect fully the interests of Texas and to accommodate itself to local ideas of the necessities of the case considered this question, and it has arrived at the conclusion that the vast expense of mending mounted troops on your border rough (for the present and until a smaller force shall have been demonstrated to be insufficient) to prove the acceptance by the Department of a second mounted regiment; but at the same time it is deemed expedient to receive this second regiment into the service, if the State should acquiesce, as a regiment of infantry, to be assigned to the defense of the line of the Rio Grande. The orders necessary to carry this determination into effect, if it be agreeable to the authorities of Texas, will be immediately issued.
While the character of the war, if it can be called so, on your borders continues mealy predatory and incursional, and carried on only by roving tribes of Indians, it is believed by the Department that quite effectual protection can be secured to the settlers by regiment of mounted firemen, which, upon occasion, may be divided and subdivided, as the necessity for aiding different points may appear. Together with a regiment of infantry for the Rio Grande, subject to the same disposition, it ought to avail at least for all except very extraordinary demands.
The excessive cost of transportation, forage, &c., in the frontier service, especially for cavalry, furnishes just reason why this Government should only on demonstration of its necessity incur addition to the enormous expense of two regiments so situated; but I beg to assure the authorities of Texas and yourself that when that necessity shall have proved itself, this Government will, at whatever cost, place on your exposed lines whatever force and of whatever description the exigency may require.
With great consideration, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War.