Two companies at Duncan, one at McIntosh, two at Ringgold, and five at Fort Brown and the mouth of the river.
In considering the defense of the line of the western frontier of Texas our relations with the civilized Indians north of Red River are of the utmost importance. Numbering some eight thousand rifles, they form a strong barrier on the north, forcing the line of operations of an invading army westward into a region impracticable to the passage of large bodies of troops. Regarding them as our allies, which their natural affinities make them, the line of the western frontier reduces itself to the country between the Rio Grande and Red River.
Two regiments of mounted troops are necessary for the defense of this line. Inge, verde, mason, Colorado and some point near Belknap should be occupied, and the cavalry collected at few points can be more readily concentrated, and will more effectually protect the frontier. One company of infantry should be stationed at each of the above points.
The remaining five companies of the regiment can occupy the El Paso road. If our communications with New Mexico are to be preserved, one additional regiment of infantry should occupy Forts Bliss, Quitman, Davis, Stockton, and Hudson.
By the above estimation two regiments of cavalry and three of infantry will be required. It presupposes the line of the Rio Grande and the line of Red River secured by friendly relations with Mexico and the civilized Indians.
These regiments, as far as practicable, should be regulars, or called into service for the war, or for a period of service not less than three years. All our experience has shown that volunteers are more expensive than regular troops, and their cost is at an inverse ratio with their term of service.
The regiments nor regular troops called into service should as far as practicable be armed by the Confederate Government, that their arms may be of the same pattern and their supply of ammunition be secured. Their commissariat should be on the same footing with the commissariat of the Confederate troops. No soldiers called into service can find their own supplies and be efficient. They will be found without provisions when a movement is order. The two systems will not work together.
In addition to the five regiments called to the frontier, measures should be taken for a thorough organization of the militia of the State, which should be put immediately upon a war footing. The five regiments would constitute a nucleus round which the militia of the State could rally in the event of an invasion.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
Major, Artillery, C. S. Army.
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS SAN ANTONIO, TEX.,
April 21, 1861.
I. The undersigned hereby assume command in Texas, having authority to do so by orders from the War Department.
II. During my temporary absence Major S. Maclin, C. S. Army, will command the troops in, and in the vicinity of, San Antonio.
EARL VAN DORN,
Colonel of Cavalry, C. S. Army, Commanding.