has different orders and larger discretion allowed him to provide for the defense of this State, so that our loyal people may not have cause to believe that the Government is neglectful or intends to abandon their coast defenses.
The effect of the possession of Galveston by the enemy and their late movements on the coast and the information acquired by them of our condition from Hamilton and others will, I feel assured, induce them to send a large expedition against Texas this winter. Our young men are nearly all in the Army (all liable to military duty) and most of them is distant States. The number of troops now in this State, including Sibley's brigade, can hardly exceed 8,000 men, and these are scattered along our Indian frontier, the Rio Grande, on the coast, and in camps. Your call under the conscript extension can hardly do more than recruit old regiments by next spring. In view of the emergency, General Hebert and Governor Lubbock had a consultation, I hear, and I see that on General Hebert's authority, or call, the Governor has issued his call for 5,400 militia for ninety-days' service, including, as I understand its language, those liable to conscription, but not yet enrolled or in actual service. I fear this may produce some collision or confusion; certainly it will, unless it be changed or the execution of the new conscription be suspended or postponed for the present in Texas. I am inclined to think that this would be a wise measure. The season is now so far advanced that new conscripts cannot be enrolled and sent forward to our distant regiments in time for active service in Virginia, Tennessee, or Arkansas, for I suppose that active operations will soon cease for the winter in those latitudes. Indeed, taking new levies to camps there in the winter season from this climate would kill more of them by disease than would be by the enemy in a summer campaign. During the winter, however, they might do good service here, and at the same time acquire some measure of discipline preparatory to being placed in service in the army next spring. I suppose of course that the subject has been presented to you already by General Hebert or Governor Lubbock. They doubtless though the emergency too pressing to await advices from you or Generals Magruder or Holmes. By the way, if the general of this department of Texas is subject in all things to General Holmes at Little Rock, and can do nothing of importance without his sanction, I fear that arrangement will be found inconvenient. I supposed that the main purpose of uniting Texas and Arkansas in one department was to provide for the emergency of our communication with the seat of government being interrupted, so that there might be west of the Mississippi one head or chief with large discretionary powers, but not that at all times he should have absolute control over movements in Texas.
The new conscript act does not meet much opposition, or a least little is manifested by the people. They cheerfully acquiesce, having entire confidence in you and not doubting that it will be no further enforced that necessity requires. In such case they are all loyal-as ready to submit to privation and sacrifice-as the people of any State. The first act met very general approbation, though the rigor and unnecessary harshness shown in the manner of its execution created some clamor, which was mistaken for opposition to the law itself. The opponents of the measure in Congress meet little approval, and some of their sentiments receive unqualified condemnation. A case in now before our supreme court at Austin on habeas corpus, instituted to test the constitutionality of the law. I have addressed a letter to our chief justice, at his instance, on the subject, and sent him copies of your letter to