War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0896 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

well-armed troops in Texas, and therefore request that the Twenty-ninth Regiment Texas Cavalry, Col. C. De Morse, be ordered by the lieutenant-general commanding the department to report to Columbus, Tex., without delay.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BENKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Austin, Tex., December 6, 1862.

Major General J. BE. MAGRUDER, Houston, Tex.:

GENERAL: I feel a very deep interest in the defense of this State an an earnest desire to co-operate with you in securing it from being overrun by the enemy. I have taken much pains to inform myself of the state of our defenses, and believing them to be inadequate, you must pardon the liberty I take in calling your attention to our destitute condition in the matter of arms and ammunition. There seems to be no doubt that a serious invasion of Texas will be attempted this winter. The Confederate States troops at this time within the State and the State troops are probably sufficient for its defense, but they are all of them to some extent, and some of them wholly, destitute of arms. Baylor's command is without any arms at all. The brigade known as Sibley's, who may now be considered as veterans, are not half armed, and the same may be said of every other regiment in the State. The inadequate supply of ordnance and fixed ammunition within the department must already have engaged your attention. The volunteers who first left Texas almost without exception took their arms with them, to be used in the public service elsewhere. Many were furnished by the State, and thus were are left in our hour of peril almost destitute of the means necessary to make an effective resistance. The State has had energetic agents for twelve months or more engaged in purchasing and repairing such arms as could be obtained, but these have been far inferior in character and of so many varieties as scarcely to be capable of classification. The same may be said of those which still remain in the hands of our citizens, and even for these the supply of ammunition in very inadequate. Under the circumstances I have not thought it out of the line of my duty to urge upon you and through you on the War Department the wants of our State and the importance of their being promptly supplied. At least 15,000 stand of arms are needed to equip fully the forces in the State and the new levies about to be raised. Five or six full batteries, partly smooth-bore and partly rifled, are too few for the proper defense of the State, and that number should be at once forwarded here, and they should be accompanied by the usual quantity of fixed ammunition to render them effective.

I do not think that I overestimate the importance of Texas to the Confederacy or the interest the Government should feel in preventing its being overrun by the enemy. Almost all the only sure trade and communication between the Confederacy and the outside world is through her western frontier into Mexico. Her wheat fields and her hour and cattle ranches contribute largely to feed the armies; her wool and cotton factories clothe them in part; her sons have not been behind the foremost at the call of duty, and have poured out their blood like water upon the battle-field of liberty. She deserves a better fate at the hands