Charleston Courier or Mercury, sent me by Col. A. B. O'Bannon from Fort Bliss, and which stated that our Congress had declared a war of extermination against all those wild and hostile Indian tribes who had shown an utter disregard for all treaty stipulations. Presuming from such an important statement in such well-known responsible journals that it indicated the policy of our Government, and feeling convinced (as I do still) that such a policy was the only one suitable to the hostile and treacherous tribes, I acted on it.
The question now presents itself as to what will be the policy of our Government toward the Indians in such exposed sections as Arizona. Experience has demonstrated that since the days of the Spanish Government in Mexico the people there have relied upon the treaties with the Indians. The result has been that all Northern Mexico, that once teemed with inhabitants and with millions of stock, is now a desert, in consequence of Indian depredations following broken Indian treaties. If the Confederate Government adopts the policy of making treaties and endeavors to purchase peace and affords no more adequate protection from Indians than the Government of the United States has afforded on the frontier of this State and in Arizona the result will be that the citizens there will be reduced to the condition of stock raisers and herders for the benefit of the Indian tribes alone.
Arizona has been kept in poverty by Indian depredations. Not a cow, sheep, or horse can be raised there now except by being herded day and night. As the Indians there live almost exclusively by stealing, depredations are a daily occurrence, and the people are kept poor from the want of protection. Treaty after treaty has been made and broken, and the general belief among the people is that extermination of the grown Indians and making slaves of the children is the only remedy. This system has been practiced in New Mexico. There is not a family of wealth in that country but has Indian slaves derived from that source. In fact so popular is this system of civilizing the Indian that there have been several efforts made to pass a law in the New Mexican Legislature making all Indians taken prisoners slaves for life. It was a knowledge of this custom among the people of Arizona that to some extent induced me to give the order that has been the cause of complaint against me. I must acknowledge that, a firm believer in the civilizing effects of the system of slavery as regards the African race, I cannot appreciate as it may possibly merit the sympathy that would consider the extension of that system to the youth of the Indian race a measure deserving of rebuke. I must further acknowledge the possession of no sympathy whatever for the adults, whose highest ambition is the successful prosecution daily and nightly of wholesale robbery and unsparing murder, accompanied by traits of fiendish cruelty and scenes of appalling horror that the pen cannot depict nor the imagination conceive.
As Texas and Arizona are the only portions of our youthful Confederacy that will suffer from Indian depredations and atrocities it is a matter of vital importance to them what policy will be decisively adopted by our Government toward the perpetrators of these villainies. I risk nothing in asserting that this State suffers a loss of five millions of dollars annually attributable to Indian depredations alone, and the fact is evident that heretofore the Government was either unable or unwilling to protect our people. The result of his has been that the frontier counties of this State have been almost entirely abandoned, and lands can now be purchased there for 50 cents per acre that could not be purchased for $ 10 an acre six years ago. In fact our frontier settlers are fast becoming for the Indians just what the Mexicans are.