As the Indians are encouraged by our enemies in Kansas, who have nearly half the Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and other smaller tribes under their control, in addition to the Northern Comanches and Kiowas, if some more effectual means of protection are not adopted it is useless to talk of maintaining our frontiers. If the Government had the combined wealth of the world it could not purchase peace with the Indians, and in my humble opinion it would be far cheaper to board the savages (were that possible) at first-class hotels than to continue the reservation, feeding, paint, and blanket system longer, and one of the governing motives of the frontier counties of Texas - which poll a majority of the votes in the State - in joining the secession movement was the hope and belief that our new Government would drop the old "peace-purchasing" system with the Indians and adopt the extermination policy.
I have no hesitation in stating that the order referred to was not intended for publication, nor did I suppose that it would be paraded before the country as it has been by the malice of those who entertain no good feeling toward me. Such an order excites no surprise in Arizona or Texas, while it may not read well in Richmond. Still I do not deem it consistent with my opinions and feelings on the subject of Indians and Indian policy to retract or disavow a word of the order referred to. While I sincerely regret that it has been viewed in such a light by His Excellency the President as to induce him to deprive me of the command of the brave men, most of them my old frontier comrades whom I was prepared to lead to battle against both Abolition and savage foe, yet I cannot alter the convictions and feelings of a life-time. I can still do my country some service should my State be invaded, and in that hour Texans, I know, will not refuse me a place in their ranks to meet and exterminate a foe hardly less cruel and remorseless than the Comanche or the Apache.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. R. BAYLOR,
Governor of Arizona.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF TEXAS, & C.,
February 6, 1863.
Without expressing any opinion as to the policy or propriety of Governor Baylor's letter, I testify with pleasure to his devoted gallantry at the recapture of Galveston, where he served as a private of artillery in the most exposed and dangerous position and rendered most important services, and I respectfully but earnestly recommend him as the most suitable officer for the command of the troops raised by him for Arizona and known as the Arizona Brigade.
I beg leave to ask a perusal by the Secretary of War of the within statement. Colonel O'Bannon informed me that he gave the information to Governor Baylor that our Congress had passed laws for the extermination of these Indians, whom I happen to know well as being not better than wild beasts and totally unworthy of sympathy.
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
March 24, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,