effect whereof having been seriously to complicate the relations of that officer with this Government, I feel it but an act of justice toward one whom I should deplore to see condemned without at least a hearing to submit a brief statement in his justification.
Colonel Baylor has never held any commission in the Confederate States service other than that of lieutenant-colonel Texas Mounted Rifles. At the date of said order he was not acting under or by virtue of such commission. It was likewise antecedent to notice of his appointment as Governor of Arizona.
For several months prior to the issuance of said order it was currently believed in that Territory that extermination of the hostile savages was the publicly declared policy o f this Government. It was so published in sundry newspapers there received, which then constituted the only medium of information in that remote region of the public acts of the Confederate Government. At this time these Indians were actually exterminating the white population of Arizona. Treaties were successively made and broken by them for the mere sake of presents usually distributed on such occasions. Their policy was to omit no opportunity to plunder and massacre. They had without provocation desolated nearly the entire Territory. Hundreds of our best citizens had been wantonly put to death during the previous year by every species of torture their fiendish ingenuity could devise. They spared neither age, sex, nor condition. They occupied the mountain fastness of the Sierra Madre, whither no troops could possibly follow. They could only be dislodged by means of the stratagem indicated in Colonel Baylor's order. They were better armed than our own soldiery. They defied chastisement. It became necessary for the white population either to abandon the country or extirpate the Indians. Humanity to them was but incentive to greater atrocity. Every instance of mercy toward the perfidious Apache had cost scores of valuable lives. Existing circumstances demanded immediate action. Extermination seemed to imply that the ends justified the means to be employed. All ordinary means had failed. Extraordinary measures were employed as a denier resort.
It was under circumstances such as these that Baylor appears to have issued this order. Reference thereto proves it to have been predicated upon the supposed Indian policy of the General Government. What less could he have done under the circumstances? What other measures could have been devised that had not already proven futile? The commonest instincts of necessity and self-preservation would apparently of themselves have prompted such a course. Extermination of the whites had already been proclaimed by the savage foe. They neither asked nor expected mercy. When tendered, they scorned it. Pacification was an impossibility. In yielding to a supervening necessity, Colonel Baylor innocently believed himself likewise performing a public duty.
With reference to that clause in his order directing the women and children to be sold into slavery, I can only say that it has been the unvarying custom of the country from the time of the Spanish colonists down to the present day; and I cannot recollect a single instance wherein Indian captives have ever been set free by the people of that country. In Mexico the long-continued practice had acquired the force of law. The usage was recognized and guaranteed by treaty between the United States and Mexico. From this custom originated the peonage system of New Spain and Mexico and that admixture of the European and Indian races which for nearly three centuries has been slowly but grad