Late events in a neighboring sister State demonstrate plainly the objects of the enemy, which are to open the navigation of the Mississippi, and to push their light-draught gunboats into every navigable bay and bayou of Louisiana and Texas, to liberate the negroes, to lay waste the country, destroying not only crops, but farming implements, to slay or imprison the men, and to subject our women to every species of insult and brutality.
If there be any so timid or ignoble as to hope to escape by submitting to the disgrace of taking the oath of allegiance to the Abolitionists were rewarded by the assurance that they would not be believed unless they proved their sincerity by going into the Federal ranks and serving against us, whilst the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced against them as against all others, and both their negroes and their honor were forfeited forever. I do not know and can scarcely believe that there are such base men in Texas, but I proclaim to all that we can hope to preserve our liberties and save our property only by fair "stand-up" fighting, and that, if our enemies are brave enough to overcome us, which my coolest judgment tells me can never be the case, they will visit with contempt and despoil without mercy the cowards who shrank from the conflict, while they will respect, as alone worthy of their confidence, the brave men who courted every danger and were proud of every sacrifice in defense of rights that the same Northern men would have defended to the last on their own soil, were such a crasude made against them as they, under the dictation of a despotic and fanatic Administration, are making against us. But, to fight successfully, troops must be provided and organized in time; important passes and positions must be fortified with skill, and the soldiers must be well drilled.
I found, on assuming command here, that 5,000 of the State militia had been called out by Your Excellency, in accordance with a requisition for that number from my predecessor, Brigadier-General Hebert. In co-operation with Your Excellency, these troops were organized and made ready for service, when the favorable results of my operations on the coast afforded me the gratification of dispensing with their services, and sending them to their homes to plant the crops, which have proved so unusually productive, and which may now be considered as made. In the meantime the enemy has made some progress in his vast designs, and I consider the State of Texas more critically situated, and, indeed, far more exposed to danger, than she has been at any time since the commencement of the war.
Should the Mississippi be opened, as already stated, the State will be attacked by water as well as by land, and, in the latter case, from more than one direction. Should he fail in his designs on the river, still, his attention will be turned to Texas as affording the only employment for his large armies and the ocean fleet that will then be at is disposal for operations in the Gulf. With the blessing of God, we have ample means, and, I think, ample time, to defeat him, if we make use of them with energy and without delay. To this end, I have to honor to request that Your Excellency will call out the State militia to the number of 10,000 men, to the organized as infantry into companies and regiments, in accordance with the laws of the Confederate Congress, excepting such as will present themselves as cavalry, well mounted and well armed; horses and arms to be subject to inspection by Confed-