War of the Rebellion: Serial 042 Page 0352 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX.

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Bonham, October 24, 1863.


SIR: Your friend, Colonel R. H. Taylor, informs me that he and Major Throckmorton had visited you; had a full and free conference with you, and they understand you to propose for yourself and the men who have so unwisely banded themselves together under you to go into service on the frontier. It seems strange to me that men who have done so very wrong should expect to be allowed the privilege of selecting their service in preference to men that have stood firmly by their colors and remained faithful and true to the service under any and all circumstances, and it is equally strange that I should for one moment think of entertaining any proposition from you; but I am disposed to carry out to the very fullest extent the kind disposition shown by the President and my superior officers, and then on my part go as far as the farthest in extending pardon and favors to those who show a proper disposition to return to their duty, and agree to put you on the frontier. This must be done, however, with the distinct understanding that you cannot be allowed to elect officers, and that you may be ordered to meet the Yankees if they approach this section of country from any quarter; and you must further understand me to say distinctly that if you are not willing to fight our common enemy-Yankees, jayhawkers, and Indians-in defense of your homes and rights as a people, that I don't want you on the frontier or anywhere else in our service. If you are not willing to do this, you are not our friends, and properly belong to the other side. I say this not because I believe you are opposed to us, for I do not believe any such things, but because I want you to understand the man with whom you are dealing, and with whom you must live in peace or fight, and God forbid that I should be driven into hostilities with the citizens of any portion of a State-Texas-for which and with whom I have been fighting for twenty-seven years, and for which and whom I am willing to battle as long as I am able to see our enemies and shoot. In addition to the offense committed in leaving the army, you are now banded together in defiance of the laws of our country, creating fear among the civil and quiet citizens of the country, causing some of them to leave their homes and families exposed to pillage and outrage. These things cannot be submitted to while I have a force to prevent it and I assure you that lawless men of all parties must abandon their lawless pursuits, and lawless acts [must be] put down among our people, or we cannot live in our country; and I am determined to pursue, arrest, hunt down, and bring to justice all who wantonly violate the laws of the land or trespass upon the persons or property of the citizens. We have a Constitution and laws, and they must be regarded and enforced. I do not pretend to disguise the fact that I am anxious for you and those that are with you to come in voluntarily and do your duty, and therefore authorize Colonel Taylor to go back to you with this answer to your propositions, informing you that he must bring your final answer, which I hope will be such as will make us what we ought to be, friends and fellow soldiers. If it not, the fight will be of your own making, and you will be responsible for the consequences, both to yourselves and the country in which you and your families live.

Respectfully, &c.,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas.

P. S.-It has been suggested that you would be uneasy about your