order a large proportion of the State troops from this border to Houston, thence the meet the enemy. The troops thus ordered go with alacrity, because they feel that it is their duty to meet the foe wherever he dares to move his unchristian columns of dastard soldiers upon and against our homes and dearest interests. Yet they leave their homes, wives, and little ones with heavy hearts, fearing that in their absence the enemy their loved ones out to suffer, and possibly perish among strangers, or remain and suffer the most painful and humiliating treatment at the bands of a brutal soldiery, commanded by officers who wink at their atrocities, if they do not join in them.
Now, it is for us who remain behind to form and execute some plan to meet successfully the enemy if he approaches us from the north; give confidence and hope to our friends that have gone to another portion of the field that we can and will defend the country and protect their families and all their sacred interests. To do this may require the united and continued efforts of all the men in this section of the State who are able to bear arms.
Under these circumstances, as the military commander of this sub-district, I call upon all of you to organize yourselves immediately into companies for local defense, under the orders of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith,* promising you not to call any man from his home unless the great interest of the country demands it. If you will comply with my request, and send in your rolls, I will know that I have an army within my reach with which I can defend this section of our loved State from every foe, and at the same time give assurance to our friends who are serving in other fields that all is safe at home, while at the same time it is an army costing our Government nothing unless called into active service, in the meantime sowing grain and making bread for the army and the people.
It is important that every man in these companies should have a gun; but if he has none, and cannot get one among his neighbors, we will try to supply the deficiency when the company is called into service.
Ammunition will be supplied by the Government when their troops are in the field.
No time should be lost in this movement. If necessary to act at all, it is necessary to act at once. If the enemy comes before some systematic plan of defense is adopted, we may be troubled, if not driven from our homes; but if we prepare immediately, all is safe.
In connection with this, permit me as one whose duty it is to look to the prosperity of our country in the future, to urge the whole people to sow all the wheat they possibly can. The enemy having driven many from Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana into Texas for safety, it adds greatly to the demand upon us for bread, and, as the enemy press us back from the valleys of the large streams in Louisiana and Arkansas, the are of grain-producing land is diminished, and the demand upon it increased. Our army must be fed and the people must have bread, and if great efforts is not made, many may go hungry another year. This can be avoided by proper and united effort, and I earnestly hope that every acre of open land will be sown. Sow now, and god will aid us in the harvest if we do our duty.
HENRY E. McCULLOCH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas.
*See circular of September 5, 1863, Series I, Vol. XXII, Part II, p. 995.