the other route, so that in case you do not go with me I can send your orders, dependent upon those I receive, at what time you shall report. If anything transpires to change the programme I will report it to you immediately.
Hoping to hear from you immediately,
I am, very truly, yours,
JO. O. SHELBY,
[AUGUST 16, 1864.- For Taylor to Walker, relating to movement across the Mississippi, see Part I, p. 110.]
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA, Numbers 166.
Houston, August 16, 1864.
SOLDIERS OF TEXAS: In pursuance of orders from a superior authority, I shall turn over the command of this district to-morrow, the 17th, to the next officer in rank, Brigadier-General Walker, the permanent commander. I have served with you twenty-one months. The time is now arrived when I must say farewell, and though I obey the call of duty with alacrity and cheerfulness, I cannot part with you but with feelings of the most profound regret. I seasons of emergency you obeyed my orders with promptness, devotion, and the most heroic gallantry, and I have never been for a moment unappreciative of the steadiness, self-denial, and patriotism with which you have borne the hardships and privations peculiar to camp life, whilst standing sentinels at the portals of your State, uncheered by the hope of immediate conflict with the enemy. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the soldierly virtues which you have displayed, but your nest and highest reward on earth must be in the reflection that you have saved your beloved State from the devastation and nameless horrors of war, that no hostile foot treads her soil, and that peace and plenty reign throughout and land. All that I ask is that you will give the same cordial support to my successor which you have afforded me, and that you will not relax in your efforts to preserve that which you have so nobly won. I found your State in danger; I leave it in security. I found the people is despondency; I leave them in hope. I found traitors exultant; I leave patriots triumphant.
All this has been done by you and your comrades now on distant fields. I beseech you to persevere in your noble career, to defend every fort, every intrenchment, and every inch of soil to the last extremity. Remember the glorious deeds of the early settlers of the country, who fought and conquered against great odds, and under overwhelming difficulties. Let your watchwords be Galveston, Sabine Pass, and Calcasieu, and do not forget that by your prompt obedience to orders, and your rapidity of movement, we were enabled to foil the enemy in his attempt at a formidable invasion of your State, and hem him in and confine him to the desolate peninsula of Matagorda, exposed to the rigors of an unusually severe winter, without fuel and without water, thus saving one of the finest portions of the State, which was almost within his grasp, whilst his repulse at Laredo by Benavides, and at San