are not alone able, but disposed, to chastise them when they commit depredations. A civilized government could not be expected to make treaties with those with whom it is at war so long as success attended its arms. Much less can it be hoped of a savage foe, who believe that they are superior in the mode of warfare pursued. It is my deliberate opinion that we will never have treaties with the Indians on our border on which we can rely, until they are made to feel the blighting effects of war visited upon them at their own homes and around their own firesides. I am very loath at this time to express any dissatisfaction at what the Confederate States Government is attempting in the way of defending and protecting our frontier, knowing as I do not that its every desire is to accomplish good for our Confederacy; yet I must be permitted to say that I have no faith retofore pursued with what are called reserve Indians. If the Government is settled in its policy to retain those Indians on reserves for the purpose of protecting, civilizing, and supporting them, they should be confined strictly to the territory provided for them, and on it clothed, fed, civilized, and protected. While they are permitted to leave the boundaries of the reserves to engage in hunting and to war with other tribes, just so long will they continue to visit our soloed and come in conflict with our citizens. They should not be permitted under any guise whatever to visit our State, and I invoke you to declare by positive enactment that whenever and wherever found on our soil they will be deemed and treated as enemies. They have been the source of so many troubles on our frontier that it will require years for the people to forget their numerous atrocities. It is not hazarding too much to say that the citizens of Texas are better acquainted with the Indian character than those living in the more eastern States, and are, therefore, better qualified to suggest an efficient plan of defense against the hostile tribes.
In consequence of this fact I most respectfully suggest that you adopt some system for frontier protection best suited to our situation and the requirements of the country, and urge its immediate adoption, through our members of Congress, by the Government of the Confederate States. Under the existing state of the country in case of an invasion we must rely almost entirely on the militia of the State. I have no doubt that the great mass of the people would promptly respond to any call made upon them to defend the soil on which they live, but in order that their patriotism and valor may be efficient to successfully defend the State the men must be disciplined and fitted for actual war. Hence it becomes imperatively necessary that the revising of the militia law should engage your early attention. It has been clearly demonstrated in the last few months that the existing law doesergency; it is in many instances unwieldy and defective. A law, simple in form and easy of execution, is demanded under which every able-bodied man in the State liable to do military duty shall be enrolled, disciplined, and placed under the command of good and efficient officers. To effect this the law must be a stringent one that will bear heavily on those who fail to discharge their duties, as well officers as men. Through the efforts of the late adjutant-general a partial organization of the militia has already been effected, and I would suggest that in farming a new law or in amending the present one you will preserve the present organization as far as is practicable with the public interest. I would also suggest that you subject to militia duty every able-bodied man in the State between the ages of seventeenth and fifty years.