The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XXVII APRIL 1924 No. 4
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY
THE TEXAS STATE MILITARY BOARD, 1862-1865
CHAS. W. RAMSDELL
In 1861 the western half of Texas was ranged by wild Indians;
the other half was but recently occupied by a hardy, sparse and
essentially frontier population. More than half of this eastern
area had been settled within the fifteen years since annexation.
During that time the number of organized counties had increased
from thirty-six to one hundred and twenty-four. Two-thirds of
the entire population had entered the State within the last ten
years. Transportation across the vast roadless regions was slow,
cumbersome and expensive. Travel was by horseback or by the
infrequent and uncertain stage-coach. The people were but poorly
acquainted with each other, and a persistent intra-state sectional-
ism was reflected in their politics. The poverty and individualism
of the frontier characterized society everywhere. The most com-
plex economic development was in the cotton and sugar planta-
tions of the south and east and in the commerce of the few small
towns which connected Texas with the outer world. Industrial and
business organization was primitive and the political administra-
tive system was simple, as befitted a young agrarian society.
This virile people had experienced much difficulty in developing
and supporting sufficient organization to wage concerted and effec-
tive war against the paltry bands of savages along its frontier. It
was now in 1861 to be confronted with an infinitely more power-
ful and dangerous enemy whose repulse would require the con-
servation and vigorous use of every resource. The task proved to
be beyond its powers. Such a task is probably too much for any

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/. Accessed July 7, 2015.