The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 205
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Notes and Documents
Colonel, and require every company to pass periodically through
the Regimental Head Quarters. In this way battalion instruction
could be carried on at both posts, and esprit de corps (now almost
unknown in our service) would at the same time be fostered.
But whatever judgment may be formed of the merits of the system
of defense heretofore pursued, and so ably presented by Major Gen-
eral Smith, there can be but one opinion in regard to the tranquillity
which has prevailed along the frontier since its adoption; and this
immunity from Indian outrage, as the General aptly remarks, must
be accepted as a strong proof of its practical value.
The last clause of my instructions directs me to report any sug-
gestions which, in my opinion, would conduce to the interests of
the service. Under this requirement I proceed to offer the following,
classifying them under their appropriate departments.
a.-Enlisted men. The law authorizes the enlistment of a limited
number of carriage makers, blacksmiths, &c, for the Ordnance De-
partment, and makes them amenable to the Rules and Articles of
War. These men are enlisted and discharged at particular localities,
according to the wants of the service, and the system works admirably.
The same provision should be extended to artificers, teamsters and
labourers of the Quartermaster's Department. These men, teamsters
particularly, serve in closer connection with troops than enlisted men
of Ordnance, and the necessity is greater, therefore, for placing them
under martial law.
2.-Want of uniformity in wagons, harness and horse equipments.
At present the greatest diversity exists in these respects. Some of the
wagons have axle-trees of wood and others of iron, and the guages
of the vehicles are so unequal that one frequently does not track
after another. The same variety occurs in harness; and as to curry
combs and brushes, in the same troop of cavalry, they will often be
found of all descriptions and prices. This dissimilarity does not pre-
vail in the carriages, harness, 8cc, furnished by the Ordnance De-
partment. There everything is manufactured according to a pre-
scribed pattern, and so it should be in the Quartermaster's Depart-
ment. It is of the utmost importance in a train of wagons to have all
alike so that the parts of one wagon will fit every other. Nothing
tends so much to keep a train together as this uniformity.
3.-Cavalry horses. It appeared to be the general opinion of the
officers in Texas that the horses of the country are better adapted
to the mounted service than those purchased out of the State by the
Quartermaster's Department. The latter are twice as expensive, cost
more to keep them, and great numbers die in acclimation. The
Cavalry officers also urge that in buying horses for their regiments
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/267/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.