Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Legislature establishes Frontier Regiment

December 21st, 1861

//250722-778774-raikfcquaxqncofqfm.stackpathdns.com/images/handbook/entries/Title: Jefferson Davis (photo) Source: Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Davis, Jefferson

On this day in 1861, the state legislature established the Frontier Regiment to patrol west of the line of settlements from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Less than a month later, the Confederate Congress authorized the secretary of war to receive the regiment into Confederate service for the protection of the Indian frontier of Texas. President Jefferson Davis vetoed the bill, however, because it withheld the control of the executive of the Confederate States over the troops. In early 1863 Governor Francis R. Lubbock attempted once more to transfer the regiment to Confederate service, but President Davis again refused to accept the regiment if it remained under Texas control. The Frontier Regiment achieved its greatest successes during the summer and fall of 1863, after James E. McCord replaced James M. Norris as commander. State authorities finally transferred the regiment to Confederate control in 1864, but only after the legislature approved the establishment of the Frontier Organization to ensure the continued protection of the frontier. During the last eighteen months of the Civil War the regiment increasingly devoted itself to enforcing Confederate conscription laws, arresting deserters, and tracking down renegades and outlaws.

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