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Union Orders, Reports and Letters Missouri Page 1

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 41, Part 2 (Price's Missouri Expedition) Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION. Page 437 - 438


Colonel FORD,
Commanding Fourth Sub-District, District of the Border:

SIR: It becomes my duty to report to you that to-day, about 1 p. m., a company of men, represented to be Captain Curtis' company (F), of the Fifteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, came into this place in the following manner: -------

It is due to the officer in command to state that he said that he did not hear the challenge to halt, but persons at a much greater distance profess to have heard it. It is further stated that the officer in command of the company while in town said that if his company had been fired on by the picket that he would have burned the town and killed every man in it; that the whole regiment was in the county. About 2 p. m. they left in a southwest direction. Several houses are on fire in the direction in which they have gone, no doubt fired by them-houses that have been unoccupied for from one to two years. Will you cause this statement, through the district commander, to be made known to the commander of the Department of the Missouri, so that if he thinks proper to do so he may call the attention of the commander of the Department of Kansas to these facts. While we are at all times pleased to have Kansas troops among us, and to have their aid in battling against a common enemy, we think that courtesy due to us which we are at all times willing to extend to them. We object, too, to the destruction of property, which can do the public enemy no harm, but can only result in the injury of the present loyal population of the county and those that may come in hereafter to repeople the country.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Captain Company A, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Commanding Station.


JULY 29-10 a. m.

Some eight or ten houses are known to have been burned on yesterday; others are being burned this morning in a west direction. I have no mounted force at my command, nor sufficient force not mounted to spate from the defense of the station to send out to prevent the burning.

I am, &c.,


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 3, vol 3, Part 1 (Union Letters, Orders, Reports)


[Inclosure Numbers 2.] HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, Mo. September 26, 1863.

Brigadier General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Memphis, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 21st instant requesting me to give facilities to recruiting officers for colored regiments in Missouri, &c.

I am still desirous, as I always have been, to do all in my power to promote this object but I have recently met with difficulties and embarrassments which have rendered it necessary for me to stop recruiting for colored regiments in Missouri. The men who are early proper subjects for enlistments, as I understand the orders of the War Department,have nearly all left Missouri in one way or another. There are, doubtless, some left who are entitled to their freedom under the confiscation act, but much the larger number belong to men who have always been loyal, or who cannot be convicted of any disloyal act since the date f the confiscation act. I have heretofore taken it for granted that it was the desire of the War Department to enlist only such colored men as are legally entitled to their freedom, and it is now practically impossible for me or any other military officer to decide the nice legal questions involved in almost all cases which arise.

Moreover, it is found by experience that the recruiting officers do not even attempt to make any discrimination between the slaves of loyal and those of disloyal men, but go thought the country picking up all they can induce to go with them, and in some cases forcing them away.

the President has, I believe,the legal authority to receive

negroes into the service without regard to the loyalty of their masters. If it is his wish to exercise this authority in Missouri, I will cheerfully carry out your instructions on the subject.

Practically, it must be done without regard to the claims of loyal men, and if this policy is to be adopted it should be so declared, in order that the people may understand that it is the act of the Government.

The execution of this policy at the present time would occasion much hardship to the loyal farmers, on account of the consequent lorps. Yet they will submit to it without much complaint if the Government wants their slaves as troops.

Two or three months of the wishes of the Government in regard to this matter and I will carry them out without delay.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,