War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0088 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

Search Civil War Original Records

firesides, to enact laws controlling the depraved and lawless, to bring within its influence and power the degenerating influences (necessarily the result of the absence of law and order), was indeed a mighty work. How well and how truly the department and district commanders have fulfilled their duty is a matter of record in the archives of the department.

Missouri to-day is in complete subjection to military authority. The rebels and their sympathizers (whether at heart or not) tacitly bow to the supremacy of that power, over which they can no longer affect control.

The unauthorized bands of lawless and desperate men, the offshoots of the baser classes of Union and rebel, may still infest portions of the State; and that portion of the State contiguous to the Arkansas line may for some time to come be the theater of guerrilla raids; something contingent upon the subjugation of the State of Arkansas, not entirely controllable by the powers that be, will be a proper subject to claim the attention of the military authority.

The civil law, the great palladium of liberty of Missouri, is now very weak. Whilst there is an almost universal desire for its restoration, yet the people are not in a condition to accept it unaided by the strong arm of the military power, as vouchsafing the protection necessary for their well-being. A well devised policy inaugurated, just in its character, tending to the restoration of the civil power, fostering and upholding it in its present weak state, will contribute vastly to the tranquillity of the State. A perfect harmony, however, under the present political contradistinctions of party in the State, will not be obtained so long as the incubus of slavery rests upon it. Hence that element which inaugurated this rebellion, and those who sympathized with it must be called upon to give an active support to the efforts of the Government for the suppressing of the rebellion by a hearty co-operation in removing the exciting cause. Slave property this day in Missouri is valueless, hence those who still adhere to the idiosyncracy of slavery but keep warm the viper in their hearts. Loyal men will make the concession [when] once they find that the fiat has gone forth that consigns it to oblivion.

In a war like the present, it is perhaps the most difficult task imaginable for the military reign to divest its actions of a political cast, for the reason of the intimate connection between the two. In quieting Missouri the slave interests must be consigned to the tomb. All intelligent men who reason arrive at that conclusion; hence, so far as removing the festering cause, the two interests are identical. An active and prompt enforcement of General Orders, Numbers 135, in the whole State, will then remove the whole male slave element capable of bearing arms. The inauguration of a policy of removing the remainder of the entire slave element under such restrictions of humanity as may be deemed necessary, as startling as it may be to the people who cling to the peculiar institution, I firmly believe will become a military necessity. Such a step at first might appear an irreparable wrong, yet the institution being dead, the assembled wisdom of the State in solemn council decreeing that a convention is necessary for the immediate extirpation of it, an emancipation act at a previous time having stamped it as being doomed, solemn reasons point to an absolute and immediate necessity for its removal.

Slavery out of Missouri, a firm and beneficent administration, stamped with a perfect for the rights of the citizens, a restoration of civil law and rights in its widest extent, in a short time will bind the people with a community of interest stronger than that of force.