and has culminated in the complete and successful sacking of Webster on the morning of the 23d. Somewhere from fifty-seven to eighty-four mounted and well-armed men entered, under the command of a Captain Evans and a Captain Harris, who claimed to be from Shelby's and Marmaduke's commands, and cleared out our store and most of our houses and horses, stripping several men naked in the street, taking their clothing, also robbing women and children of their clothing, demanding shoes from the feet of some of our women; they have also robbed every farmhouse on their trail, in fact devastating the county and spreading consternation throughout the land. The people rallied as soon as possible, with what few broken-down and unshod horses could be gotten together, and followed in pursuit, and followed them to near the Huzza, in northwest corner of Dent County, but their numbers were so reduced by the exhaustion of their horses that they dare not make an attack after they had dome upon them, and were forced to return as re-enforcements were out of the question. Captain Harris, of Company H, Thirty-second Enrolled Missouri Militia, who was with me at your office, did not get his arms until the evening of the 23d, which was very fortunate. If the arms had been here they would have been captured without a doubt. The rations called for by Captain A. J. Harris have not yet arrived, and God only knows whether they will come at all or not. I have suspended business, and my working forces have gone north to their quiet homes. I, personally, ask for nothing, as I have nothing now to ask for, but it is for humanity's sake and for the distressed people in this part of the country, whose all is here, although it be but small. The citizens are all here guarding the arms. We have had several arms since the fatal morning of the 23d. I had forgotten to say that although there were about 160 shots fired here there was no one hurt. I am inclined to think it was done to intimidate rather than kill. They killed two men, however, after they left here. Two separate gangs met about two miles east of here on the morning of the 23d, before they entered our town, and had a fight, evidently mistaking the character of each other. About $200 worth of goods, a gun, and a dead horse are the trophies left upon the field of battle. The goods are from some other point, where we know not. The country seems to have been full of these roving bands for the last three weeks. I am feeding the militia and have been for three days, but there is a bottom to my resources. Horses and men must be furnished with subsistence, and that, too, at once, or you had better recall the arms. People are poor, very poor, having been robbed of most everything. They are willing to serve, young and old, if they can be subsisted. Captain Harris must have power to call out more men into active service; he must have subsistence for man and beast; his horses must be shod; he must have more of them or his efforts will be futile and worse than useless. I am now here alone aiding as well as I can these unfortunate people, and trying to keep up the commissary stores until I hear from you. If my efforts prove of no avail I, too, shall retire to my home in Illinois. Captain Harris has just been in my office, and requests me to say to you to do all you can at once to relieve him from his present dilemma. Something must be done at once to increase his facilities for doing effectual service. He can get men enough, but what he needs is authority to call them out and equip and feed them. Please let me hear from you at once.
O. N. ADAMS.