War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0963 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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cross them over from Jefferson City, while I send forces from Fayette and Glasgow. As I am now situated I can only act on the defensive, and await the organization of the new regiments. As to the Seventeenth Illinois, all reports from them are that they are almost worthless, and we cannot rely on them. Very few of them mounted, and when they are out their principal business is to pillage and plunder the citizens. Only a few days since a body of them went as escort to the telegraph repairer from Glasgow to Allen. They plundered the houses and stores to such an extent that Colonel Denny had the column halted and the men searched. Captain Mayo, who searched them, informs me that he found blankets, bed quilts, a large lot of ladies' clothing, including silk and lawn dresses, and all kinds underclothing, gentlemen's wear, overcoats, dress coats, vests, &c. All these things were taken while on this trip. They robbed soldiers' wives of all their clothing in some instances. Now, sir, these men were commanded by Lieutenant William J. Laird, Company H, Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry. There is one of two things true-that is, Lieutenant Laird was privy to this indiscriminate robbery, or he was not. In either case he should be held accountable. In one case, if he failed to keep his men in their proper places the fault is his; in the other, if he did not know the fact, it shows great neglect of his duty. They took pocketbooks, notes, and valuable papers, and in many cases the owners have failed to recover them.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. DOUGLASS,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Fayette, Mo., August 31, 1864.

Brigadier General J. B. DOUGLASS,

Mexico, Mo.:

I returned yesterday from the scout, having had nine skirmishes with different guerrilla bands. Full report by mail to-day. Major Matlack informs me he has no men to spare from Glasgow. A portion of my command is out now, but men enough left, I presume, to carry out your order.

R. LEONARD,

Major Ninth Cavalry Missouri State Militia.

PAOLA, August 31, 1864.

Colonel C. W. BLAIR:

General McKean sends valedictory. He has just turned over command to Major-General Sykes and starts immediately for New Orleans. He gives the troops his best wishes for their continued success under the old flag of the Union, the banner of our pride.

GEO. S. HAMPTON.

MOUND CITY, August 31, 1864.

Major S. S. CURTIS:

Major-General Sykes directs me to remain at my post as there is danger of an invasion.

C. R. JENNISON,

Colonel Fifteen Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.