first was to put in motion in all parts of this region small bodies of troops, to hunt out the parties in arms against the peace, and follow them to their home or places of retreat, wherever they might be. This course would have led to frequent and bloody encounters, to searching of houses, and arrests in many cases of innocent persons, and would only have resulted in spreading the apprehension of distress over district hitherto quiet. I was and am satisfied that the people of the counties in North Missouri are abundantly able to keep peace among themselves, and this is all I ask or exact from them. It is certainly their interest that they should do so. To spare effusion of blood, destruction of life or property, and harassing and ofttimes undiscriminating outrage upon the people, I have determined to present to the people, if possible, some common inducement to preserve the peace in their own midst. The common bond is their property, always in my power, though the owner might be beyond my reach. I believed, as I do now, that as soon as it was felt that only by preserving peace and quiet among themselves, and not molesting public or private property, there would result security of person and property and the power to pursue unmolested their several avocations. Union men and secessionists would alike engage in putting a stop to lawless and predatory bands, and that the persons themselves who had joined these armed marauders would soon cease their forays and abandon their organizations when they discovered that they had no sympathizers at home, and that every act them committed hostile to the peace of the country was a blow not only at their own property and safety, but also at that of their own friends and relatives. Certainly, loss of property is not to be weighed for a moment with loss of life or personal liberty, and as I believe firmly that the policy I have adopted will bring peace and quiet to North Missouri with the least destruction of human life, I intend to enforce it promptly and vigorously in all cases. Security of property and the absence of the military depend simply upon the people of North Missouri keeping the peace among themselves as in times past, and if they fail to do so they will be less wise than most of their race. I have not the slightest disposition to play the tyrant to any man on earth. I only ask the people of North Missouri to keep the peace and respect the rights of others in their own midst, and this I mean to exact from them if I have the power. If they will only do this, as they have done in times past and can easily do now, they will neither see me nor my command. I sincerely hope that these views may be satisfactory to you, and remain,
Very truly, yours, & c.,
SAINT LOUIS, August 3, 1861.
General FREMONT, Cairo:
General Lyon has sent a special messenger, Colonel Hammer, to say that he needs re-enforcements; that Jackson's army is in Jasper and adjacent counties with not less than 20,000 men; that Lyon's force is not much more than one-fourth; that the inhabitants are moving this way as fast as their teams will carry them, leaving homes and crops desolated; that, to insure a continuous and safe transport of provisions and supplies, the road from Rolla should be well protected. I have referred him to Captain Kelton.
E. M. D. [DAVIS.]