War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0492 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter X.

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SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 14, 1861.

Colonel P. E. BLAND, Ironton, Mo.:

If you have no confirmation of the advance of an enemy, so that your regiment can with safety be withdrawn from the point, you will immediately, upon the receipt of this order, bring it to this city and report yourself to these headquarters. You will direct the officer left in command to use Colonel Baker's cavalry to explore the country towards Greenville, and will direct him to furnish me with daily and minute reports. Also direct him to make use of the express engine to communicate to me any certain information of the enemy's force.


Major-General, Commanding.


Saint Louis, September 14, 1861.

Colonel T. T. TAYLOR, Commanding at Springfield:

SIR: Yours of the 8th instant,* containing an erroneous construction of my proclamation dated on the 30th ultimo, has had my attention. I understand the object of your note to be to inquire whether it was my intention to shoot the wounded who might be taken prisoners by the forces under my command. The following paragraph, extracted from the proclamation, will be strictly enforced within the lines prescribed against the class of offenders for whom it was intended, viz:

All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial, and if found faulty will be shot.

The lines are expressly declared to be those of the army in the military occupation of this State. You have wholly misapprehended the meaning of the proclamation. Without undertaking to determine the condition of any man engaged in this rebellion, I desire it to be clearly understood that the proclamation is intended distinctly to recognize all the usual rights of an open enemy in the field, and to be in all respects strictly conformable to the ordinary usages of war. It is hardly necessary for me to say that it was not prepared with any purpose to ignore the ordinary rights of humanity with respect to wounded men or to those who are humanely engaged in alleviating their sufferings.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Camp Montgomery, West Point, Mo., September 14, 1861.


We have moved this far with our limited force, clearing out front and rear as far as practicable, for the purpose of co-operating with the force under your command and the column under Colonel Peabody. We have been unable to hear anything from either column. Can you give us any information as to either column? If Peabody has been driven back, Kansas City should be largely re-enforced, and a column moved


*Not found.