citizens, have resumed their occupation of burning bridges and destroying railroads and telegraph wires. These men are guilty of the highest crime known to the code of war and the punishment is death. Any one caught in the act will be immediately shot, and any one accused of this crime will be arrested and placed in close confinement until his case can be examined by a military commission, and, if found guilty, he also will suffer death.
II. Where injuries are done to railroads or telegram lines the commanding officer of the nearest post will immediately impress into service, for repairing damages, the slaves of all secessionists in the vicinity, and, if necessary, the secessionists themselves and their property. Any pretended Union man having information of intended attempts to destroy such roads and lines or of the guilty parties, who does not communicate such intention to the proper authorities, and give aid and assistance in arresting and punishing them, will be regarded as particeps criminis, and treated accordingly.
III. Hereafter the towns and counties in which such destruction of public property takes place will be made to pay the expenses of all repairs, unless it be shown that the people of such towns or counties could not have prevented it on account of the superior force of the enemy.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON,
HEADQUARTERS CAMP OF INSTRUCTION,
December 26, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that the Seventh Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott commanding, can put into the field about 350 well armed and equipped men, and that the Thirteenth Missouri, Colonel C. J. Wright, reports for duty in the field 465 men, armed with Austrian muskets. There are already two detachments absent from their regiments and other disorganizing causes, of which I inclose their colonel's report, but I have notified him that the general's orders are he must hold his men ready for immediate service. The two companies of the Third Missouri, Captain Joseph Indest commanding, have 43 rifled muskets and 69 smooth-bore muskets, and might be used for guard to a bridge or like purpose. The two companies of the Forty-third Illinois, Captain Joseph Stiffin, 95 men, are armed with foreign muskets, and might also be used for a guard. The above are the only bodies of armed infantry at Benton Barracks. Of the cavalry, the First Iowa, Colonel Warren-aggregates present for duty, 386-is well equipped except in pistols and carbines. They could put in the field the above number of men, of which 200 would have Colt's pistols. The Third Iowa Cavalry, Colonel C. Buseey commanding-aggregate present for duty, 655-is also armed with sabers, and has 340 Colt's revolvers. All other cavalry without fire-arms.
Fletcher's battery of artillery is composed of four smooth 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers, with horses, harness, and ammunition, but none have been hitched up. I will cause it to be pushed in drill. The men have no swords or pistols, but these are not essential.