HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, January 18, 1862.
Brigadier General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington:
GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of a letter from Colonel Steele, commanding at Sedalia, in relation to depredations committed by Jenninson's men in Western Missouri. Similar accounts are received of the conduct of the First Kansas Regiment along the Missouri River, in the counties of La Fayette and Jackson.
These men do not belong to this department, and have no business to come within the State. I have directed General Pope to drive them our, or, if they resist, to disarm them and hold them prisoners. They are no better than a band of robbers; they cross the line, rob, steal, plunder, and burn whatever they can lay their hands upon. They disgrace the name and uniform of American soldiers and are driving good Union men into the ranks of the secession army. Their conduct within the last six months has caused a change of 20,000 votes in this State. If the Government countenances such acts by screening the perpetrators from justice and by rewarding with officer their leaders and abettors it may resign all hopes of a pacification of Missouri. If Kansas troops are again permitted to come into this State to commit depredations, the State can be held only by the strong arm of military power. The bitter animosity created against these troops is naturally transferred to the Government which supports them and in whose name they pretend to act.
I hope this matter will be brought to the attention of the Secretary of War and the Commanding General of the Army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
The Secretary of War has read and considered the within letter of General Halleck, who, as general in command of his department, has all the requisite power, and whose duty it is to exert that power to prevent robbery and plunder within his district. But the Secretary is not aware of any act of the Government that warrants the hypothesis that it would "countenance such acts or screen the perpetrators from justice." If General Halleck will specify anything of that nature that has been done by the Government the attention of the President will be directed to it, and he no doubt will strive to remove any occasion for such an imputation.*
SEDALIA, January 14, 1862.
Colonel J. C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. General, Department of the Missouri:
COLONEL: J. W. Smith, clerk in the Department of the Interior, in Washington, is just in from the neighborhood of Rose Hill, and reports that Jenninson's men, under Major Anthony, are there, committing depredations upon Union men and secessionists indiscriminately. They have burned forty-two houses in that vicinity and robbed others of valuables and driven off stock.
*This indorsement is in the handwriting of Honorable E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War.