force of State troops in Fremont County unless for immediate use. They should be commissioned and armed and ready to go at an hour's notice, but I think should be called into camp only as a last resort.
The best way to preserve the peace and remove the danger of collision I believe to be in sending a small force of Federal troops, say one or two companies of cavalry, from Saint Joe or Leavenworth, under some prudent, reliable Union officer, and clothe him with power to arrest armed secessonists either in Missouri or Iowa and seize their effects, to be sent at once to headquarters for adjudication. This will avoid increasing the personal hatred among the two classes of our own citizens, which would be increased by arming and calling out any State troops either from Iowa or Missouri, and lessen the danger of bloodshed if any arrests are to be made, and the State troops would have no place to send prisoners even if they have authority to make arrests. I feel certain that calling out any State troops would bring on a collision, and the aim is to preserve the peace more than to conquer rebels, as I understand it.
I am sustained in this view by all the Union men in Fremont except Colonel Hedges, who is very anxious to drill his regiment, but I would prefer sending an armed force in command of some Federal officer who would have no personal enemies to deal with, and I think the arrest of a very few men, and the seizure of the property belonging to rebels, who have sent the same to Iowa for safety, will not only quiet the present troubles, but remove the danger of a recurrence in future.
If I have been lengthy in this, it is because thee was a good deal of ground to go over. I find that in all facts I have stated the Union men from whom I receive my information are supported by the statements of the other side, so far as I had an opportunity to inquire, in all material points. Many of the facts in regard to Fugitt's case and the prisoners arrested were received from one who was with the sheriff, and is called a secessionist by Union men. I refer to W. C. Sipple. He claims to be a good Union man now. The Union men from whom I received most information were Judge Sears, Colonel Hedges, Mr. Cornish, Mr. Linkinfitter, Mr. Warren, formerly sheriff, and Squire case as I have presented it.
Since my return I have received your letter of 14th instant. I will proceed at once to Rockport, and on my return report such other facts as I may come in possession of. In the mean time I hope to receive further instructions in regard to an armed force in Fremont County.
I remain, your most obedient servant,
H. C. NUTT.
Referred to the War Department, with explanation to be made by Colonel Key verbally.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
ROLLA, January 24, 1862.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
CAPTAIN: The general's letter of the 22nd, informing me of the movement of Colonel Davis yesterday from Tipton and the force he brings, was duly and gladly received. My force now occupies Lebanon, and