my view of present emergencies, those arms were much more necessary here that at Cairo.
I am satisfied that the authorities at Washington do not understand the present condition of affairs in Missouri. The conduct of our troops during Fremont campaign, and especially the course pursued by those under Lane and Jennison, has turned against us many thousands who were formerly Union men. A few more such raids, in connection with the ultra speeches made by leading men in Congress, will make this State as unanimous against us as Eastern Virginia.
It may be supposed by some that the number of organized Missouri regiments in this department indicates a different feeling. It should, however, be remembered that nearly all of these so-called Missouri regiment are composed of foreigners or men from other States. From a dispassionate examination of this matter in all its bearing and after conversing with leading men from all parts of this country I am satisfied that the mass of the people here are against us, and that a single false step or defeat ruin our cause.
Can't we get some arms soon? I cannot move without them. Winter is already upon us, and I fear much longer delay will render it exceedingly difficult to operate, and yet a winter campaign seems absolutely necessary to restore our lost ascendency and the quiet of the State.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
LANCASTER, OHIO, December 12, 1861.
Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: I believe you will be frank enough to answer me if you deem the steps I took at Sedalia as evidence of a want of mind. They may have been the result of an excess of caution on my part, but I think the troops were too much strung out, and should be concentrated, with more men along to guard the track. The animals, cattle especially, will be much exposed this winter.
I set a much higher measure of danger on the acts of unfriendly inhabitants than most officers do, because I have lived in Missouri and the South, and know that in their individual characters they will do more acts of hostility than Northern farmers or people could bring themselves to perpetrate. In my judgments Price's army in the aggregate is less to be feared than when in scattered bands.
I write to you because a Cincinnati paper, whose reporter I imprisoned in Louisville for visiting our camps after I had forbidden him leave to go, has announced that I am insane, and alleges as a reason that at Sedalia my acts were so mad that subordinate officers refused to obey. I know of no order I gave that was not obeyed, except General Pope's, to advance his division to Sedalia, which order was countermanded by you, and the fact communicated to me.
These newspapers have us in their power, and can destroy us as they please, and this one can destroy my usefulness by depriving me of the confidence of officers and men.
I will be in Saint Louis next week, and will be guided by your commands and judgment.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,