I determined to assess and collect from the rebels of Saint Louis County the sum of $500,000, to be used in arming, clothing, and subsisting the enrolled militia when in active service and in providing for those families of militiamen and volunteers which might be left destitute. Those living in the country were taxed in furnishing subsistence to the troops in pursuit of the enemy.
A board, composed of five of the most reliable citizens of Saint Louis, was appointed and directed to assess and collect the proposed tax. Its work was but little more than commenced when my command of the District of Missouri ceased.
The enrollment and organization of the militia has been steadily pushed forward until the present time, it having been impossible to commence it in some portions of the State until very recently, in consequence of the occupation by large bodies of the enemy, which have now, however, been driven from the State.
The number of men already enrolled is 50,900, about 30,000 of whom are armed, while the State government has on hand several thousand stand of arms, which may be distributed when necessary. I believe it may safely be said that Missouri is now in condition to suppress almost instantly any insurrection which can be conceived as possible even if the troops now in active were withdrawn from the State. She has, at the same time, about 40,000 men in the service of the United States, consisting of volunteers-twenty eight regiments of infantry, ten regiments of cavalry, and sixteen batteries of artillery. Militia: twelve regiments of cavalry, one regiment of infantry, and two batteries of artillery. Missouri may now fairly be classed among the loyal States. May not the experiment which has been so successful here be tried with equal promise of success in other States?
The order for a general enrollment was issued on July 22, 1862. By the 29th of the same month about 20,000 men had been organized, armed, and called into active service. Many of these were mounted and joined the regular troops in active operations in the field; others relieved the forces guarding important railroads and depots, while some portions of the State were given over entirely to the enrolled militia; particularly was this the case in the northwestern portion. The entire Northwestern Division, under the command of Brigadier-General Loan, was very soon in a condition to take care of itself, the other troops being sent first to the Northeastern Division, and afterward transferred, with their very efficient commander, to the Central Division.
Brigadier General W. P. Hall, of the enrolled militia, was assigned to the command of the Northwestern Division on August 25, 1862, since which time perfect peace has been maintained in that portion of the State without any aid whatever from the United States.
The desperate and sanguinary guerrilla war, which for nearly two months raged almost without cessation, may be said to have begun about July 20, 1862, by the assembling of small bands, under Porter, Poindexter, and Cobb, who immediately commenced to rob and drive out the loyal people. Seeing that the war had begun in earnest I rapidly concentrated my available cavalry force into bodies sufficiently strong to cope successfully with the largest bodies of guerrillas, and sent as large re-enforcements as possible to the principal theater of guerrilla operations, leaving such posts and railroad bridges as it was indispensable to hold under guard of the enrolled militia and other troops not sufficiently mounted.
The principal theater of operations at this time was the Northeastern