received from Fort Leavenworth. By it you will perceive there is no intention to return the prisoners illegally captured in missouri and of which I wrote you several days since.
You will also observe that it is but a fair "inference" from the expressions used that it is the intention of the commanding officer to disregard all laws of the State, the proceedings of the courts, and the rights of the citizens.
That upon an "inference" it is proposed to invade Missouri, and in the courts of justice or elsewhere arrest whom they please and convey them to Kansas and there try them before a military commission.
Well, sir, he will not do it with impunity.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Missouri State Militia.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, May 15, 1862.
Brigadier General BEN. LOAN. Mo. S. M.:
SIR: Yours on the 9th instant received and placed on file. In reply I would state, as directed by the general commanding, that on or about the 7th of May a man and a lady from Kansas visited Missouri for the [purpose] of getting some stolen property. The men merely accompanied the lady to act her, her husband being in the United States service. It so happened that they found a mare, which the lady claimed, and the man accompanying her also recognized. The man in Missouri who had the mare went with the Kansas parties to a number of the neighbors, all of whom failed to prove the mare as his. At this the Kansas man was determined to take the mare and did start with her, when he was overtaken by an armed party of missourians and made prisoner. The lady came here and made her report, and stated how the man was a prisoner in the hands of a lawless and armed party. It became the duty of the commanding general to rescue the man and property as well as arrest the parties concerned, if possible. Accordingly a party was detached for that purpose, which succeeded. The mare is now in the hands of the Government awaiting settlement. Parties from Missouri visited these headquarters some days afterward, but failed to prove by any means that the property was theirs, it being clearly understood by all parties that the mare was left with the man who now claims her by another party, and that other party is in the Southern Army. Inference: the mare was probably stolen originally from Kansas, as claimed by Kansas party.
The intention of the general commanding is to restore peace and harmony as far as possible between Missouri and Kansas, and to this end he will endeavor to prevent parties from crossing into Missouri on any such errand, but at the same time he will not suffer Kansas men to be thrown into prison with impunity by an armed band of men who make it a business to carry on this work. If men from Missouri cross into Kansas and carry on their depredations-kidnaping, &c.-they will be pursued until they are overtaken and justice meted out to them by a military commission.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.