SAINT LOUIS, MO., July 26, 1862-10.40 p.m.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
There are large guerrilla bands in the northern, central, and southern parts of Missouri, keeping my entire force actively employed. Not a day passes without sharp fighting somewhere. A large and increasing force is approaching from Arkansas. I cannot possibly meet them without calling out some of the newly enrolled. May I feed them when I deem it absolutely necessary?*
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, Mo., July 26, 1862.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose for the information of the major-general commanding copies of orders recently issued by the Governor of Missouri and myself, directing an enrollment of all the militia of the State preparatory to calling into service such force as any emergency may render necessary.#
My reasons for adopting this course are the following: Large numbers of returned soldiers from Price's army, having found their way back to their homes, have secretly organized nearly the entire rebel portion of the State, and are beginning to carry out the declared intention of some of their leaders to wage a war of destruction and extermination upon the loyal people, while Price is organizing a force in Arkansas with the purpose of re-entering Missouri, if possible. So much has the probability of this result taken hold of the rebel mind in Missouri that a general rising among them is certain unless prompt and vigorous measures be taken to put it down.
Whether any considerable force will attempt to enter Missouri I am hardly able to judge, as it depends mainly upon the movements of General Curtis and their result. One thing is certain, there is now near the Arkansas line south of Rolla a much larger force than I can cope with unless I concentrate a large portion of my force and leave a corresponding portion of the State to be overrun by guerrillas. This is the immediate and pressing necessity which had induced me to call at once for all the militia of the State to be in readiness for any emergency that may arise. The ultimate and still more important end to be accomplished is to place the State in condition to take care of itself without expense to the United States, and thus justify a withdrawal for more important service of troops in the service and pay of the United States.
I propose to make the militia force thus organized self-sustaining, the expenses of those at any time in active service being paid by those who are exempted. I shall want arms and ammunition only from the United States.
It would, however, greatly aid me could I be authorized to issue subsistence for a short time, and when necessary only, until the organization should be perfected. I must use at once some of this force, and it is difficult to do so without furnishing subsistence in certain cases.
*Answer, if any, not found.
#See General Orders, Numbers 4, District of Missouri, June 27, and General Orders, Nos. 19, 20, and 21, Headquarters Missouri State Militia, pp. 453, 506, 508, 509.
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