War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0577 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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from all directions. All the rebels in Western Missouri are joining them. I should have re-enforcements, if possible.



SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 17, 1862.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commanding-in-Chief of Army of U. S., Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: It is reported by both officers and men who have arrived in this city from the army in Arkansas that large quantities of cotton have been seized by individuals and shipped on their own account to Cairo and to this city. In some instances the cotton has been obtained from negroes by purchase; in some cases purchased of citizens.

I am also informed some of the cotton has been sold on Government account at Helena at 14 cents per pound and the same cotton has afterward been sold in this city at from 40 to 46 cents per pound.

I have the honor to suggest all cotton, as well as mules and horses, should be seized on Government account; that the cotton shall be shipped to this city for sale; that accounts shall be kept of the persons from whom and where taken, leaving to loyal citizens, if any there be, an opportunity hereafter to apply for the proceeds of the cotton.

It appears to me there is no other course but the one I have suggested. If speculators, hangers on of the army, or others are permitted, under the protection of the army, to seize and carry away cotton, the Government bears all the odium, if any there shall be, arising from the transaction, without deriving the least benefit therefrom. Again, this speculation tends to demoralize the army.

I shall leave by the first boat for Helena probably to-morrow; have been detained here by business and awaiting the arrival of a gentleman who will accompany me.

I am, sir, with respect, your obedient servant,


P. S.-It appears to be necessary that some general order to all the armies should be forthwith issued in relation to the seizure of property; that all of it shall be seized on Government account, and the traders and speculators driven away, if possible, from the armies, or forbidden to trade in purchasing the products of the country.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., August 17, 1862.

General MERRILL,

Hudson, Mo.:

The rebels are gaining strength rapidly in the vicinity of Sedalia and Lexington. Rains and Coffee have got up there with a strong force. Major Foster, with 1,000 men, was badly beaten yesterday, and Lexington is now in great danger. I may have troops so that you can send as strong a force as possible across the river at Glasgow, Booneville, or Jefferson City. You must judge how much you can do without too great danger of another uprising in North Missouri. The 100 cavalry upon have ordered