It will be modified this far: I have no authority to say that they will be exchanged, and do not think such authority will be given. If, however, they will surrender, you may say to them that they will be held as prisoners and not executed. Such of them as have violated their parole will be held until they have received their punishment due to their offense by imprisonment, and if the President chooses to sanction it, will be exchanged. This last I cannot promise them, however.
As soon as I am satisfied that bushwhacking has ceased those will be released upon parole and bond who have not heretofore engaged in any raid or for whom this is the first offense. They will, however, be held in confinement until I am satisfied that the influences which have been used to drive them to the brush no longer are in existence. These are the most favorable terms that can well be offered them.
You will be allowed all reasonable discretion in treating with them, remembering that it is cheaper to feed them than to fight them.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
HEADQUARTERS NORTHEASTER DISTRICT OF MISSOURI,
Macon City, Mo., October 19, 1862.
Colonel S. M. WIRT,
Enrolled Militia, Edina, Mo.:
COLONEL: The general commanding directs me to inform you that you are authorized to permit the surrender of all bushwhackers, except Franklin, Porter, Dunn, and Ralf Smith, upon the following conditions:
1st. The lives of all who surrender will be spared.
2nd. All who surrender will be held as prisoners of war, and as soon as the conduct of their fellows in the brush warrants the belief that bushwhacking will stop, such of them as have not heretofore violated their parole will be released upon parole and bond. You will require such as surrender to bring in their horses and arms, and will prefer their surrendering in companies.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. M. HOUSTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Saint Louis, Mo., October 19, 1862.
The troops at or north of Fort Scott will remain on the line of communication unless special order arrives from General Blunt. I approve of general distribution suggested by General Lane. It will not be proper for officers to issue proclamations and the troops must not be so divided as to invite attack. A strong force must be retained at the depots of public stores. Send this forward for the benefit of officers commanding posts or pickets along the line. Orders from Brigadier-General Blunt will be forwarded.
SAML. R. CURTIS,