War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0225 Chapter XXXIV. SCOUTS, ETC, IN AND ABOUT MINGO SWAMP, MO.

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was a notorious counterfeiter here, and nigger thief, and for the last five months he has been connected with McGee's band of guerrillas, which they are in every sense of the word. I am sorry they are prisoners on my hands, as they should have been shot on the spot. There are other bands of this character in the county below here, and it was concerning these bands that I wished to seethe commanding general; but the breaking up of our regiment has interfered with my arrangements, and I am sorry for these poor Union people, who never have been properly protected, as they should have and might have been; and if the authorities could see the downcast and saddened countenances of Union men here, they I think, would hesitate about breaking up and sending off this regiment. For my own part, I think injustice has been done me and my men; but I am too good a soldier to disobey any order coming to me from my superior officers.

I hope you will pardon me for alluding to this matter in this report, but justice to this section demands that attention should be called to the state of affairs here, and I hope you will not allow all protection to be taken from these people.

Very respectfully, &c.,

B. F. LAZEAR,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Twelfth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

Captain DYER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis District, Mo.

Numbers 2. Report of Major F. W. Reeder, Twelfth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

JACKSON, MO., February 7, 1863.

COLONEL: Pursuant to your order, I proceeded, on the 2nd nFeb.instant, to Dallas, Mo., for the purpose of killing, capturing, and dispersing such bands of outlaws and rebels as infest the vicinity of Dallas and Mingo Swamp.

After arriving in Dallas with my command, detachments of the different companies at this post, I was joined by detachments from the companies stationed at Fredericktown and Patton, and at once sent out four scouts to capture the notorious McGee and his outlaws, said to be harboring around that place. These scouts brought in three of the outlaws, from whom I learned that McGee had started the day previous toward Bloomfield, carrying with him a number of stolen horses and arms, as well as four Union citizens as prisoners. I waited until the evening of the 3rd instant, when the last scout came in, bringing twenty-five saddles, buried by the rebels some two months since, and which, on account of lack of transportation, as well as their total worthlessness, I ordered to be burned.

Resolving to overtake McGee, with his band, the next day, and to push on to Bloomfield through the Mingo Swamp, I allowed the men and horses to rest till next morning, and started after these outlaws. Regardless of the advice of those who had for a long time been residents within the said swamp, and who pronounced the passage through the same at this time of the year an impossibility, as the ground would be frozen, and the water below would, consequently, recede from beneath. I determined to risk it, and went on. When you add to all this the circumstance that a violent snow-storm set in as we started, which lasted

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