They were proved guilty and sentenced to be shot; the sentence approved by General Halleck, commanding Department of the Mississippi; that sentence delayed in its execution, and not carried out to this day. Some of these miscreants have even been turned loose once more. Such clemency proved to be the most horrid cruelty. The unfortunates of our State who, in their heart of hearts, held that loyalty to their Government was a sacred and holy duty that they could not cast aside, began to look at once another in surprise and horror. Will our Government never understand our situation? Will it continue to strengthen the cause of the robbers and murderers? What is to become of us? Stout-hearted men, whose families would not permit of leaving, sat down in the midst of their household gods and shed tears of hopeless agony. Midnight parties had come round and absolutely disarmed every man of even half-way loyalty. Their horses and wagons, their only available means of transit, were stolen from them. During this time our troops would take prisoner after prisoner. I, myself, acting as provost-marshal-general of the District of Northeastern Missouri, administered the oath of allegiance to several thousand traitors, and took bonds for observance of the oath to the amount of over $1,000,000; still, no stop to the outrages of the rebels. Finally, General Schofield, whom all who know must admit to be a gentleman of remarkable kindness of heart, began to come up to the exigency of the times, and issued General Orders, Numbers 18, an extract from which appears hereinafter. That order has, I believe, never been countermanded, and is in force to this day.
As a specimen of our situation, let me inform you that an old Baptist preacher, named Wheat, was murdered by a rebel gang within 5 or 6 miles of Palmyra, his body mutilated and his robbed of some $800; that a farmer named Carter, living in an adjoining county, suspected of having given information which led to the arrest of a notorious bridge-burner and railroad destroyer, was hot in his own dooryard and in the presence of his wife and children that a Mr. Preston, living but a few miles from the same neighborhood, was taken off by a gang of these men, whom you seem desirous of recognizing as honorable belligerents, and murdered, leaving an amiable wife and four very interesting little children to cry for vengeance upon the assassins of their farther. A Mr. Pratt, living a few miles north of Pratt, living a few miles north of Palmyra, a very intelligent farmer, unfortunately an emigrant from Massachusetts, and a man of the very highest moral character, but guilty of being an unswerving Union man, was murdered, leaving a widow and six children to mourn his loss. A Mr. Spires, an aged man, over seventy years, one of the oldest citizens of Shelby County (adjoining the county of which Palmyra is the shire-town), was taken from his house and hung, and his body mutilated. Other citizens of that county, and those of the highest standing, were taken out and hung until life was nearly extinct. A man named Spaight was taken out, stripped, and brutally whipped. A large body of these rebels went into the town of Canton, in Lewis County, a town not garrisoned, and murdered William Carnegy, a leading merchant and universally respected, but tainted to them with the leprosy of loyalty. Porter, at the head of several thousand of these guerrillas, went into Memphis, also not garrisoned, seized a Dr. Aylward, the prominent Union man of that locality, and hung him, with a halter made of hickory bark, until he was dead.
I could give a long list of crimes the most horrid committed by these scoundrels, that would make even fiends in hell shudder. Their robberies and devastations you, in New York cannot even conceive of; but when