I say were thousands upon thousands of these men; that they had no money; that they substitutes wholly by robbery, you may approximate toward an estimate; and all this in a State that refused to secede from the union, hundreds of miles inside of the Federal lines. General McNeil with a small force was pursuing them, not like the advance of a force in all the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war,' but at the rate of 45 miles per day, often camping at 10 p. m., and breaking camp at 2 a. m. Finally he caught them at Kirksville, and effectually crushed them, the guerrillas losing over 700 men, killed and wounded. The next day 15 men, caught with arms in their hands, murder in their hearts, and the oath of allegiance to the United States Government in their pockets, were tried and shot.
In the particular case of Andrew Allsman, he was a man upward of sixty years of age, taken his family and murdered. Of the ten men executed, one of them was one of the party who murdered Mr. Pratt, above alluded to. The other nine men were all caught with arms, and all of them had been once pardoned for their former treason by taking the oath of allegiance to the United States, and had deliberately perjured themselves by going out again - the very oath they took expressly stipulated that "death would be the penalty for a violation of this their solemn oath and parole of honor." Now, sir, are such men entitled to the consideration of honorable warfare (as you seem to think in your criticism), or are they not rather to be treated as outlaws and beyond the pale of civilization? And, sir, living as we do in Missouri, in times of red revolution, assassination, rapine, in violation of all laws, both human and divine, acts of justice necessarily assume the garb of severity, and the more severe to the criminal the more merciful to the community. And now, in view of the facts that I have alluded to, publishing as you do a loyal paper in a loyal State, a thousand miles removed from the scenes of these outrages, can you unthinkingly join in the howl raised by the full-fledged and semi traitors on our midst against such or any other acts that insure the punishment of treason and traitors?
Had one-half the severity practiced by the rebels on the Union men of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri been meted out in return to them, every trace of treason would ere this have been abolished from our land. Good cause have the rebels to grumble at that which blasts at once every prospect they might have had for ultimate success. What is war? Is it anything but retaliation? Must we allow our enemies, the enemies of liberty and republicanism, to outrage all the laws of war, and not take some steps to show them the propriety of adhering to those laws? Emissaries from the rebellious States have come into our midst, forming secret associations, swearing citizens of a State that would not secede from the Union not to respect any oath or obligation made to the Federal Government. Men enjoying the disgrace of a commission from the rebel Government have traveled through our land, hundreds of miles inside of the Federal lines, swearing men, singly and in squads, by stealth and in secret, into the Confederate service, with instructions to go home and wait until called on. These men, thus sworn in, continued day by day to pass themselves on us as loyal citizens, while by night they turned out and harassed their Union neighbors.
Suppose officers from the Confederate Army should go through New York recruiting in the same manner, or suppose Federal officers in disguise should visit Georgia and commence raising bodies of men ostensibly for Government service, but in reality to create disturbance in the community - to rob, murder, and destroy, what treatment would they receive? Would shooting them or hanging them be considered