greater than those committed by the rebels in our land; with this difference, that the one was the work of ignorance and a religious fanaticism, performed by an enslaved and half-civilized race, while our rebels and murderers have claimed to be our brothers, are enlightened, enjoyed the same rights and privileges that we have enjoyed, and in a day could, as it were, reinstate themselves and our whole country in the possession and enjoyment not only of peace and harmony, but of all the rights, privileges, and independence that freemen can or should enjoy. These terrible 'butcheries" (i. e., the just punishment of guerrillas, assassins, and violators of parole) have finally restored safety here. Since the public execution of the ten men at Palmyra, not a murder nor a single personal outrage to a Union man has been committed in Northeastern Missouri, or since the rebels learned what would be the price of a Union man's life, three months ago, for it is that time since official notice was served on them of what would be done if Allsman was not returned to his home, and that the decimal system be carried out of each loyal non-combatant that should subsequently be murdered by them, so long as guerrillas could be found in the district. "Verily a tree shall be known by its fruits." A wise punishment has once more enabled the dove of peace to hover over our households, unterrified. Guerrillas in this district found their vocation gone. Traitors began at last to recognize that the oath of loyalty meant something. They scattered for security through Illinois, and even there could not cease their career of crime. It was but yesterday that I delivered to the authorities of Pike County, Illinois, three young men raised in this county, and of very respectable (so far as wealth and intelligence goes), but not loyal, families, sworn-members of Porter's guerrillas, who had been with him in every action. When a proposition is made to them to murder an aged farmer who had generously extended to them the hospitalities of his house, they never shudder, show no indignation, but coolly proceed to commit a murder that for atrocity and horror cannot be exceeded throughout the annals of crime. You will, in the paper publishing this, see the confession of one of these three specimens of Southern chivalry. If the authorities of Illinois proceed to execute these three murderers, in retaliation for the murder of Mr. Pearson, a ration of three for one, will it be cause for an indignant editorial against those authorities? Say no, Mr. Editor, that the last case will be one of the civil law, for it occurs in Illinois. In Missouri these scoundrels that you object to having punished had by their conduct destroyed the last vestige of civil law. Martial law was the only protection citizens had, and by that law these men were publicly and lawfully executed. For martial law in Missouri, see general orders of this department. Read also the following:
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 2.
Saint Louis, March 3, 1862.
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III. Evidence has been received at these headquarters that Major General Sterling Price has issued commissions or licenses to certain bandits in this State, authorizing them to raise guerrilla forces for the purpose of plunder and marauding. General Price ought to know that such a course is contrary to the rules of civilized warfare, and that every man who enlists in such an organization forfeits his life, and becomes an outlaw. All persons are hereby warned that if they join any guerrilla band, they will not, if captured, be treated as prisoners of war, but will he hung as robbers and murderers. Their lives shall atone for the barbarity of their general.
By command of Major-General Halleck:
N. H. McLEAN,
55 R R - VOL XXII, PT I