within it, and this morning all the members of Congress here from Missouri but one laid a paper before me asking the same thing. Now, my belief is that Governor Gamble is an honest and true man, not less so than yourself; that you and he could confer together on this and other Missouri questions, with great advantage to the public; that each knows something which the other does not, and that acting together you could about double your stock of pertinent information. May I not hope that you and he will attempt this? I could at once safely do (or could safely do without me) whatever you and he agree upon. There is absolutely no reason why you should not agree.
P. S.-I forgot to say that Honorable James S. Rollins, member of Congress from one of the Missouri districts, wishes that, upon his personal responsibility, Rev. John M. Robinson, of Columbia, Mo.; James L. Matthews, of Boone County, Missouri, and James L. Stephens, also of Boone County, Missouri, may be allowed to return to their respective homes. Major Rollins leaves with me very strong papers from the neighbors of these men, whom he says he knows to be true men. He also says he has many constituents who he thinks are rightly exiled, but that he thinks these three should be allowed to return. Please look into the case, and oblige Major Rollins, if you consistently can.
(Copy sent to Governor Gamble.)
HEADQUARTERS SAINT LOUIS DISTRICT,
Saint Louis, January 5, 1863.
Major H. Z. CURTIS,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: From all I can learn, I believe that the post of New Madrid, in my district, was abandoned without any cause whatever,* and to the great detriment of the public interest, in the destruction of a large amount of valuable property, and in giving the rebels an opportunity to take possession of the works and interrupt our river communication.
It appears that, upon the report of Colonel Scott, General Davies ordered the evacuation, thus assuming control of troops in my district and in the Department of the Missouri, and not only assuming authority not his, but assuming and exercising the same to the great detriment of the public service.
I had stripped my district of troops to re-enforce General Davies at Columbus; and at the time New Madrid was evacuated the pressing emergency at Columbus had nearly passed, and he could have returned the favor by re-enforcing my post, which there would have been time enough to do even after an attack had commenced, as Colonel Scott had six companies and seven heavy guns.
Colonel Scott, in obeying the orders of General Davies, acted contrary to all military rules and discipline, as he was under my command. In so doing he acted, as I believe, also contrary to the public interest and in a shameful and cowardly manner.
I had been lately in communication with him by telegraph, and had
*See Part I, pp. 174-177.