restraint on rebels who have encouraged bands of rebels, and our friends fear that they will suffer if such restraints are taken off. I am implored not to remove them. I have earnest petitions and letters innumerable coming in, urging me to allow assessments to proceed. The county assessments are all made by local commanders, who claim that they understand their local difficulties better than I can. I therefore move cautiously and quietly, so as to avoid any new inspiration of rebel courage. On matters concerning the degree and direction of force against age. On matters concerning the degree and direction of force against rebels, I am appealed to as the supposed head of military power in this vicinity. On complaints of too much severity, the governor and Your Excellency are appealed to, and we do not, therefore, either of us, always see both sides. As to banishments, the Governor goes further than I do on that subject, although we might differ as to particular cases. Most of the banishments have been made as a commutation for imprisonments determined by military commissions or local commanders, and in all instances where the community seem to think it safe, I try to procure a release. As to the cases named by Mr. Rollins, I will examine, and write to him. They must stand on their own merits, not on his; but I shall have due deference to his opinion as to the safety of the release. As I intimated in a former letter, I only fear some conflict with the Governor in regard to Enrolled Militia and regular volunteers. I command the volunteers, but the Enrolled Militia, it is claimed, can only be commanded by the Governor. As the theory is, we feed and forage while he commands this force, and the Governor seems anxious to preserve all his rights in this behalf. I hope, however, no difficulty will grow out of this. So far I have got along well with the Enrolled Militia. As things improve, rebels become more active and officious in their demands for release and relinquishment from restraints, which are the only cause of our success. We must not be over-hasty in withdrawing these restraints, but gradually, I hope, peace will be restored and military power relinquished.
I have now commanded this department over a quarter of a year. I have so far great reason to rejoice in the success of our arms and the progress of our principles. The recent raid to Springfield has been repulsed without the loss of a single wagon or a pound of stores, and my forces are in rapid pursuit of Marmaduke and his 5,000 men. They got nothing but one gun without wheels, and a good thrashing at Springfield and Hartville. While General Grant is preparing to collect his re-enforcements, General McClernand as an episode is assisting me in pressing the rebels up the Arkansas. Meantime other forces in pursuit of Marmaduke must capture him or drive him below that river. All this I have made secondary to the move on Vicksburg, where I have tendered nearly all my force, and which I hope will, in due time, be made with more unity of action and ultimate success.
I have the honor to remain, Mr. President, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, January 15, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
I telegraphed a request that I might confer by letter before executing your telegraphic order concerning provost-marshals' orders, and the provost-marshals generally.