I would take off restriction on everything but arms and ammunition in Northern Missouri, if the loyal sentiment were not so earnestly opposed to it. I am doing it gradually.
SAML. R. CURTIS,
[Inclosure Numbers 1]
OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL
OF THE IOWA AND MISSOURI BORDER,
Keokuk, Iowa, February 9, 1863.
W. D. GALLAGHER, Esq.,
Special Agent, Treasury Department:
DEAR SIR: Our personal relations, and reference to some matters within your Department, must be my excuse for taxing you with this letter. You know why I feel an especial interest in this section, and something of my anxiety to be of service to it, and if you can, incidentally or otherwise, strength in my hands, I feel that you will do so. The political condition of the country bordering on the line dividing Missouri and Iowa is anomalous. It being but a land line, the relations, business, social, and political, of the people of each side have been, and are, necessarily intimate. While it is true that there has been open rebellion only upon one side, it is not to be presumed that the sentiment has been similarly restricted. In point of fact, and I speak it with deep humility, there is a disloyal element on the Iowa side, dangerous from its magnitude and its virulence. This element, secretly fusing with avowed disloyalty across the border, has given to the latter a power for evil that it never would otherwise have had. It is this very influence that has so much embarrassed the execution of the wise restrictions of your Department upon trade in certain articles; through it rebels are furnished with arms and munitions of war. At the same time these rebel sympathizers, protected by the broad shield of a loyal State, clamor in safety against the Government for enforcing laws that deprive the manlier part of their fraternity of the means for doing evil, and in this clamor, by using most insidious means, they often get good men to join. Magnifying a temporary inconvenience into a personal injury, they persuade men of limited vision, who cannot see the end, that the Government is depriving them of sacred rights. But believe me, sir, there never was a time when your restrictive orders preventing rebels from obtaining supplies of certain things needed to be so rigidly enforced as now, and for the same reason, it is important that loyal men be supplied with those articles. It should be done, however, upon a system and with a discrimination that would prevent mistakes.
In illustration of this necessity, I inclose a copy of a letter from a loyal and responsible citizen of Clark County. I have received many others of the same tenor from along the border, and I have sent intelligent and competent men to investigate thoroughly the foundation for such statements. Their reports more than confirm Captain Johnson's. He has not embellished facts, nor has he conveyed the urgency of prompt action in the matter.
It is painful, Mr. Gallagher, to a loyal, earnest man to be in a position where he can see clearly danger gathering and darkening over his fatherland, and yet be powerless to avert it. I can make this plaint to you, for you were mainly instrumental in my being placed here; and now, to do what might and should be done to arrest this rising storm, I need some recognition from the Government; authority from the Gov