To-morrow early I will march to Carrollton, and next day attack them with a part of the force. The remainder I will keep at Carrollton, foraging. My only fear is Marmaduke getting from Batesville in my rear. You, however, will see to that. I have found more forage here than I expected, and think I can live in the country a few days. We have already captured several leading guerrillas.
Colonel, Commanding Division.
HEADQUARTERS CENTRAL DIVISION OF MISSOURI,
Jefferson City, March 29, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Commanding, &c., Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: The following telegram has just been received:
INDEPENDENCE, March 28, 1863.
Gaty* robbed to-day by guerrillas. Meyers and Henry, of Company E, killed; others escaped. Twenty negroes killed.
W. R. PENICK.
Of which I have forwarded you a copy by telegraph.
I write this now to say that there can no longer be any question but that the contest for the supremacy in this State must be made a war of extermination; that is, one party, either the loyal or the disloyal, must be permitted to hold exclusive possession of the country. It is utterly impossible for both parties longer to dwell together. The guerrillas and the rebel sympathizers are waging a relentless, cruel, and bloody war upon our unarmed and defenseless citizens, and are determined to continue it until the last loyal citizen is murdered or is driven from his home to escape being murdered. The loyal citizens look to us for protection. They have a right to expect it, and it is the imperative duty of the Government which we serve to give them protection, and, on its part, it is the most heartless cruelty when, in its zeal to conciliate rebels and traitors, it allows the loyal citizens to be deliberately murdered by the allies of the rebels, the guerrillas.
The means that I have heretofore taken to furnish protection to our friends in this district (and which would have succeeded with the loss of much less blood of outlaws than has been by the acts of these outlaws shed by honest men whom the outlaws have murdered) have been so emphatically condemned at Washington that I feel some hesitancy in resorting to any stringent policy without first having your sanction. If ordered "to compel peace in my district," in forty days an honest man can ride from one end of it to the other without question or being harmed; or, if you will be kind enough o indicate what steps in the premises would be judicious, and will fix the limits in which I may act, I will feel much obliged.
It may be proper to add that the guerrillas are becoming quite active in every part of the district, and from the north side of the river I hear frequent complaints of them. They are much more active and numerous than they were this time last year.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Missouri State Militia.
*Steamer Sam. Gaty.