War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0271 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

letter had the effect to send a confidential agent of the Government to the meeting for the purpose of watching the movements of parties there.

In consequence of the exertions of loyal men of our county, and the suspicion attached to certain party movements, the meeting passed off with no other effect than the collection together of a considerable number of the worst secessionists of our county, and the passage of resolutions not positively disloyal, but bordering on it in part, and strongly anti-emancipation in sentiment. For any positive influence it was an abortion.

I trust you will pardon my using this matter as an introduction to another subject which I consider greatly concerns the peace and welfare of our State.. I allude to the recent act of the Missouri Legislature for exemption from military duty of all persons who wish it, for the sum of $30. Immediately previous to the passage of this act, as you are aware, orders were issued for drafting into immediate service several regiments of the State militia. Under this order, about 200 men of this county had been enrolled and organized for immediate duty, and the officers have been making their arrangements for immediate service. Of the number drafted for duty from this county, there were three companies, commanded by as many captains. This day one of the captains informed me that he did not believe a dozen men in the county would comply with the draft, and that all would pay the commutation penalty and be released. I am fully persuaded such will be the case, and that the same state of facts will exist all over the State. If this be the case, and another uprising of rebels in the State be meditated, as it is generally another uprising of rebels in the State be meditated as it is generally believed there will be in certain contingencies, our State will be wholly dependent on the United States troops and volunteers for defense. If they were sufficiently numerous to defend the State and suppress disloyal collections of troops at all points, I do not know that the absence of the militia would be a subject for regret; but I think there is very great danger that the rebels, numerous, determined, and vindictive in our State, may seize on the occasion of a real hiatus in our military strength to do much mischief at least. I do not presume to doubt that you are more fully posted as to all apparent movements of the traitors in our State, and as to the actual condition of our State militia, than I possibly can be; but as to the disposition of the militia in the present attitude of State affairs, I have supposed it would be of interest to you to be advised as far as practicable.

Our county (Pike) is believed, I think justly, too, to be the most loyal county in the State; but no one wishes to undergo the fatigues and hardships of military life, when the prospect of pay is so poor as that of our militia. My opinion is very decided that we shall soon have no militia force or organization in the State except those in the service of the United States, and that various causes are combining to encourage new risings and raids of rebels in the State.

Excuse the liberty I have taken in throwing out these suggestions, in the hope that you may have the power, as you assuredly have the will, to apply a remedy, in the event of my apprehensions proving to be well founded. I desire to call your attention to one other matter, perhaps of local rather than general interest, but still of general interest to the wife and family of John Q. Burbridge, a brigadier-general in the rebel army; to the wife and family of J. P. [P. S.] Senteny, a major in the rebel army; to the family of George O. Matthews a captain in the rebel army, and various privates in that army. Ever since the rebellion commenced