HDQRS. FIFTH MILITARY DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, Lexington, Mo., July 31, 1863.
[Major] General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Commanding the Department of the Missouri:
GENERAL: I take the liberty of stating to you the condition of this immediate section, especially this county and post, and of making some suggestions, which I hope will not regard otherwise than dictated alone by a wish to see the interests of the country promoted. At this time there are only about 100 men at this post, the body of the troops having been withdrawn to the border and to the State of Kansas. The troops here belong to Colonel McFerran's regiment (First Missouri State Militia) and a company of Enrolled Militia. There are large supplies of commissary, quartermaster, and ordnance stores that require to be protected, and the force at this place is too small even for that purpose. The Enrolled Militia belong to Saline and to Johnson Counties, and there is a strong necessity for all the forces of those counties to be kept at home, there being abundant service for them to perform there. Colonel McFerran's regiment is scattered over some three or four counties, at some six or seven different posts, any one of which is too weak to guard the post, and at the same time to render efficient service in scouting the country, though, from what I can learn, there is really no necessity for them there, as they report the country free from guerrillas, all of whom seem to have concentrated in the river counties. For some weeks past large forces have been reported in this and the adjoining counties of Johnson and Saline, and theft and murder are of daily occurrence. Yet we are wholly powerless here to do anything for the relief of the neighborhood in which these outrages occur, by reason of the necessity which compels us to hold this post. The provost-marshal for this district is unable to proceed with the enrollment, for want of a sufficient military escort, and the civil business of the country is suspended because the sheriff cannot go out in the discharge of his official duties without a guard, which cannot be furnished him. Large bodies of these outlaws are gathering,and their numbers are being daily augmented by the impunity with which they commit their depredations, and the apparent inability both of the civil and military authorities to bring them to justice and punish them for their crimes.
In view of these facts, I would most respectfully suggest that the First Regiment Missouri State Militia be concentrated at this point and at Warrensburg, in Johnson County, from which points they could operate most favorably,and at the same time be able to protect the posts from any sudden attack which might be made, the danger of which at this time is imminent.
I have had the honor of addressing General Ewing on this subject, but have had no reply from him. I therefore beg to call your attention to its as a matter, in my opinion,of much importance.
I am, general, most respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,
RICH'D C. VAUGHAN,
Brigadier General, Commanding Fifth Mil. Dist., Enrolled Missouri Militia.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., July 31, 1863.
Brigadier-General DAVIDSON, Commanding Expedition:
GENERAL: You can have such supplies as you may wish sacked and ready to be carried in packs my sending for them, and stating the amounts you require.