War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0502 MO.,ARK.,KANS.,IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI,

Springfield, Mo., August 31, 1863.

WILLIAM H. LATHAM, ARCH. M. LANY, R. S. JACOBS,

Springfield, Mo.:

GENTLEMEN: Your communication of yesterday is at hand in regard to the evacuation of the post of Greenfield. You will have learned before the receipt of this that your alarm was groundless, and that I have not been unmindful of your protection. They very occupation of the troops ordered from your place to the field is designed to protect you against the outrages of the men who sacked and burned the town of Lawrence, in our sister State, with circumstances of more cruelty and barbarism than have heretofore characterized war in any civilized country.

You state that guerrillas "are now robbing and murdering our people within a few miles of this place." I have no information so such outrages, having heard of no murder since that of Daniells. If this is true, it is certainly high time that the commandant at Greenfield who should permit it, without an attempt to prevent it or without reporting the fact to these headquarters, should be removed and replaced by a more efficient officer.

You will immediately on receipt of this specify instances of murder and robbery that have occurred of late, with such attending circumstances as have come to your knowledge, that I may apply the proper remedy to prevent a recurrence of such enormities, and take steps to call any officer to account who permitted such things without proper report.

Failing to receive such report from you by return of mail, I shall deem your letter of such grave importance as to compel me in discharge of my duty to indorse it to the provost-marshal, with directions to summon all persons before him who have, or are likely to have, knowledge of these murders.

I have the honor to be, gentlemen, your obedient servant,

[JOHN MCNEIL,]

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,

Milwaukee, Wis., August 31, 1863.

Brigadier General ALFRED SULLY:

GENERAL: In my letter to you concerning your movements after your return to Fort Pierre, a mistake was made in writing Nebraska in the stead of Dakota.

It is my purpose that you move from Fort Pierre to the Black Hills, and thence north and northwest as far as practicable before the cold weather begins. These movements, as far as their direction is concerned, will depend, of course, upon the locality of the hostile Indians, but it is your special mission to deal finally, if possible, with the hostile Sioux driven across the Missouri River by General Sibley, and to prevent in all events their return to the borders of Minnesota in any large force. If you follow them and press them closely, the will, no doubt, in their present destitute condition, seek to make terms with you.

Your action in the matter must of necessity be left to your discretion,