Although our successes in the West have been very great, the war is very far from being ended, even in the country which we hold. The habit of waging guerilla war, which amounts to a passion with the Western people, will, I apprehend, give us more serious trouble than the organized rebel armies have done.
This evil is greatly aggravated by the unwillingness of the loyal people to permit rebels to return and lie among them, thus forcing them to remain in bands for self-protection, as many of them will do for the purpose of plunder. This difficulty is serious only when the people have been divided and have long felt the ravages of war, as in Missouri. But it will rapidly assume a serious character in Arkansas and similar States unless they be speedily occupied by a sufficient force to put down effectually all guerrilla organizations. To do will require at least as many troops as I now have in this department, even after the organized force of the enemy is driven from it entirely.
I hope, therefore, that it may not be found necessary to withdraw for the present any of my troops, and that I may be authorized to raise all the additional troops that can be obtained in this department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
KANSAS CITY, MO., September 18, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear reports the stopping of the steamer. Marcella at Dover Landing by guerrillas, and the taking of 4 soldiers of the Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, one of whom escaped and three were shot. I have guerrillas here, convicted and unconvicted. Shall I retaliate? Lazear reports a successful scout in La Fayette County, breaking up a camp, killing 2 guerrillas, and making considerable captures.
THOMAS EWING, JR.,
SEPTEMBER 18, 1863.
Brigadier-General EWING, Kansas City:
The retaliation you speak of, though just, would, in my opinion, be unwise, because it is so easy for the guerrillas to find victims for their revenge. The Union people, as well as soldiers, would suffer far more than the guerrillas by such a system. I think it much better to condemn and execute the guerrillas for their own acts.
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO., September 18, 1863.
General FISK, Commanding:
I have again heard from People. He was across Little River, in Pemiscot County, pushing the rebels close. He had killed 6, and had strong hopes of overtaking them again. He was only a mile behind, in hot pursuit.
J. B. ROGERS,