HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, September 20, 1863.
General-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of an order which I have found it necessary to publish and enforce. The revolutionary faction which has so long been striving to gain the ascendancy in Missouri, particularly in Saint Louis, to overthrow the present State government and change the policy of the national administration, has at length succeeded, so far as to produce open mutiny of one of the militia regiments and serious difficulties in others.
I inclose a number of slips from papers published in Missouri, to show the extent to which this factious opposition to the Government has been carried. The effect already produced is but natural, and the ultimate effect will be disastrous in the extreme unless a strong remedy be applied speedily.
Out of consideration for popular opinion, and the well-known wishes of the President relative to freedom of speech and of the press, I have forborne until, in my belief, further forbearance would lead to disastrous results. I am thoroughly convinced of the necessity for prompt and decided measures to put down this revolutionary scheme, and my sense of duty will not permit me to delay it longer. It is barely possible that I may not have to enforce the order against the public press. They may yield without the application of force; but I do not expect it. The tone of some of their articles since the publication of the order indicates a determination to wage the war which they have begun to the bitter end. This determination is based upon the belief that the president will not sustain me in any such measures as those contemplated in the order. A distinct approval of the President of my proposed action, and a knowledge of the fact here, would end the whole matter at once. I desire, if possible, to have such approval before taking action in any individual case. Indeed, I believe such approval would prevent the necessity for the use of force. It is difficult, I am aware, for any one at a distance to believe that such measures can be necessary against men and papers who claim to be "radically loyal." The fact is, they are "loyal" only to their "radical" theories, and are so radical that they cannot possibly be loyal to the Government.
I cannot hope in the space of a letter to make the importance of this matter fully understood. If you do not concur with me as to the propriety and necessity for the course of action I have proposed, I would like to have a personal interview with you on the subject. I believe its importance would justify my absence from Saint Louis long enough to visit Washington.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 96.
Saint Louis, Mo., September 17, 1863.
The proclamation of the President, dated Washington, September 15, 1863, suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the cases of persons belonging to the land and naval forces of the United States, and other persons therein described, will be held to apply to all Missouri militia called into active service under the orders of the department commander.