War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0556 MO.,ARK.,KANS.,IND.T.,AND DEPT.N.W. Chapter XXXIV.

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are men who have an unquestionable right to vote, and have always been true to the Government. They are opposed to the provisional government on the grounds of principle and policy; seek to exchange it for another in a perfectly loyal and constitutional mode, and for this purpose have publicly met and openly organized into a party to accomplish their aim by political action. For this they are charged with conspiracy against the government of which Hamilton R. Gamble is the head. A charge so remarkable would not certainly be made in the face of an intelligent community unless there is something underlying it not patent to the public eye. It is a fact, in the statement of which we think the people of Missouri at large will agree with us, that there are certain movements now on foot under the auspices of the present provisional government which are not understood by the masses. All, perhaps, have a general idea, and yet few, we imagine, fully understand, in its real dimensions, the singular circumstance that our present State government is silently and actively engaged in organizing, equipping, and arming a formidable standing army, and this without giving the public the least intimation of the fact in any public order, and, so far as we are advised, without warrant of law of any kind. Not the least remarkable thing about the movement is the means resorted to in order to secure the material of which this army is being composed. All have heard something about provisional regiments, but few understand exactly what is meant. For the enlightenment of all parties interested, it should be known that the provisional government is forming these regiments all over the State, making a formidable aggregate force, officering, arming, and equipping them as regular soldiers in the State service. The means chiefly resorted to, to collect the men composing them, is conscription. The men wanted as soldiers seem to be selected according to no fixed rule, and, if unwilling to enter the service, are forced into it at the point of the bayonet. Under what law, State or National, this is done we know not, as we have been unable to find any, and the best of lawyers to whom we have applied have been unable to inform us of any. It is proper to add that the men thus conscripted are usually taken from the ranks of the Enrolled Militia, at the pleasure, we believe, of officers in command; are then armed and equipped with munitions furnished by the General Government to supply the Enrolled Militia, and are then officered by such persons as the State government sees fit to place over them. It thus happens that the men have no choice in becoming soldiers, nor in selecting the officers who shall command them after they are soldiers.

Now, a proceeding of so remarkable a character to be going on in our midst may well elicit inquiry. It may be thought, and an impression of that kind has doubtless to some extent prevailed, that this is merely a perfecting of the Enrolled Militia system. Such, however, is not the case. The provisional regiments and the Enrolled Militia differ most essentially. It will be recollected that, under the orders under which the Enrolled Militia was organized, the citizens were assured there was no disposition to interfere with their regular pursuits beyond the service required in the protection of their homes. It was, furthermore, given out that, the enrollment being general, the burden of any service required would come equally upon all. So far from this being the case with the provisional regiments, they are organized with a view to constant, active service, and their members are selected out from among the mass of citizens equally liable, and specially assigned to duty. We never understood that there existed any other authority for the creation of the Enrolled Militia than the dictum of the commanding general, but the