issued by the general commanding the militia of the district to his subordinates to assemble their commands forthwith, that a detail might be made for immediate service, and upon the regiments being assembled the work of detailing began. We have heard no particular complaint on account of the mode of selection. The great inquiry has been what the movement means. About this there is a mystery which those in authority have not seen fit to clear up. The general impression is that the calling our of the militia at this time, and the detailing of two or three provisional regiments for duty, has some connection with the threatened movement of Jim Lane on the border; in other woods, that our conservative military chieftains had got a big panic on them, lest the great Kansian and his followers, if permitted to come over the border, might, in cleaning out rebels, not be disposed to make nice distinctions, and clean them (the conservatives) out too. It might, therefore, be considered policy for these parties to surround themselves with radical bodyguards, as the masses of the militia are pretty much all radicals, for the purpose of meeting "the invasion." Be this as it may, the Kansas question is generally supposed to have some connection with the draft, and is in consequence freely discussed. We have heard of but one conclusion among the privates, which is, that if there is to be a fight with Jim Lane, and they have to be in it, they will be on Lane's side. Such is the expression of more than nine tenths of the "conscripts." To any casual observer it is apparent that the most popular man in this corner of the Department of Missouri at the present time is Lane, as the most unpopular is Schofield. As the absurdity of opposing any such element as this draft has collected in any way to Lane and his rebel-killers is so apparent, this movement has been met with better temper than might, perhaps, have been anticipated. Our authorities, however, have committed a great mistake in preserving any mystery about the matter.
[Inclosure No. 12.]
WHAT IT MEANS.*
In the absence of any explanation from responsible sources of the movement by which hundreds of our citizens are being forced away from their homes and business, put into the ranks with muskets in their hands, and marched off into camp, the Missouri Republican undertakes to clear up the mystery. Its account of the matter is, that General Steele is hard pressed in Arkansas, and the movement among the militia here looks to his relief. But, if, so, why is it that some time has elapsed since this fact was known to the military authorities, for preparations for calling out the militia were instituted days ago, and the public should have no inkling on the news? Why is it that we are told by the telegraph, through channels which appear to be reliable, that the rebels have already evacuated Little Rock and are in full retreat before Steele and Davidson? How happens it that the enemy were defeated in a very strong position at the Bayou Metaire [Meto], which is understood to command Little Rock, by Davidson alone? In case General Steele is in danger, why is it that re-enforcements are not sent up by Grant Steele than Saint Louis, and where large forces are understood to be lying idle? Why, in that condition of things, is General Schofield, who commands the Enrolled Missouri Militia, and from whom the order for the draft must have come, not down on the Arkansas line looking after
*From the Missouri Democrat, September 12, 1863.