War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0688 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV

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SAINT LOUIS, MO., November 1, 1863.

Brigadier-General GUITAR,

Macon City, Mo.:

I wish you to give special attention to Buchanan County and other portions of Northwestern Missouri on the day of the election. If possible, let there be no semblance even of interference or intimidation by the militia, and at all hazards prevent violence from whatever quarter. This is important everywhere, but especially so in that part of the State. It is all-important to have a perfectly free and quiet election in that part of the State. This is my reason for calling your special attention to it, and not because I have more reason to apprehend disturbance there than elsewhere.




Saint Louis, November 1, 1863.

JAMES L. THOMAS, Saint Louis, Mo.:

In reply to your letter of October 30,* I will state that in some important particulars you entirely misapprehend my remarks made during our conversation on the 29th. I spoke of the lawless acts committed in some portions of Missouri by men claiming to be radicals, and acting in the name of radicalism and asserted that the leading men and papers of the party had failed to do their duty by disowning and frowning down this lawlessness; that in this course they had been guilty of great folly, and had brought odium upon their part in Missouri and throughout the country; that they had injured rather than advanced the cause of emancipation. I made no remarks relative to the radical party nor to the radicals as a party of citizens. I spoke of those men and papers who, by tolerating and encouraging lawlessness in the name of radicalism, had done so much toward producing trouble in the State. It is, perhaps, natural that any honest man should feel as you propose, t disown a party in which abuses are tolerated, but I cannot see the propriety of so doing. Would it not be much wiser and more patriotic to endeavor to purify the party, to bring it back to the high principles upon which it was founded, and to rid it of the elements which have disgraced those principles?

Our conversation on the 29th was regarded by me as confidential and I still desire it to be so regarded by you, and also this letter. No possible good can result from a public discussion by me of such matters. You are aware that as department commander I have nothing to do with parties nor with offenders as members of any party. I shall unquestionably, upon proper proof, punish all who have been, or my hereafter be, guilty of the crimes you mention, without regard to the party they may belong to. But I do not propose to condemn any party or class of men because of the guilt of one or any number of its members. When I find men acting wrongfully or unwisely, to the prejudice of the Union cause, I endeavor, within my proper sphere, to correct or restrain them by appropriate means, according to the circumstances. Whether my influence thus exerted insures the benefit of one party or another is a question which I cannot take into consideration. My dealings are with individuals, not with parties. Officially I know nothing of radicals or conservatives. The question with me is simply what individuals obey the laws and what violate them; who are for the Government and who


*Not found.