Second. None to return except on permits signed by post commander nearest place of residence, specifying names and ages of household, exact place of residence, conditioned on specified loyal acts to be done and disloyal acts refrained from, and breach of condition by any member of family, the whole of them to be ousted and the property destroyed, on finding had after a hearing before a post commission; the permits to have annexed a safeguard for person and property, which I can compel my soldiers to respect without difficulty.
Third. In the district watered by the Snibar and Fire Prairie Creek, in Jackson County, there were no loyal, semi-loyal, or neutral inhabitants. There has been the great lair of the bushwhackers. I would let no person return there. In fact, no refugees from there attempted to prove loyalty, I think.
Fourth. With perfect respect, I would suggest that it would be unsafe to allow proof of loyalty to be made in Saint Louis, or our of the district. I have had the loyalty of men caught in the most flagrant acts of guerrilla disloyalty proved by the solemn attestations of perfectly loyal men La Fayette County. To that county many of the worst families fled from jackson and Cass, and I venture the assertion that not one family would fail in substantiating their loyalty in like manner. Loyalty in La Fayette County is not loyalty on the border. Outside of Freedom Township and Lexington, I think there are no loyal men in that country. I get my opinion from Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear and other conservative officers. I specially urge this point, because there will be great pressure made in behalf of those who shunned the stations where their disloyalty was known and passed into the second tier of counties, and because I believe unless, at least, past neutrality is required, all the evil population driven out, except such as went south, will be back, and with them the guerrillas.
Fifth. I have no confidence in our side being helped as much by those returning refugees as the bushwhackers will be. But if leave be only given to loyal, neutral, or semi-loyal families, as those persons are understood among the loyal people in the border counties, and if those who come in without leave are rigidly expelled, it may not be inexpedient to make the experiment. If the guerrillas renew the struggle for their old haunts next year, this renewed population will be rapidly driven out. If they do not renew it in force, it will form the nucleus of an early and peaceful resettlement.
Sixth. One prime condition of the success of this effort will be that the population in the western part of La Fayette County will be forced in some way from active support and encouragement of the guerrilla bands, some of which will probably unite there. I believe my order should have been applied to that district. Perhaps some threats of a similar order may awaken them, as the order itself awakens the people of Clay and Platte, to active efforts against the bushwhackers, though I believe that population incurable.
I think it best I should issue the order. Shall I send it to you before issue? I would be glad to have any instructions or advice on the subject, and beg you to excuse the very discursive and hurried manner in which I have responded to your inquiry.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS EWING, JR.,