men to scout and keep lookout. I do not think that there is any large force near, but great deal of sign, which indicates that there may be a force not far off. There were 3 guerrillas attacked old man McCarty on night of the 13th instant. Mr. McCarty placed himself behind the door, and when they approached the door he blazed away at them, killing 1, and the remainder took to their heels. I sent out a scout which trailed them for several miles in a southward direction.
Captain, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LEVI E. WHYBARK,
Captain, Commanding Detachment.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Jefferson City, Mo., February 14, 1864.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Commanding Dept. of Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I am advised by letters from the border counties that petitions have been circulated and signed by nearly every citizen at the different posts asking that the counties of Jackson, Cass, and Bates be added to a district composed of that part of the country adjoining, in Kansas. The parties state that they have not signed the petition as expressing their wishes in the matter, but from fear that if they did not do [it] they would be subject to further injuries in person and property from the bad men in that part of the country.
I suppose that these reasons have influence in some cases, while many persons honestly believe that a joint command that included the counties on each side of the Kanssas and Missouri lines would have the effect in restraining the lawless bands who would otherwise plunder the country.
The people of Missouri take another view of this action. They believe that if the border is continued as heretofore, that the second tier of counties will in short time ge depopulated after being plundered, and the people will be offered up as a sacrifice to appease the thirst of the same men that have grown rich from the harvest of the border. These conflicting views, combined with the desire for the opportunity to rob on both sides of the line, induces a representation on our side that a joint command is absolutely necessary, and, on the other, that it would be injurious and destructive of all peace and quiet. I think, however, that as soon as I obtain the command and can visit the border, that there will be no difficulty in satisfying both parties that they have nothing to fear from the present division of the departments, or if it is desirable to make any change, I shall be better able to give an intelligent opinion as to the best course to pursue. My own opinion has ever been that the peace of that portion of the country does not depend so much on the division lines of districts or departments, as it does upon the officers who command in it. These views are respectfully submitted to your consideration.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.