been instructed to patrol and scout from Independence to the Missouri River, Sibley, Napoleon, and the county of Jackson, west of Independence. From Hickman Mills it will be toward Independence and to near Little Santa Fe and south toward Harrisonville. From Harrisonville and Pleasant Hill you will scout more particularly toward the west, south, and east. You will be particular when sending out scouting parties from your station to leave with the troops at Hickman Mills and Pleasant Hill a correct and complete system of countersigns, to be changed not less than every three days.
By this and some preconcerted signal when still afar off, and by some particular motion of a squadron guidon, a particular wave of the cap, sword, &c., you can never make the mistake of attacking other scouting parties, for the guerrilla and bushwhacking parties all have [more or] less clothing and uniform on, and every serious consequences might occur by an accidental encounter without recognizing friends from foes. You will also see that the home-guard militia at Harrisonville, and when elsewhere organized in your part of the district, have efficient arms, and loyal men in it. You will see that they all do a share toward the protection of their homes, always leaving, however, at the station a squad of your own men with a faithful officer, so as to maintain proper and efficient guard over property and life when you are absent from the station in an emergency. Relying upon the intelligence and zeal which you always have evinced for the arduous undertaking, the colonel commanding warns you that you must never be caught off your guard; the season is becoming propitious for raids, and it already begins to swarm with disaffected men.
Eternal vigilance must be your motto.
By order of Colonel James H. Ford, commanding Fourth Sub-District, District Central Missouri:
EDWARD L. BERTHOUD,
First Lieutenant, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.] HDQRS. FOURTH SUB-DIST., DIST. CENTRAL MISSOURI, Kansas City, Mo., February 24, 1864.
Captain WILLIAM H. GREENE,
Commanding Station, Westport, Mo.:
SIR: The following instructions from Colonel James H. Ford, commanding, are sent for your future guidance:
* * * * * *
The above paragraphs* are taken from the written instructions of the general commanding the District of Central Missouri. But in addition to them the colonel commanding the Fourth Sub-District enjoins upon all commanders of stations, squadrons, companies, scouts, or patrols to maintain strict and just discipline among the men, to forbid and effectually prevent plundering or pilfering in any shape whatever, and the wanton and indiscriminate seizure or destruction of property by illegal processes or without the authority of competent commanding officers.
The regimental orders on the proper conduct of officers and men in their frequent and continued intercourse with the different sections of the district will be strictly enforced. Commanding officers
*See Berthoud to Smith, p. 455.