should be delivered to the civil authorities to be tried by that tribunal. The petition also states that trials have been held at long distances from the place where the witnesses resided, and that men of doubtful character were allowed to testify, &c. The petition is signed by 12 prisoners. I notice that 4 of them were arrested by Brigadier-General Loan early in 1863, for defrauding the Government of money collected from citizens for the purpose of paying loyal citizens for losses sustained from robberies, &c., in the name of the Confederate Government, and are now on parole. Though I believe it will be difficult to prove the offense against them, 2 of them have sons who have fled the country to avoid punishment for their crimes, and all are known to have taken an active part against every man, however loyal he may have been, who opposed the general system of plunder and robbery that was carried on at one time in this county in the name of the Union, and drove many of the best loyal men in the county into exile.
The reign of terror which was followed by robberies and assassinations, inaugurated by the men known as Company Q, sustained by the signers of this petition with others, rendered it impossible to try the parties nearer than Jefferson City, as any man who testified against them did so at the peril of his life. Besides this, when these men were arrested, Johnson County was in the District of the Border, commanded by General Ewing, and I had no authority to order their trial within it. There was no unusual delay in the trial of the parties referred to. Finding that the trials would be long ones, and that in many cases the same witnesses would be required to testify in each case an informal examination was had by the judge-advocate.
All persons referred to in this petition whose guilt was questionable were either discharged or released on parole or bond. Those now held for trial are very bad men, as will be seen by reference to the testimony that was taken in the trial of their companions, and which has been forwarded to department headquarters. Finally, general, this petition in another form which the hydra-headed monster, crime, has assumed to escape just punishment of violated laws, and is revived under the supposition that you will give a different decision in these cases than that of your predecessor, who long [ago] decided this case after a careful examination. In every case where the civil courts have asked that parties be delivered them for trial in this district the application has been granted. The officers of the criminal court of Johnson County advised me that impartial trials were impossible at its last sitting.
I am, truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, March 12, 1864.
Brigadier General E. B. BROWN,
DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 6th, from Kansas City, is duly received. I do not myself suppose there are many bushwhackers now assembled at any one place, but, as you say, we may all expect them when the leaves are out. But even now the news of small squads creates much anxiety among people who have been scourged by