About a dozen of the soldiers did escort him about half a mile out of Platte City, where they tied him to a tree, and stripping him to the waist lacerated his back with a cowskin, the marks of which Sam. will carry to his grave. They told him they were "introducing him to the Paw Paw militia," and that if Colonel Jennison would come to Platte City they would treat him in the same way. The militia were crossed in Federal uniform and armed with revolvers. Two of them Sam. knew. They are young Chimm and a young Cockerel. Sam. is a quiet, well-behaved negro, whose tears and sorely lacerated back seem to attest the truth of his statement. The white man that drove the wagon was arrested, but had sufficient influence (as formerly a citizen of the county) to get off without being harmed.
I call your attention to the use made of Federal troops, or troops clothed, fed, and foraged, if not paid, by the Federal Government. I most respectfully suggest, general, that on both sides it is far better that troops unconnected with old border difficulties and negro catching and negro whipping should be substituted for such miserable wretches as those who disgrace their uniform and humanity by acts of cruelty and baseness. I hope, general, you will not suppose I hold you accountable for such transactions in a command to which you have so recently been assigned, but I know a sense of duty and disgust must be awakened by any loyal citizen acquainted with such brutality, and I report such matters to you for your early correction.
They called Sam. a jayhawker, and pretended that he had run off horses, but all this was no doubt a mere subterfuge, as probably the only real offense Sam. had been guilty of was to run himself off with a son, who has entered the Federal Army. Platte City is only about 6 miles from my lines, and such treatment of men from here going into that place is well calculated to induce fierce resentments from this side, which of course I shall restrain.
Conscious of your own desire to correct such outrages, I remain, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. R. CURTIS,
PATTERSON, March 13, 1864.
Brigadier General C. B. FISK,
Commanding District of Saint Louis:
SIR: I have been very unwell since I came from the city. I am not able to leave my room. General, we are beset here with more rebels than we can manage. I know our situation. I see it all. I can destroy them if you will give me the means, but I have not got men enough to do it. Let me have Company H, Captain Milks, now at Farmington. They are doing no good there, there being nothing to do. Let him come to the front and let me have Captain McElroy and his company, and I will put down jayhawking and treason in this country, or I will make it one desolate waste, where no white or black man can stay. I know the two companies here do more service than all the troops at Pilot Knob. Send some of them to the front where they can do something. I know we are in danger, but I will never leave here until I am forced, and they will have to force hard, for I will fight Price if he comes here; but 150 men cannot do everything. Colonel Joslyn can also verify all I state, and a great deal more. He can give you the particulars. You know I have