it carries its own contradiction. We may look for Missouri rebels to come from the South when the leaves are out. There are no temptations for them to go in that direction, but should any go it will be in small bodies, not in force sufficient to attract attention. The commanding general may be assured that this command is on the alert.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
E. B. BROWN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., March 19, 1864.
The general commanding is of the opinion that no important or extensive movements of your troops are necessary to meet the disturbance of which I telegraphed you yesterday. He thinks you had better make all necessary dispositions to move with celerity and effect in case there should be any truth in the report.
O. D. GREENE,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Warrensburg, Mo., March 19, 1864.
Major O. D. GREENE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report, in obedience to the orders of the commanding general indorsed on the inclosed communication* from Lieutenant Swap, assistant provost-marshal, to Brigadier-General Pile, that the situation of the three parties is similar to that of the same class of persons at numerous other places in this district, and the same reasons for their removal from Tipton apply with equal force to the other points. I estimate that this would take into Saint Louis about 2,000 decrepit men, women, and children, among whom the small-pox and venereal [diseases] prevail to a frightful extent. As soon as those that are now congregated at the posts and towns were removed their places would be filled by a new emigration from the country and the same necessity for their removal would follow. This would continue as long as there were any slaves left in the country. The plea that these parties desire to follow their husbands who have entered the service has not force or truth in it, as in most cases there are no binding marital relations which they recognize, and they have new wives and husbands with every change of the seasons.
The reports of Captain B. H. Wilson, at Marshall; Captain R. L. Ferguson, at Sedalia; and Honorable George R. Smith, in behalf of the municipal authorities of the latter place, on this subject, which have been forwarded to department headquarters, explain the situation of this class of persons at those points, and are, in their main features, applicable to those at all others. By the laws of this State the master is required to take care of his slaves, and the statement that they are driven from their homes may be true in some cases, though my investigations have shown such a state of facts in but a few instances, and they from the indolence and general worthlessness of the slaves.