there being at the present time some 60 or 70 recruiting officers scattered through the State of Missouri, recruiting men for the rebel service.
Second. On the 15th day of March, James C. Madden, scout, was sent out and ordered to report to Captain Murphy, commanding post of Houston, and to operate through Texas, Douglas, Ozark, and the northwest portion of Shannon Counties, and to report to Captain Murphy at Houston from time to time. I have not received any report from him yet.
Third. On the 23rd day of March, George W. Johnson, scout, was ordered out with instructions to report to Captain Whybark, commanding post of Salem, in Dent County, Mo. He was instructed to feel his way carefully through Dent County, and to go into Shannon County and endeavor to find out the movements of the rebel Colonel Freeman, who is encamped on Currant River, and to report the result to Captain Whybark from time to time. No report from him yet.
During the month I have collected several important facts communicated by loyal and reliable citizens and have handed the information thus received to you from time to time, all of which is worthy of your consideration.
In closing my report, I would respectfully suggest that the present system of permitting persons to sell goods within the military lines and of having persons to vouch for their loyalty is not sound. One instance, a man came here in December, 1863, with one bale of cotton; he found two young men who were acquainted and vouched to the provost-marshal for his being a loyal man, and at the same time they knew that this man was a rebel and in the rebel service under General Price. Suffice to say that he sold his cotton and received permission to purchase other goods from merchants in Rolla, Mo., which he took with him, and after he arrived at his home in Arkansas, he boasted of his having fooled the Federal authorities at Rolla, in the State of Missouri.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
Chief of Scouts, District of Rolla.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Warrensburg, Mo., March 31, 1864.
W. H. LEGGETT, Esq.,
Clerk of Hickory County, Hermitage, Mo.:
MAJOR: Your communication to the major-general commanding has been referred to me. You have mistaken the object of the order. It is to do just what you say your people are now doing. A citizen guard organized for the purpose of protecting each other against bushwhackers, robbers, & c., while they till their lands. None will be in active service unless they find it necessary for their own safety. They are an organized armed posse to assist in enforcing civil law, and intended for a temporary purpose, the same as you have now, but organized, and for that reason more effective. Every honest man who understands the object of the banding of the citizens together under this order most heartily approves it. Those who
51 R R - VOL XXXIV, PT II