Two or three thousand men have been sent to this and Bradley Counties, with orders to take and appropriate all the property, and especially that belonging to the citizens east of the Saline River. A portion of Shelby's Missourians have been let loose upon the citizens of Drew County and they have broken up a great many families. In several instances all the horses, mules, and stock of every kind, together with negroes and provisions, have been taken, leaving the people in utter destitution. These detestable thieves robbed my father of his negroes, horses, mules, and chopping axes, and the entire population of this county and portions of adjacent counties, being dependent upon his mill for bread, are now suffering for the want of this article, as the mill is stopped because his hands have been taken from him. His engineer (his son), a lad of about eighteenth years of age, detailed as miller by order of the Secretary of War, was arrested by them and still held in custody. They took $600 in Confederate money from him, and robbed the trunk of my brother (who has been in the Army of Virginia under General Longstreet for nearly three years) of a pocket-book containing business papers valuable to him. Several other depredations of minor importance wee committed.
At a great many other places in this county they have committed similar acts of vandalism. They depredate alike upon poor widows and the already suffering families of soldiers now absent int he army, not leaving them a single horse to go to mill upon, and some of them live 3, 5, and 8 miles from any mill. Meat-houses are broken open and robbed, and it was stated to me by General Fagan on yesterday, at his quarters in Monticello, that General Holmes had ordered him to take all the property in this section of the county, but that he would not obey the order. A great deal of property has been taken and destroyed. We ask to be saved from our friends. "The Yankees are friends and protectors when compared to the vandalism of Holmes," is the daily language of starving citizens made destitute by the order of Holmes. The Yankees have been down here twice, but they have left enough of horses and mules to farm with and enough provisions to live on. But the path of this "Southern raid," as it is called, is marked with utter desolation. This statement may astonish you; it has astonished everybody here but Holmes. I could, had I time, obtain the names of the best and most prominent citizens of this county to the above statement. If our delegation in Congress can't do something for us we must do something for ourselves if we know what to do.
I am afraid this people here will ask for Yankee protection. It is daily canvassed since this indiscriminate plunder of Holmes' began. Please use your best efforts to obtain some redress for us at the hands of the proper authority. I write as an individual, but the facts stated above I can establish to your satisfaction by the best testimony in this county. Do something for us. The citizens seem to be as much in dread of Holmes as of the hated Yankees. One thing they know, the Yankees cannot devastate the county more than Holmes is doing but with the torch.
I will be pleased to hear from you if possible. "Hampton, Ark.," will reach me.
With my best wishes for your well-being, I am, &c.,
G. M. BARKER.
These Missouri troops, Shelby's brigade, represent themselves to be Yankees, and plunder just as bad.