War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0246 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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KANSAS CITY, July 18, 1864.

Major-General ROSECRANS:

I left Liberty yesterday afternoon. Most of rebels have left Platte and Clay Counties and, from best information I can get, have gone into Ray. They will not give me a fight. They met on Friday night on Fishing River, probably 200 strong. I have had my whole force since my arrival at Liberty constantly scouting. Two large scouting parties under Captain Moses and Captain Greene had not returned when I left; were in hot pursuit of some of them when last heard from. I called meeting of citizens of Liberty last Saturday and advised them to call a meeting on Wednesday next of all principal inhabitants of Clay County. They have done so, and sent word all through the county. I told them by prompt action they could save their county from destruction, but they must act at once, and to the point. I have got the list of enrolled men of the county, and have got from reliable Union men their exact position on this great question. I have given them to positively understand that I will hold the disloyal and Southern sympathizers responsible for the acts of their friend Thornton, and it rested with them to say whether they would have peace and quiet, or anarchy and death; that they alone would be responsible for the destruction of their county. I have been severe, but at the same time I have pursued a mild course. We are short of troops, and general destruction at present would only drive more of them into the brush. I have, therefore, given them a chance to redeem themselves, and I think they will do it, and the counties can yet be saved from utter destruction, as it is Jackson County. General Curtis has withdrawn the Kansas troops. I have now 300 of my own regiment, and 190 of Ninth Missouri State Militia, Lieutenant-Colonel Draper in command. My own sub-district is getting very troublesome again. I need my troops here. I have got all I can possibly do right here at home. Todd and his thieves are all around me, and I have not got mounted men to send out after him. I can leave Lieutenant-Colonel Draper and his command at Liberty for the present, but would respectfully ask that my regiment be brought over here before it is too late. I can make occasional raids across the river whenever I hear Thornton and his band are near. I shall have a steamer here.

JAMES H. FORD,

Colonel, Commanding.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., July 18, 1864.

Colonel FORD:

I will advise Generals Brown and Fisk of your report of affairs. Stay over there a few days longer until I can make some other arrangements for troops. Pursue the course you have already followed, and report to me what can be done. Tell Doniphan I want to hear from him.

You will, of course, have the use of the steamer, but must see that it is made secure against fire and capture.

W. S. ROSECRANS,

Major-General.

KANSAS CITY, July 18, 1864.

Major-General ROSECRANS:

I sent you petition of citizens of Liberty. They should have a new district, with headquarters in the center of the troublesome counties.