HEADQUARTERS SUB-DISTRICT OF CHILLICOTHE,
Chillicothe, Mo., August 12, 1864.
General CLINTON B. FISK,
Commanding District of North Missouri, Saint Joseph, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have respectfully referred to you and herewith hand you a communication from Lieutenant William McIlwrath, assistant provost-marshal here. The lieutenant has for a long time been familiarizing himself with the condition of affairs in his district and is well posted. I cannot, in the scope of an ordinary letter, give you particularly my views of the local condition of my country. Affairs there give me the deepest concern, both on account of my duties and of my interest as a citizen there. I hope to have an opportunity ere long to see you, when I can give you fully my views of the disease.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. SHANKLIN,
HDQRS. FIFTH SUB-MIL. DIST. OF NORTH MISSOURI,
OFFICE OF ASSISTANT PROVOST-MARSHAL,
Chillicothe, Mo., August 11, 1864.
Colonel J. H. SHANKLIN,
Commanding Sub-District, at Chillicothe, Mo.:
COLONEL: My attention has been called on numerous occasions during the last twelve months to a condition of things in several of these upper counties which, in my opinion, demanded the serious attention of the department and district commanders. That condition, I am sorry to say, has not improved, but has lately got worse. I am apprehensive that should something not be done soon to check this tendency to lawlessness it will ere long acquire such strength that any efforts which the Government may make to stop it will be of no avail. One year ago men who had openly expressed their rebel feelings, and who had been dealt with in some mild form by the military authorities, such as being required to take oath and give bond, &c., were the only ones who were interfered with by these self-constituted committees of safety. Such men were usually waited upon by a party of men at night and given to understand that they must leave by a certain time upon pain of being killed or having their houses burned should they not obey the intimation. In some of these cases palliating circumstances were to be found, and in some instances, where admission of guilt was made on the part of the parties charged with the offense, a reprimand or some bond was required for keeping the peace. Gradually, however, the field of operations was extended, and after the election last November many men were notified to leave the country in certain localities because they had voted the conservative ticket. It is next to impossible to get the necessary testimony in these cases, but that men have left the counties north of us and have been induced to do so by the threats, sometimes direct and other times indirect, of parties hostile to them in political feeling, is a matter so well known to yourself that I need not do more than call to your mind the many instances of the kind which have occurred in your own (Grundy) county. At the present time there is considerable excitement in that county, when, from its position, it is less apt to be entered by guerrillas than this (Livingston) and other counties. It is true a raid was made by Holtzclaw upon Lindley, in the southeast edge of the county. This of itself was something