your immediate attention, and ascertain as far as in your power lies all the facts the case. You will also keep these headquarters advised as to these matters as long as the present border excitement continues.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. MELINE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
KEOKUK, IOWA, October 17, 1864.
Major General JOHN POPE,
Commanding Department of the Northwest:
GENERAL: Permit me to call your attention to a state of facts now existing on the southern border of your department. Something over 400 armed guerrillas crossed the Hannibal and Saint joseph Railroad coming north ten days ago. They received accessions to their numbers in almost every locality in North Missouri. At present they are divided up in little squads, murdering and plundering. When hard pressed in Missouri they disperse and skulk across the line into this State, not having the fear of military power before their eyes here. They have committed a number of murders and robberies in your department. I am credibly informed and believe that it is in their programme to rendezvous in force at a given time somewhere on Fox River and make a raid upon this place. The presence of a mounted military force in this region it seems to me is imperiously demanded, and a stringent application of military law in Southern Iowa would have a very salutary effect. No portion of your department in my opinion is in more need of prompt and vigilant care just now than Southern Iowa.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. HIATT,
Mayor of the City of Keokuk.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., October 19, 1864.
WILLIAM M. STONE,
Governor of Iowa, Davenport, Iowa:
GOVERNOR: I have the honor to transmit herewith inclosed copy of a letter* just received from J. M. Hiatt, esq., mayor of Keokuk, and to inquire whether information in your possession justifies the views and apprehensions therein represented. If so it will be judicious to post a few companies of your militia at Keokuk. You are no doubt aware that this department has been depleted entirely of troops not now actually far out on the frontier at posts or on Indian expeditions. These troops are not available, and even if they could be withdrawn in time it would leave the whole frontier exposed to Indian raids. I will be obliged to you if you will keep me advised of any matters of moment on your southern border, and if you think it judicious I will send down there an officer of rank to overlook matters until General Sully reaches there, which will probably be within ten days. I need not say, Governor,that I will do all in my power to accommodate the necessities which may arise in Iowa. I do not imagine that there will be more than a few guerrilla raids on your border, as it is to be presumed that
*See next, ante.