Forty-third Infantry Missouri Volunteers, which were paroled at Glasgow. We proceed by rail to Weston, and ran off the track three times. We did not arrive until after dark. On the same day I sent the quartermaster with six wagons loaded with commissary stores, the train being under escort detailed from the same companies, over the ordinary road, to meet me at Platte City.
On the morning of the 16th the ground was so covered with ice that I marched no farther than Platte City. On the 17th we arrived at Parkville, and on the 18th at this point. The weather was very bad and the men suffered. Many of the troops had agreed to mutiny in case they were ordered across the Missouri. When it came to the point I held one well affected company in reserve. Only one of the disaffected companies showed signs of refusing to march onto the ice. The reserve company was ordered to fix bayonets and march down the bank. This settled the matter. To-day I had the great pleasure of receiving from department and district headquarters dispatches which announce the exchange of all prisoners and citizens captured and paroled prior to November 25. This exchange includes my battalion. To-night at dress parade I announced the exchange in orders. I have assumed command of this post and have no longer any scruples about undertaking any service that I may be ordered upon. It will take some time and strict discipline to bring the men back to their original good feeling, but they will get straightened out if hard work can accomplish the object.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pinger telegraphed to me to-day that the mutineers whom I confined in the Saint Joseph jail are very penitent and desire to return to duty. The charges against sixteen of them have not been forwarded. None of those against whom the charges have been preferred have been arraigned for trial. I am willing to take them all back and I respectfully request that the charges forwarded be withdrawn and returned to me, in cases where the offenses charged are merely those arising from the refusal to do duty. I sincerely hope that the four companies at Saint Joseph may be sent to me, or that in some other way the regiment can be brought together.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
Colonel Forty-third Missouri Volunteers.
Release the mutineers and order them to duty.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS, Numbers 37.
Paola, December 19, 1864.
The following communication having been referred to the commanding general for action, to wit:
CAVE SPRING, MO., November 22, 1864.
General JOHN B. SANBORN:
Jennison has just passed through this vicinity on his return from Arkansas River. The night of the 19th he staid at Newtonia, the 20th at Sarcoxie, and the 21st at Dry Fork. Where he passed the people are almost ruined, as their houses were robbed of the beds and bedding. In many cases every blanket and quilt were taken; also their clothing and every valuable that could be found, or the citizens forced to discover. All the horses, stock, cattle, sheep, oxen, and wagons were driven off. What the people are to do it is difficult to see. Many of them have once sympathized with