HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF ROLLA, Numbers 232.
Rolla, Mo., December 22, 1864.
1. Lieutenant P. McRae, Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry, with thirty-five mounted men, and Mr. Thomas Ashton as a guide, will proceed to the residence of Mr. Samples, and, joined by the latter, will do his best to capture a certain McCourtnay, James Bradford, Benjamin Anthony, and other scoundrels who at present infest the country south of this post, thieving and murdering. He is also instructed to burn out McCourtnay's Mill, which is a noted hiding place for rebels, and to arrest a certain Mr. Peter Bradford and Allen Stevens and old McCourtnay, and bring them to this post as prisoners, that they may be held here as hostages for any criminal deeds committed by the murdering band. Lieutenant McRae will get his information from Messrs. Samples and Ashton, and lose no time to accomplish the object of this scout. He will in the same time enforce the strictest discipline amongst his men and not permit any straggling or plundering. If he needs forage he will give proper receipts to loyal persons, and to suspected disloyal persons he will mark on receipt "on proof loyalty." the inmates of McCourtnay's Mill will [be] given tome to move, and no articles whatsoever will be taken by the soldiers except arms which may be found on said premises.
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By order of Colonel A. Sigel:
W. D. HUBBARD,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. EIGHTH MIL. DIST., ENROLLED MISSOURI MIL.,
Columbia, Mo., December 22, 1864.
General C. B. FISK:
DEAR SIR: The bushwhackers have complete possession of my country; are robbing and plundering the citizens on every occasion; robbing the stage, destroying the mails, &c. Our citizens, as you are aware, are unarmed and cannot help themselves, and while Captain Colbert is our collecting the Rocheport assessment the rebels are making the Union men pay over to them a much larger amount. The result is that the Union men and quiet citizens are making their arrangements to leave the country, and unless we can have an active cavalry force it is useless to try to hold this country. There are many men and quite a number of women that ought to be sent out of the country whose names will be furnished as soon as the authorities are ready to act and take charge of them, but it is useless to furnish them unless they are speedily arrested and sent out. I wrote you about the collection of bonds a few days since. Many of these parties are disposing of their property in anticipation of the collection of their bonds. Now is the time to work, and if we had a cavalry force here during the Christmas [holidays] we could secure quite a number of bad men, as they are having their regular parties over the county.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. DOUGLASS,