are in Illinois waiting for favorable opportunities to come into the State. Price's army has in a great measure disbanded, and his men are making their way into the State in small detachments. The crossings of the Missouri well guarded will prevent any considerable number of them getting into North Missouri. The loyal people are rapidly arming, and will soon be able to defend themselves; and, when satisfied of the efficiency of their united action for that purpose, will soon clear out the murderers and robbers from every county in the State. On the south side of the river the law can be executed in the counties of Saint Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, Gasconade, and Osage. A vigorous campaign immediately undertaken by a cavalry force in the counties of Cooper, Saline, Lafayette, and Jackson against the guerrillas who are concentrating there would save all trouble to us north of the river next summer. If the blow is struck now they can be driven into Arkansas. In those counties the population of loyal men is now so sparse that they cannot contend with the well-armed robbers who terrorize over them. Formerly, as you are aware, the counties last named were the most populous counties of the State. Seven-eighths of their inhabitants went into the rebel army, but their families are still there, to which they annually return, concentrate in Saline and Lafayette, and make raids into North Missouri. My militia are without horses. All the horses in the country west of Jefferson City, and in fact in all other parts of the State south of the river, have been stolen by the rebels. Once give the people of the infested counties the mastery of the guerrillas and they will, led by energetic sheriffs, keep it. From every circuit in the State the reports are that courts are being held and an improved condition of things is observable everywhere. You are correct in your prediction of good results from the example of even a single county given up to the people and their civil officers. Others will make exertions to obtain the same, the people will shake off the lethargy begotten of military rule, and begin to feel that they are once more men, capable of governing and defending themselves. The opponents of this measure in the convention will one day attempt to deny their present position. We will defeat their new constitution before the people. When that is done and our venerable friend Bates, who is old enough to know better, ceases to write such letters as he has recently published, we shall have peace in Missouri, and our posterity will bless your name for the noble part you have acted toward us.
THO. C. FLETCHER.
PATTERSON, MO., April 14, 1865.
I have sent thirty-five men to Poplar Bluff after Farris. He is killing all the Union men he can catch, and robbing all that have any Union sentiments. They killed John S. Hastings on 13th instant, a citizen of this county. Will you uphold me in killing rebels that sympathize with and harbor them in retaliation? There must be something of that kind done. Let me know at once.
Captain, Commanding Post.