SAINT LOUIS, April 24, 1865.
GENERAL: I send you a letter just received from Honorable J. S. Rollins. His suggestions are worthy of immediate attention, in view of the reports of General Sanborn and Colonel Morrill. I send you also copy of a dispatch just received from Fort Smith. * It seems evident that Kirby Smith's army is going to pieces. I have directed 200 horses to be turned over to you immediately.
COLUMBIA, MO., April 21, 1865.
Major General JOHN POPE:
DEAR SIR: Although this part of the State is at present comparatively ensuing we are not without apprehension of much disturbance during the ensuing summer. I hear constantly that quite a number of men are returning home from Price's army in small squads and locating themselves in different parts of North Missouri. It has occurred to me that much disturbance might be prevented on the north of the river and perhaps many lives by breaking up as far as possible from this time forward any crossing of the river, except at authorized ferries. To this end let every skill, flat-boat, wood-boat, and ferry-boat be seized at once and put where they cannot be used until properly returned to their owners. Military ferries might be established at Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, Booneville, Lexington, Kansas City, and Leavenworth, and with a ground placed upon each boat and no ne allowed to cross without a proper permit from the nearest military post. In this way I am sure that a large amount of illicit crossing might be prevented. Returning as these scoundrels will be in small bodies all the time, it is hardly probable that they will go to work and construct their own craft for the purpose of crossing the river, and especially whilst it remains at its full tide, and which will probably continue until forward August or September. It will be far different with them if on reaching the river they find either flat-boats or canoes or skiffs, for in the former they can cross over, and it is as you know, a very common practice to swim their horses over by the side of the smaller craft. The same precaution, I think, might be well practiced on the Mississippi River from New Madrid to the mouth of the Des Moines, for from what I hear I am inclined to the opinion that there are a large number of these murderous bushwhackers in Illinois, who only await the putting forth of the leaves when they will recommence their depredations again on our side of the river. Last fall when Price was making his raid upon us I observed that these facilities of crossing the Missouri River added very greatly to our troubles on the north side. I thought it worth while to mention this matter to yourself and General Dodge, for whose eye this letter is also intended. With the adoption of this precaution and the severest measures toward all who are found in the brush and a liberal policy for those who are disposed to remain at home, cultivate their farms, and obey the laws, I think after another season we shall have perfect quiet all over our State. The recent brutal and cowardly assassination of Mr. Lincoln and a similar attempt of the life of Mr. Seward, two of our most able and approved statesmen and
* See Bussey to Pope, April 23, p. 163.