HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI,
Springfield, Mo., May 23, 1865.
Colonel JOHN D. ALLEN,
Commanding at Mount Vernon:
I have some reason to believe that a band of about thirty-five guerrillas will pass south near your post to-day or to-night. This si one of the most savage and bloodthirsty bands I have ever known. Dispose of your force so as to capture and destroy them if possible. If any of your troops get upon the trail, have them follow it till they overtake and destroy the band. Get out the citizens, if necessary, and warn all of them of the presence of the band, as they murder any man taken. A detachment of thirty men under Captain Mitchell, Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry, left here last night in the direction of Orleans.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. SANBORN,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
LEBANON, May 23, 1865.
Reports came in this p. m. to the effect that eight men were killed close to Lewisburg by a band of rebels, and it is supposed they were coming this way, and I think they will cross the Wire road between here and Warden's Station. I am going out to ascertain their whereabouts and try to find them. I will leave Captain McCullah in command of the post. Captain Sallee will go with me. I will have about thirty men with me. I start at 9 o'clock to-night.
LEBANON, May 23, 1865.
One of Company I, Sixteenth [Missouri], just come in, and says he saw men right from Lewisburg, and that the previous report is false. There were six citizens that made the former report. I suppose it grew out of excitement. I now think it false, and will not start out.
[MACON,] May 23, 1865-10. 50 a. m.
On train, North Missouri Railroad:
The order from the War Department directing me to report to Major-General Howard for duty in the Freedmen's Bureau arrived by this morning's mail. * I am required to report to General Howard in person for instructions. My district will be composed of the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. I will proceed to Washington on Thursday of this week. I have the honor, general, in severing the official ties that have bound us together, to give you most hearty thanks for your kindness to me personally and for your forbearance with my imperfections and shortcomings as an officer. I can express for you no better
*For order, see Vol. XLVI, Part III, p. 1170.