[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
NEW MADRID, MO., August 15, 1861.
Major-General FREMONT, U. S. Army,
Commanding U. S. Forces in Missouri.
SIR: Captain Charles Price, of the Missouri State Guard, has received a letter from Messrs. B. S. Curd and William M. Price date Cape Girardeau, August 10, 1861, in which they write: "The colonel says that if you attack Commerce to-night he will hang us. " With this note is another recognized to be in the handwriting of Colonel C. C. Marsh and of which the following is an exact copy:
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Cape Girardeau, August 10, 1861.
SIR: Your relatives have written you the above note. It is true. If you injure the people of Commerce or their property I will hang them and take a bitter revenge on you in other respects.
C. C. MARSH,
Colonel, Commanding U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau.
The gentlemen held by Colonel Marsh are as I am credibly informed citizens of this State and unconnected in any way with military operations. Even were they so connected in a manner justifying their being made prisoners of war the Articles of War and Army Regulations of the United States require humane treatment of prisoners.
I also learn that the detachment of Colonel Marsh's troops which captured Mr. William M. Price wantonly burned his father's warehouse and took away a large quantity of corn and sixty mules. Similar outrages are believed to have been very lately committed at the farm of General N. W. Watkins near Cape Girardeau, and also by Colonel Marsh's troops. I therefore in the interest of humanity lay these matters before you and request a frank answer to these inquiries:
Does this conduct of Colonel Marsh and his troops meet your approval? If not what steps do you propose to take in respect to the guilty parties and in order to prevent the repetition of such conduct?
It is the desire of the Missouri State authorities to conduct the present war according to civilized usages and any departure from them by Missouri forces will be properly punished by their officers if aware of it. I deem it proper to add that on seeing Colonel Marsh's letter I immediately instructed the general commanding the Missouri State Guard in this district to hold in close custody a number of prisoners recently taken by him and belonging to your forces. Should Colonel Marsh's future treatment of Messrs. Curd and Price necessitate the hangise prisoners in retaliation I am content that impartial men shall judge who is morally responsible for their melancholy fate.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. C. REYNOLDS,
Acting Governor of Missouri.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HDQRS. FIRST MILITARY DIV., MISSOURI STATE GUARD,
Camp Sikeston, August 17, 1861.
Colonel C. C. MARSH,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
SIR: I send Edmund Burke, a citizen of Scott County, as bearer of letters from Governor T. C. Reynolds to General Fremont and yourself.