HDQRS. DISTRICT OF NORTH MISSOURI, Numbers 3.
Mexico, July 31, 1861.
The commanding general in North Missouri being about to assemble in one camp away from the railroad lines all of the forces under his command has determined to commit to the people of North Missouri the peace and quietude of their own section and with these the safety of their property. Certainly the people of the various counties have to-day the same machinery of government and the same power of self-protection against lawless marauders as they had year ago, and it only needs the same active agency and the same common interest to bring together for such a purpose all those who have anything at stake. It is demonstrated by sufficient testimony and by the experience of the past two weeks that the disturbances in Northern Missouri have been made by small parties of lawless marauders, which at any other time could have been easily suppressed with no more than the usual exertions of the people against breaches of the peace in times past. Certainly quiet and good order are of all things desirable in civilized communities and should form a common bond of union between citizens of every shade of political opinion. When these desirable results are secured there will no longer be a necessity for the presence of armed forces in North Missouri.
It is therefore the purpose of the general commanding in this region of country before removing the military forces under his command from their present stations to visit with a considerable force every county seat and considerable town in North Missouri and in each to appoint a committee of public safety of persons selected from those of all parties who have social, domestic and pecuniary interest at stake. Each committee shall consist of not more than five persons, and wherever it can consistently be done the proper county officers shall be selected as members. No one thus appointed shall be permitted to decline or shall fail to perform his duties under such penalties as the commanding general shall affix. These committees shall be charged with the duty of maintaining peace and order in their respective counties, and shall have power to call out all citizens of the county to assemble as such times and places and in such numbers as may be necessary to secure these objects. Any one who shall refuse to obey such all will be turned over to the military authorities.
If the people of the counties respectively are not willing or able to enforce the peace among themevent the organizing of companies to make was upon the United States the military force will perform such service is necessary. To secure their prompt payment a levy of a sufficient amount of money will be at once made and collected by the officer in command. Upon the call of a majority of the committee of public safety in each county troops will be sent to keep the peace, but as such expeditions are for the benefit of the people concerned, who have in nearly every case the power to discharge the serving themselves the troops thus sent will be quartered upon them and subsisted and transported by the county in the manner above specified for the whole period it may be necessary for them to remain.
If in consequence of disturbance not reported by the committee the general commanding finds it necessary to send a force into any county to restore order they will be in like manner billeted upon the county unless the combination against the peace were to powerful to be resisted or the parties engaged were organized in other counties and brought on the disturbances by actual invasion. It is not believed that