War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0216 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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and their property despoiled. By enforcing it in Marion County, the only place it has been necessary to do so, I feel sure there will result quiet in that section of country. Where outrages are so expensive they will not be repeated. The system of pursuing the perpetrators of these outrages can lead to no good results while so large a body of people sympathize with them. Its only effect is to break down and demoralize our forces, to carry distress and apprehension to districts hitherto quiet and to render our forces less and less fit for service.

I do not doubt from the results up to this time that the policy of holding property responsible is the true policy, and I firmly believe that if the penalty now hanging over Marion County be rigidly enforced there will be no occasion for anything of the kind there or elsewhere a second time. I therefore respectfully but earnestly request you to suffer this penalty to be exacted, lest a much worse thing befall that people hereafter. It is of course entirely in the power of the people of the various counties in North Missouri to keep the peace among themselves. If they will not do so it surely is not harsh to require that the expense of having it done should be paid by the county. No one will say that if this policy be abandoned there will be anything like quiet in Norts the object of the protestants against it to have large forces of home guards paid and subsisted by the United States raised in their midst, so that much money will be distributed among the and the United States shall pay a large local police force of their own people. If they have to pay the expense themselves they will take care that nothing occurs that will render such a force necessary. It is to be borne in mind that the disturbances in North Missouri are purely local and personal and have no view to the result of the great operations of Government. The people in that region are merely fighting with each other in many cases to satisfy feelings of personal hostility of long standing. It is a war which can only be ended by making all engaged in it suffer for every act of hostility committed. As I am satisfied from personal examination and experience that this policy will keep North Missouri quiet with the smallest force and that a departure from it now will only result in an uprising in every county against the Union men which will require large forces to be withdrawn from here to put it down, I most urgently recommend that no favorable reply be made to those who have addressed you on this subject. On the one side there is the risk of alienating a few men hitherto half-way for the Union; on the other the risk of having a considerable portion of the people in every county of North Missouri in arms against the peace. One failure to enforce rigidly this penalty will destroy all belief that it will ever be enforced at all.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Jefferson City, Mo., August 25, 1861.

Captain SPEED BUTLER, Saint Louis, Mo.:

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The party sent out by me to the neighborhood of where the cars were fired into on Tuesday has returned. The report has not yet been received but may be in time to accompany this. A few persons have