War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0226 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

road is clear to Platte River. The news that Green has crossed at Glasgow is undoubted. He has carried out of North Missouri a large part of the ruffians and bridge-burners who have committed outrages. Within a few days all will be quiet again. I go forward to Saint Joseph and thence to Keokuk. I will have Glasgow and Brunswick immediately visited by a strong force, and as soon as the regiments of Glover, Moore, Tindall and Foster are ready I will turn the regiments to the line of the Missouri River.

JNO POPE.

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, U. S. ARMY,

Saint Louis, September 14, 1861.

Colonel T. T. TAYLOR, Commanding at Springfield.

SIR: Yours of the 8th instant* containing an erroneous construction of my proclamation dated on the 30th ultimo has had my attention. I understand the object of your note to be to inquire whether it was my intention to shoot the wounded who might be taken prisoners by the forces under my command. The following paragraph extracted from the proclamation will be strictly enforced within the lines prescribed against the class of offenders for whom it was intended, viz:

All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial and if found guilty will be shot.

The lines are expressly declared to be those of the army in the military occupation of this State. You have wholly misapprehended the meaning of the proclamation. Without undertaking to determine the condition of any man engaged in this rebellion I desire it to be clearly understood that the proclamation is intended distinctly to recognize all the usual rights of an open enemy in the field and to be in all respects strictly conformable to the ordinary usages of war. It is hardly necessary for me to say that it was not prepared with any purpose to ignore the ordinary rights of humanity with respect to wounded men or to those who are humanely engage in alleviating their sufferings.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. FREMONT,

Major-General, Commanding.

SAINT LOUIS, September 15, 1861.

Major-General FREMONT:

Road to Hannibal open except Platte River bridge (finished to-morrow) and all quiet. Secessionists numbering some 2,500 in detached bands retreating southward to cross river below Independence. I have sent column of 1,000 men and three pieces of artillery under Colonel Smith to march rapidly from this place in pursuit, and the Iowa regiment with one piece of artillery and fifty irregular horse to move rapidly from Cameron upon Liberty and there effect junction with Smith. There is no doubt in my judgment that the large train of plunder will be captured, though as usual I presume the forces will disperse, and being cavalry will mostly escape unless Smith can surprise them. I have put all irregular forces-home guards and others-in motion scouting the country on all sides. Colonels Cranor and Edwards-the first commanding irregular forces of Missouri Volunteers,

---------------

*Omitted.

---------------