War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0230 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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dealing with ringleaders only originates from an extensive knowledge and dealing second to but few with the class of men thus to be directly or indirectly affected, it being the most immediately effective and potent cure for the mania permeating the minds of persons engaged in law defying combinations such as the marauding parties of Missouri, mobs and banditti.

My apology for this letter originates in the fact that bankself and all others in the face unless this war is speedily terminated and the States en masse restored to their former peaceful relation, firmly believing that the policy suggested if carried out will soon enable the mass of the Federal Army to be withdrawn from the State leaving the onus of preserving peace where it rightfully belongs-upon its own citizens.

I am, with the highest consideration, your obedient servant,

ERASMUS GEST.

SAINT LOUIS, November 20, 1861.

(Received November 20).

General McCLELLAN,

For the President of the United States:

No written authority is found here to declare and enforce martial law in this department. Please send me such written authority and telegraph me that it has been sent by mail.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

[Indorsement.]

NOVEMBER 21, 1861.

If General McClellan and General Halleck deem it necessary to declare and maintain martial law at Saint Louis the same is hereby authorized.

A. LINCOLN.

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SEVENTH MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS,

Sedalia, Mo., November 23, 1861.

Major-General HALLECK.

SIR: Will you permit me as a citizen of Missouri and one who has taken a deep interest in sustaining the Union cause in our State, devoting my time and money as freely as any other man, to make a statement in regard to the condition of affairs in Western Missouri between the Osage and Missouri Rivers? * * * The population in part of this part of the State are wealthy and desperate men and will do just as good fighting without a general as with one.

Hence the peculiar state of affairs which exists among us as a people at this time. Murder, rapine and robbery pervade every county and neighborhood in this part of the State where there are no U. S. troops. No man or his family or property will be safe a single day after he is known to be a Union man or sympathizes with our efforts to sustain the Government and its authority over our State. Nothing but prompt and energetic measures on the part of our Government will save our population from murder and starvation. The rebels have