command and take charge of the Platte County railroad. Two bridges had been destroyed within six miles of this town which I have repaired, and now I call upon and expect the loyal citizens of this county to aid me in keeping it from being further disturbed. If any man knowingly allows said road, the engines, cars or other property belonging to it to be injured without giving me immediate notice he shall be held responsible. If necessary for the protection of the road I shall cause troops to e stationed at or near the different bridges occupying the houses and buildings belonging to the rebels in the neighborhood. My regiment was raised in Missouri and it is my hearty wish to cultivate a friendly feeling wherever it may be stationed. I came among you for the sole purpose of giving protection to the loyal people or those who may desire to become so and I wish to encourage all lawful pursuits and avocations.
It has been reported to me that many citizens have left their homes and families scattering themselves through the country. All such I desire to have return at once and become good, loyal citizens. they and their property shall be protected when they give evidence of loyalty. I have appointed Major Alfred Williams to act as provost-marshal for the city of Weston and County of Platte. Every person leaving the city or county will be required to obtain a passport from him. o negro will be allowed inside of camp lines without a written permit from his master and a pass from the provost-marshal, and especially will they in no case be allowed to go from the State without express orders from their master and the provost-marshal.
All fire-arms and ammunition in this city and vicinity not in possession of officers or soldiers in the U. S. service must be delivered up to the provost-marshal except with express license to the contrary. All squads of armed men found spying about the country will be shot. This will be rigidly adhered to.
W. JAMES MORGAN,
Colonel Eighteenth Regiment Missouri Vols., Commanding Post.
COLUMBIA, MO., December 26, 1861.
I returned last night from Colonel Birge's camp at Centralia on the North Missouri Railroad, and at the time of my leaving he was preparing to march toward Sturgeon, ten miles west, where Lieutenant-Colonel Compton with several companies was stationed and where his headquarters will be for the present. Colonel Birge although without cavalry is doing good service, but would be much more efficient if half of his men were mounted.
The woods skirting the prairies swarm with armed rebels on horse-back and if you want the men who burned the bridges and who tore up the track of the railroad now is the time to strike. Many of them are known for many of them live in this town and county and along the line of the road. We have their names, know them and they can be taken; but to do this cavalry is required and required now. Infantry especially in this rigorous weather can do little else than guard prisoners and camp-stores. This arm of the service never can strike effectually the bushwhackers and bridge-burners who infest the country.
I write therefore earnestly to urge you to order from Jefferson City or elsewhere to this place where we have excellent quarters for soldiers three or four companies of cavalry, assuring you that you will very