War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0253 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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instant in which you mention five officers and a recorder as the proper number to constitute a commission. As some of the cases to be tried are very important ones it seems to me that the number of members should not be less than five. Since leaving Saint Louis I have taken pains to learn the names of officers most suitable for such a court which I inclose and will take the responsibility of witholding the order already issued till I can hear from you.

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We are progressing finely in ferreting out and arresting the bridgeburners. Colonel Morton caught twenty-nine of them west of Montgomery Monday night, and has obtained much valuable evidence against leading and influential parties some of whom are already in hands. Some arrests have been made and much evidence obtained at other points on the road. I think we will have no need of the commission as a means of obtaining evidence but will probably have some important cases ready for trial by the time the soldiers are disposed of.

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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. SCHOFIELD,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, January 9, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Washington.

GENERAL: Yours of the 3rd was received last evening* and has received my most careful consideration. * * * The insurrection in the northeast is not yet entirely suppressed. General Henderson had an engagement yesterday near Mexico and captured forty prisoners. He expected another fight this morning. If any of our troops are withdrawn from there at present the scattered insurgents will collect and again destroy the railroad and telegraph line. We may expect, however, that most of these gangs will bebroken u in the course of the next two or three weeks.

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If the troops at Sedalia and Rolla are not either sent against Price or put in position to keep him in check he will unquestionably return to the Missouri River where he will be received by a very large mass of insurgents who have concealed arms and ammunition. This information comes from so many reliable sources that I cannot doubt its correctness. The question is therefore a very plain one. If a sufficient number of troops are to be withdrawn from Missouri at the present time to constitue an expedition up the Cumberland strong enough to afford any reasonable hope of resisting an attack of the enemy we must seriously peril the loss of this State. * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

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*Omitted.

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