within our lines and engaged in hostile operations in such garb as spies deserving death as such according to the laws of war. I fear it will be difficult to justify military ewecutions for bridge-burning alone.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
BRITTON A. HILL.
P. S. - The mud is knee-deep and has been for two weeks and more. No advance can be made by the Army of the Potomac in this state of the roads. The enemy have doubtless transferred several of their crack regiments to Kentucky upon the presumption that no advance can be made here by us.
Danville, January 31, 1862.
Brigadier General J. M. SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis, Mo.
GENERAL: The military commission has finished the cavalry cases and is now engaged upon the bridge-burners. The records, eight in number, in the first named will be forwarded to-day. We have commenced and partially finished three of the railroad cases and are proceeding as fast as possible. We have been somewhat delayed by reason of absence of witnesses and othere causes but I think now that we will be able to dispose of the business at this point in a short time.
Very respectfully, &c.,
SAMUEL A. HOLMES,
President of Commission.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI,
Otterville, February 1, 1862.
Colonel JOHN D. STEVENSON:
You will repair to Lexington, Mo., and take post at that place quartering your men in public buildings so far as practicable and taking such other buildings belonging to disloyal citizens as may be necessary for the remainder.
You are charged with preserving the peace in that section and maintaining the authority of the Government, and you will accordingly be guided in your action by the orders hitherto issued from the Department and these headquarters. All organizations against the peace of the State or the Government of the United States will be put down whether armed or unarmed, and all persons carrying on guerrilla warfare or giving aid to the enemy will be arrested and kept in confinement. Written charges against each with the testimony to substantiate them will be forwarded to the provost-marshal-general in Saint Louis who will issue the necessary order for their disposition.
All plunder and outrage committed upon the property or persons of peaceful citizens is a disgrace to the service and a serious injury to the discipline and efficiency of the troops concerned in it. You will there-fore mounted patrols throught the country in the vicinity of your post with orders to shoot down any soldiers engaged in depredating upon property or outraging peaceful citizens. This paragraph of your instructions you will publish to your command and have strictly executed.
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I am, colonel, very respectfully,