prior to the commission of these crimes and the penalty clearly set before them then would be less palliation for their crimes. I think under the circumstances it would be a magnsanimous act to exercise the attribute of mercy toward these deluded men. Thirdly. The execution of these men would have a most disastrous effect on the Union cause and would prove a very curse to the Union men who are scattared about the country in a defenseless condition. It will excite in the minds of friends of these men and secesh generally a spirit of revenge which will never be allayed except in the assassination of very mnd if Governor Gamble or General Halleck wishes to do an act which will tend to restore quiet and benefit the Union men and save them from plunder and assassination let them pardon or commute the punishment of these men.
If the authorities do not wish to exercise mercy toward these prisoners I think they ought at least to do so as an act of mercy to those who have stood firm by the Union, and whose lives will be greatly endangered by the act. These with many other reasons which might be named I think ought to influence those in whose hands are the lives of these men. You will confer a favor on this whole community as well as myself if you will use your influence and get others in your city (Union men) to do the same in this matter. I would respectfully suggest that you and Guitar and Moss Prewitt and others of the same character present the case by letter or otherwise to Governor Gamble, General Halleck, and if proper to James S. Rollins to obtain the opinion of the President in the matter. I have no doubt but that the execution of these men would prove more disastrous to the good cause than anything or everything that has transpired in this region. If you are well disposed in this matter your immediate attention will be properly appreciate. If anything is done it ought to be done quickly.
A. S. DINWIDDIE.
CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., February 14, 1862.
I. All persons who are known to have been in arms against the United States or to have actively aided the rebellion by word or deed are tobe arreste. Those who are accused of acts in violation of the laws of war such as destruction of railroads and bridges or private property, firing into trains, assassination, &c., will not be relesed on any terms but will be held for trial before a military commission.
II. Notoriously bad and dangerous men though no specific act of disloyalty can be proven against them will be kept in custody and their cases referred to the commanding generals not included in either of the above classes may be released upon subscribing to the usual oath and giving a sufficient bond with good security for their future good conduct.
IV. The bond and oath should be of the form inclosed herewith. * The amount of the bond should in no case be less than $1,000 and in some cases should be much larger, varyin according to the wealth, influence and previous conduct of the party. The security should in preference be a secessionist.
V. Persons now engaged in recruiting for the rebel army, also those enrolled for the rebel service, will be arrested and held as prisoners of
*Omitted as unimportant.