I have just been informed of a trunk left here by an emissary and apparently a traveling agent of the secret cabals from Connecticut and who is now in the Southern States. The man with whom this trunk is left at my suggestion examined its contents, and he informs me that there are letters in it of an important character confirmatory of the supposed existence of the treasonable order and criminating some individuals as parties thereto. I am promised an examination of the contents of the trunk, when if the report of it is confirmed, of which I have now little doubt, I will communicate with you again or have the trunk and contents seized and sent to you or their import.
There are other facts and circumstances of a similar character which together have induced me to write you to suggest the propriety of having detectives employed here more than at present. I understand that there is but one person here only partially employed in that service. That persons (I mean Mr. Goldman) is all right-good as far as he is authorized to act; but I am well satirized that some one here should be authorized to employ other aid to him. The person so authorized should act simply as agent for the Government in directing the work to be done and to protect the Government against exorbitant charges and unnecessary expense. One or two and at times three or four persons might be necessary but not more than one probably would be needed in service all the time. I do not think out U. S. marshal is the proper person. He is seldom here, and I am sorry to add he leaves his office with two Democrats whom I would not dare confer with on this subject, Mr. Goldman, a deputy, being the only reliable Union man around in the absence of the marshal, and the marshal is too timid and inefficient for such duty.
I write all this confidentially but is reliable. With such a detective organization as I suggest I think that in a few weeks the whole thing can be ferreted out. Without it while individuals may do much it will take some months if it can be thus made successful. It is the most extensive treasonable organization that ever menaced any Government. I shall do all I can to root it out but should like to [see] some active Government effort to do it thoroughly.
Very truly, your friend,
H. B. BARNES.
HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITION TO CARTHAGE,
Camp Dietzler, March 30, 1862.
Colonel CHARLES DOUBLEDAY,
Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Post, Fort Scott.
COLONEL: I have in custody at this place twenty prisoners that I have apprehended since my arrival here. They are charged with the murder of Union men, driving them from their homes, stealing and destroying their property, &c. They have been members of independent guerrilla bands and some of them have been a terror to the peaceable citizens of this vicinity-moderate secessionists as well as Union men. If you will pardon me for the suggestion I would recommend that a commission be called to meet at this place for their trial. I do so because the great bulk of the testimony that could be produced to substantiate the charges could not be obtained if they should be tried at Fort Scott or any other distant point.
Referring the subject to your superior deliberation, I remain,
Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Expedition to Carthage.