War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0070 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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made by the Mr. Brannon referred to by Lieutenant Henry, and consisted of seditious and treasonable denunciations. Brannon was once captured in Missouri in arms; was paroled, was recaptured near Corinth while General Halleck was moving upon that place, under circumstances indicating that he was acting as a spy, and was again arrested by my deputy at Muscatine, in this State, last summer, for disloyal practices. He and the other leaders in this demonstration were held as prisoners at Camp McClellan, in this State, until their discharge, some two months since, on your order. I am credibly informed that at this meeting the speakers indulged freely in intimations of a Northern revolution; that many in attendance openly hurrahed for Jeff. Davis, and declared in favor of annexing Iowa to the Soutehrn Confederacy by force; that open threats were made to tear down the national flag if Lieutenant henry should suspend it from his recruiting-office window; that a purpose to drive him from the county was openly avowed; that on the Monday following a company, consisting of about forty persons, came to Winterset, headed by the same lately imprisoned leaders; that they beset Lieutenant Henry in the streets, with the purpose of commencing a disturbance; that they followed him to his office, and were deterred from the commission of personal violence only by his threat to shoot the first man who touched or injured his person. I am fully satisfied that the men engaged in these lawless proceedings are thoroughly organized and number several hundred in the county; that a considerable number of them have been drilled by a man who but a few months since was a captain in the rebel army, and that they are tolerably well supplied with arms and ammunition. On the other hand, the Union men of the county are now in the ranks of the Army of the United States, and those that remain at home are unorganized and without arms, and are unprovided with ammunition. When I arrested the officers of the order known as Knights of the Golden Circle in that county last summer I was followed by an armed force, while removing the prisoners several miles, of 150 or 200 men, and had they overtaken me a bloody collision would have resulted. A determination to resist the conscription law, the collection of the Federal tax, and the arrest of deserters is declared daily in every part of the county. Clarke County, which adjoins it on the south, is in but little better condition. A collision is anticipated when my deputies make a descent on the deserters harbored there.

In view of these facts I respectfully recommend, if the conscription law now pending in Congress shall go into immediate operation, that a man of prudence, but with nerve and resolution, be appointed provost-marshal in this Congressional district; that he be furnished with a provost guard of at least 100 cavalry, and with arms sufficient to equip 50 to 100 men in each county. I shall not be surprised at any time to hear of an outbreak in some of the southern counties of Iowa. The border guards on the southern border, or that portion of it in this Congressional district, should be under orders of the provost-marshal. This, I suppose, can be effected only by an arrangement between your department and the Governor of this State. If any action is to be taken before the appointment of this provost-marshal (and I know not how soon decisive action may be necessary), I desire to respectfully represent that I have no arms and no force of any kind. If matters go much further in Madison and Clarke Counties, the parties should be disarmed; but it will be folly for me to