War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0071 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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attempt the disarming of several hundred men without an adequate force. I might be able to do it with the border guards.

I submit these facts and suggestions for your consideration, and respectfully ask for instructions. The public mind is in a feverish state, and a slight disturbance might lead to important consequences. I also submit a statement received from Clarke County.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,


U. S. Marshal and Special Provost-Marshal.

[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.] FEBRUARY 24, 1863.

His Excellency S. J. KIRKWOOD,

Governor of Iowa:

As a servant in my country's cause, and as a close observed, I have the honor to represent that for the past three weeks I have been daily publicly insulted by the citizens of Madison County, both by threats and abusive language; that a majority of the citizens of Madison County are known to be members of what is termed the Knights of the Golden Circle. I have been reliably informed that for the past eight weeks they have been holding secret meetings in different places in the country, commencing generally at midnight; that ammunition and materials by which to make ammunition out of has been secretly expressed to this order; that they have secreted in some portion of the county a large supply of arms, sufficient, it is said, to arm at least 200 or 300 persons, and that letters have been received and taken out to the post-office at Winterset by men who are known to be of this character, merely addressed S or B, or some other letter of the alphabet, evidently agreed upon by order of the same species in other portions of the State.

On last Saturday these persons held a public meeting in the town of Winterset, and in a most hold manner adopted all manner of resolutions disclaiming the laws of our Government. They also, in a most daring manner, upon the public streets make bold to utter and applaud the actions of jeff. davis and the Southern Confederacy, and then, to show their dislike to the Union, dared me to hand out my flag, stating at the same time that if I did they would tear it down. I did so, and with the aid of my arms protected and sustained its purity against this mob of traitors.

On last Monday, while peacefully attending to my duties, I was maliciously assailed by a portion of this same crowd and threatened in every manner. I was alone, and of course acted upon the defensive, while they, as the attacking party, had not the manliness to carry into effect their threats. Another point (and to use their own language in reference to what has been done, and what the citizens of Winterset might expect) - I heard, and it was evidently spoken for my own ears, a man say in company with others of the same sort, who goes by the name of Colonel Brandon, or Brannon, and who is considered their leader, that "we have made a d---d good start, and in four or five days we will be through with Madison County."

Feeling a deep interest in the safety of the loyal citizens of Madison County, and believing that immediate action is the only remedy, I submit the above statement to your better judgment.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant, Company A, Fourth Iowa Vol. Infantry.