War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0578 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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of these house-burners, assassins, and thieves. They are entitled to no forbearance, but, like the great crime against humanity, of which they are the legitimate representatives, they should be struck whenever and wherever found, unsparingly and without any of that mercy which they so constantly refuse to their helpless victims.

The treasonable organization to which allusion was made in my letter to you from Saint Louis has been the subject of diligent examination in the State of Indiana, as is shown by the report of Brigadier-General Carrington to Governor Morton, which has recently appeared in the Western papers. The researches of this vigilant and faithful officer have laid bare in a manner too distinct for future question the intensely disloyal nature and revolutionary aims of this association. For months past Colonel Sanderson, provost-marshal of Missouri, has been actively pursuing the same line of investigation, and his labors have been crowned with complete success. In two elaborate reports made by him to the President on the 12th and 22nd of June past will be found a resume of the course of inquiry pursued by him and of the conclusions reached, accompanied by a voluminous mass of testimony.* In a few days a supplemental report will be submitted by him embodying the written confessions of the grand commander, deputy commander, and grand secretary of the order in Missouri. They fully confirm the views previously entertained of the treasonable spirit and purposes of the order. It may be remarked in passing that these men all occupy high social positions. The grand commander (Hunt)-being Belgian consul at Saint Louis-when arrested denied under oath not only all connection with but all knowledge of the existence of this association. Their present frank avowals, not only of membership but of official station in the association, prove what had before been sufficiently established-that perjury is but one of the every-day phases of a traitor's life.

The testimony thus brought to the notice of the Government is of an entirely reliable character, consisting as it does of the depositions of detectives who were present at meetings of the conspirators and of numerous members of the order, some forty of whom have been arrested by General Rosecreans and are now held in confinement. The papers referred to as before the President justify the following observations:

This order, now styling itself The Sons of Liberty-the gibberish of which designation is strikingly apparent when it is remembered that one of the leading objects of the association is the perpetuation of human slavery as a divine institution-may be regarded as a successor to the Knights of the Golden Circle, with a very large increment of malignity and practical treason. In Missouri it is the immediate successor of the Corps de Belgique, organized by Price as a substitute for the Knights of the Golden Circle, whose grips and passwords had become too generally known to serve their original purposes of concealment. This order (which until the recent assumption of its present name was known as the O. A. K., or Order of American Knights) is secret and oath-bound. Its platform of principles, if it be allowable to use such a work in such a connection, discloses a direct antagonist to the fundamental features of the Federal Union, and a complete sympathy with the rebellion, which it holds to be justified and rightful. Its hostility is aggressive and seeks the overthrow of the Government. To this end its members are required to hold themselves armed and in readiness to strike the


*See Series II, Vol. VII, pp. 228, 314.