Government whenever a favorable opportunity shall arise. There is no doubt but that at least two armed rising of the order, one in March and one on the 4th of July last, were planned, but were frustrated by the course of events, which, though understood, need not be here explained. A primary obligation resting on the members is to give every possible aid and comfort to the rebellion. Hence, the association has been known in the West as the active patron and protector of all rebel spies, mail- carriers, and recruiting agents. In the programme of its operations two points are specially worthy of note:
First. The steady persistence with which it introduces its members into Government and other officers, where, by a betrayal of the information confided to them, they can best serve the interests of the public enemy.
This policy has probably been attended by far greater success than is generally supposed. In the telegraph and U. S. officers in Missouri quite a number of these traitors have been found, identified, and expelled from the service. Careful inquiries would, no doubt, disclose them under similar circumstances throughout the country.
The second point referred to is the inculcation of the assassination of U. S. officers whenever it can be safety accomplished. The association is not yet strong enough to venture upon a general enforcement of this hellish feature of their programme. That, however, this injunction of assassination has been extensively and zealously obeyed in Missouri the experience and judgment of the military authorities sufficiently attest.
During the two weeks immediately preceding my visit to Saint Louis eight U. S. officers had been secretly murdered in Missouri, and there is no explanation of these and previous similar assassinations but that which is found in the teachings of this conspiracy.
It remains to add that this order exists alike in the North and in the South, Vallandigham being its head in the loyal and Price its head in the disloyal States.
It is stated in the testimony that these conspirators are in constant correspondence with each other. The order is numerous in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, and New York, and exists in several of the other States. In Saint Louis it is estimated that the membership amounts to 5,000; in the State to some 40,000 or 50,000. In Indiana and Illinois a strength much beyond this is assigned to it. It is understood that Governor Brough supposes 25,000 of the order to be armed in Ohio. They are believed to Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, but in less proportion in Kentucky, New York &c.
Upon these astounding developments, the result of a patient and impartial investigation, it is unnecessary to offer any comment. They unveil a conspiracy as atrocious as that of Catiline, and one whose loathsome criminality is unredeemed by a solitary palliation.
It is for Government to determine whether, consistently with its own safety or with its duty to the country, it can longer endure this knife of the domestic traitor at its throat, while it is straining every nerve to confront and destroy the public enemy on the battle-field.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,