dollar, if necessary, to sustain the Government; yet we wish to call your attention to the peculiar and suffering condition of the people of this State.
You will bear in mind that at the beginning of the second year of this war almost, if not quite, half our people were disloyal; and the men who have been cheerfully given to fill up the Union armies have been taken almost exclusively from the Union element, the disloyal going either to the rebel army, into the brush to other States to avoid militia duty, or remaining at home, protected by the Federal arms, and fearing nothing from rebels or bushwhackers. Our Union men have not only cheerfully gone into the Federal armies; they have also done all the efficient militia service in the State, which has at times required active service in the field of every able-bodied Union man in the State. And with all the Federal forces we have had, assisted by the militia of the State, and at times by thousands of Union citizens not subject to military duty, we have not been able to afford that protection to Union men which would make them secure in their persons and property, in consequence of which thousands of them have left their homes and gone to seek that security and safety in other States which we are unable to afford them in this. From many counties the Union men have gone into the service, until the few left among the many rebels have no adequate power to protect themselves.
If the draft could take largely from the disloyal population, which has furnished very few men, we could fill our present quota and hen feel stronger and more secure than we do now. But most of the rebels drafted either furnish loyal substitutes or run off to evade the service, and hence nearly all the men furnished are from the Union ranks.
We need every loyal man within our borders for home protection, they being the only portion of our population worth anything for militia service or home defense.
Every loyal Missourian is a soldier, and they, knowing our country, the people, and our wants, are worth a great deal more for our protection from guerrillas than any soldiers from abroad can be. We do not require any special favors to keep or loyalty alive, but in view of the past sufferings of the loyal people of Missouri she being weaker and more afflicted sister in the grat family of States we almost feel that we have a right to expect to be treated with little more tenderness and favor than some of our stronger sisters.
In conclusion, while we feel that our own safety requires the complete organization and co-operation of every Union man in the State at home, still we will not ask to be excused from a draft it, in your judgment, the good of the nation requires it. We do, however most respectfully ask that the draft may be suspended until we can have a complete and thorough re-enrollment of the State made wherever it is necessary. And we would further ask, if not inconsistent with the public good, that Missouri soldiers may be assigned to the duty of protecting her borders.
SMALL HALL, MERCANTILE LIBRARY,
Saint Louis, January 30, 1865.
Colonel E. B. ALEXANDER,
Provost-Marshal-General of Missouri:
The constitutional convention now assembled in the city of Saint Louis, knowing that in a great many counties in this State the original enrollments included numbers of men then in the rebel army and