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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 8, Ch. XVIII–Appendix.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER XVIII.
OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI, ARKANSAS. KANSAS, AND THE INDIAN TERRITORY.
November 19, 1861-April 10, 1862.
(New Madrid, Island No. 10, Pea Ridge)
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APPENDIX.
Embracing communications received too late for insertion in proper sequence.

{p.817}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, November 20, 1861.

General MCCLELLAN, General-in-Chief, (For the President of the United States, Washington, D. C.:)

No written authority is found here to declare and enforce martial law in this department. Please send me such written authority, and telegraph me that it has been sent by mail.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, November 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army,I, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: My telegram of the 20th November to General McClellan, asking for written authority from the President to declare and enforce martial law in this department, still remains unanswered.

It is not intended to either declare or enforce martial law in any place where there are civil tribunals which can be intrusted with the punishment of offenses and the regular administration of justice. But in some places there are no such tribunals, and it devolves upon the military to arrest and punish murderers, robbers, and thieves, and martial law already exists in these places. In this city, for example, it has existed for months, but by what legal authority I am unable to ascertain. In the absence of the proper civil tribunals it is impossible to entirely dispense with it, but I intend to restrict it as much as possible. The commissioners appointed by the President have requested me to bring before them certain persons and papers stated in sworn affidavits to be necessary for them to prosecute their investigations into certain alleged frauds. There are no civil authorities here to do this. On their application I sent the telegram referred to. From a full investigation of this question I am satisfied that the President has power to confer this authority, and I feel unwilling to act, as requested by the commission and as the public good seems to require, without it. It certainly is not right to leave a public officer in a position where his duty requires him to exercise an authority which his superior can, but is unwilling to, confer upon him. {p.818}

I desire an immediate answer, either authorizing or refusing to authorize me to exercise this power.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, November 26, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding the Army, Washington, D. C.:

My telegram of the 20th asking for written authority of the President to enforce martial law in this department, is still unanswered. It is absolutely necessary to enable me to procure evidence required by commission of investigation. If this authority be refused I shall not exercise it, no matter how much the public service may suffer.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, December 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, General-in-Chief of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: Since my last (No. 4*) I have very little to report. By latest advices Major Bowen, with re-enforcements had driven Turner as far south as Texas County. I sent particular directions not to venture too far, lest he might be cut off. A number of prisoners of war, among them several of Price’s officers, have been taken in the vicinity of Sedalia. It is rumored that the expedition to Marshall and Waverly has been successful, but I can get no official information, although I have repeatedly asked for it by telegraph. Persons here from Saint Joseph say that General Prentiss’ column, in Clinton, Platte, Clay, and Ray Counties, is scattering the insurgents, but I can get no information whatever from him, either as to the strength or disposition of his forces.

It was my intention, on learning that the expedition sent north from Sedalia was successful, to co-operate with General Prentiss by pushing forward a force to Lexington about the time he reached the other side of the river, and thus scatter or capture the large band of insurgents in that place. But as these commanders seem determined to keep me in ignorance of all their movements I can form no effective plan of co-operation. Everything here is in such total disorganization and there is such a general lack of discipline that officers systematically neglect to answer either telegrams or letters of instruction.

For this reason I am unable to get reports from many parts of the department, although repeated orders to that effect have been sent. I hope in time to establish a more stringent system of discipline and accountability.

We have many regiments here ready to take the field, but they have no arms, and the arms of some of those sent out are totally worthless. It is roughly estimated that 30,000 troops in this department are without efficient arms. I learn indirectly that several thousand have within the last few days been sent to Cairo. Why this should be done without giving me any notice is certainly very unaccountable. Moreover, in {p.819} my view of present emergencies, those arms were much more necessary here than at Cairo.

I am satisfied that the authorities at Washington do not understand the present condition of affairs in Missouri. The conduct of our troops during Frémont’s campaign, and especially the course pursued by those under Lane and Jennison, has turned against us many thousands who were formerly Union men. A few more such raids, in connection with the ultra speeches made by leading men in Congress, will make this State as unanimous against us as is Eastern Virginia.

It may be supposed by some that the number of organized Missouri regiments in this department indicates a different feeling. It should, however, be remembered that nearly all of these so-called Missouri regiments are composed of foreigners or men from other States. From a dispassionate examination of this matter in all its bearings and after conversing with leading men from all parts of this country I am satisfied that the mass of the people here are against us, and that a single false step or defeat will ruin our cause.

Can’t we get some arms soon? I cannot move without them. Winter is already upon us, and I fear much longer delay will render it exceedingly difficult to operate, and yet a winter campaign seems absolutely necessary to restore our lost ascendency and the quiet of the State.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

* See p. 408.

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LANCASTER, OHIO, December 12, 1861.

Major-General HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: I believe you will be frank enough to answer me if you deem the steps I took at Sedalia as evidence of a want of mind.

They may have been the result of an excess of caution on my part, but I do think the troops were too much strung out, and should be concentrated, with more men left along to guard the track. The animals, cattle especially, will be much exposed this winter.

I set a much higher measure of danger on the acts of unfriendly inhabitants than most officers do, because I have lived in Missouri and the South, and know that in their individual characters they will do more acts of hostility than Northern farmers or people could bring themselves to perpetrate. In my judgment Price’s army in the aggregate is less to be feared than when in scattered bands.

I write to you because a Cincinnati paper, whose reporter I imprisoned in Louisville for visiting our camps after I had forbidden him leave to go, has announced that I am insane, and alleges as a reason that at Sedalia my acts were so mad that subordinate officers refused to obey. I know of no order I gave that was not obeyed, except General Pope’s, to advance his division to Sedalia, which order was countermanded by you, and the fact communicated to me.

These newspapers have us in their power, and can destroy us as they please, and this one can destroy my usefulness by depriving me of the confidence of officers and men.

I will be in Saint Louis next week, and will be guided by your commands and judgment.

I am, &c.,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brigadier-General.

{p.820}

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SAINT LOUIS, December 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, Commanding La Mine Cantonment, Mo.:

GENERAL: Your several letters on plans of campaign and criticisms on the selection of La Mine Crossing for a cantonment have been received, and, although very long, have been attentively perused and duly considered.

Your plans of campaign may be well adapted to the positions and numbers of the enemy as reported to you, but, judging from the information I am hourly receiving from other parts of the State, I do not think I would be justified in adopting them, nor do I think you would have proposed them if you had been fully advised on the subject. Nevertheless I am very glad to receive your suggestions.

In regard to the selection of La Mine Crossing I have a few remarks to make. When I arrived here I found the three divisions of your command at Sedalia, Syracuse, and Tipton-28 miles apart and not in sustaining distance. You yourself, as well as others, represented to me that these three places were each and all unfit for a cantonment, having no timber in their vicinity for making huts, the water being very bad (causing, as you said, much of the sickness in camp), and being exposed to the cold and piercing winter winds which sweep over these prairies. All expressed the opinion that the men must suffer terribly in tents, and all accounts agreed that the only place for putting them was in the vicinity of Otterville and La Mine Crossing. On these reports I sent Brigadier-General Sherman to examine into this matter, and he expressed the decided opinion that La Mine Crossing was the proper place for the troops, all things considered, and, indeed, commenced moving them to that place without consulting these headquarters. His orders were countermanded, and I sent Lieutenant-Colonel McPherson to examine into this matter. His report has been sent to you.

I have not acted hastily in this matter, but have taken the best advices I could get. Your letter of the 12th differs from all these advices, and, indeed, from the impression I received from my conversation with you. You certainly objected then to Sedalia on account of its exposure, its bad water, and want of timber for hutting. I would remark, in reply to one of your observations, that I have never ordered the withdrawal of troops from Sedalia; on the contrary, I have directed that they be left there till the last. Moreover La Mine has not been determined on as a permanent station for your command. On the contrary, I have distinctly stated that the troops might be required to leave that place at a moment’s warning.

Your criticisms on the difficulty of defending Syracuse, Tipton, &c., from La Mine I do not fully understand. If your troops were at Sedalia, as you propose, would they not be required to pass through La Mine to succor the places mentioned? Why, then, could they not act with more efficiency for that purpose from the former than the latter place?

General, your letters indicate a decided spirit of fault-finding and of a desire to place yourself in a position by various and conflicting suggestions to be able to say, in case of any disaster, that you advised differently. I am willing to believe, however, that such was not your intention.

If it should be finally ascertained that your estimates of the enemy’s forces were correct, I may very well be blamed for not permitting you to attack and disperse them as you propose; but my advices from other sources differ very materially from your estimates. Price has nearly {p.821} double the force you estimate, and I think you do not fully appreciate the character and effect of the gatherings at Lexington and lower down the river. I think they would form a dangerous force in your rear if you were to move south. It is much better to break them up first. It is always a fatal error to underestimate your enemy. I therefore think you had better look out well for your own security than to advance now upon the Osage. After we have scattered the insurgents on the river this may be practicable, should the enemy not place himself in a more favorable position for striking him.

Yours, in haste,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, December 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, Commanding, &c., Otterville, Mo.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 21st, in answer to mine of the 14th, is received. I remarked in that letter that I was willing to believe that your correspondence relating to La Mine Cantonment, &c., was not written in the spirit of fault-finding, although it was calculated to give that impression. I am satisfied from your letter that such was not your object. I shall always be happy to receive suggestions as to operations or dispositions of any kind, but to criticise them after they are ordered does not accord with my ideas of military discipline and subordination. Your disavowal of such intention of course entirely removes the impression made by your letters.

You are under a misapprehension as to my want of confidence in you. My assigning you to the largest command and the most important position in this State should be sufficient proof of the contrary. But you refer to two facts as indicative of such want of confidence on my part: 1st, that General Sherman was authorized to assume command temporarily, if he deemed it necessary; and, 2d, that my order putting you in the command of the district “expressly states that [I] you are to do so simply because [I] you are senior officer,” &c.

In regard to your first alleged cause of complaint I will remark that at the time General Sherman received his orders you were on leave of absence in Saint Louis; and, moreover, that if you had been present you were then in command of only one division, and not of the entire force of that district. General Sherman was your senior officer and was entitled to command you. I revoked the authority given to him, and placed you in command of three divisions, and the most important military district in the State. Was this an evidence of a want of confidence in you?

Again, with regard to your second cause of complaint you have not correctly stated the purport and language of my orders of December 2. I there direct you, “as the ranking officer,” to “take the general command of all the troops in the district,” &c. I use no such language as that stated in your letter, that you are to do so “simply because,” &c., nor will the words used by me bear such a construction. It is precisely the form commonly used in such orders. If you had not been the ranking officer you would not, under ordinary circumstances, have been entitled to such command. I cannot conceive how you can construe such an order into a reflection on you or an insinuation as to your personal capacity.

{p.822}

I have no desire, general, to prolong this correspondence, nor do I intend to resume it. I have thus far given to you the fullest confidence, and will do to you, and every other officer in my command, full and entire justice. At the same time I do not intend that you shall misunderstand my own position. I am acting under orders from my superiors, which I intend to obey, but which I am not at liberty to communicate to others. I hope, therefore, you will extend to me that charity and consideration which I extend to those placed over me. I am not always at liberty to adopt the suggestions of others even though I may approve them. Other circumstances, not known to the party making the suggestions, may, and often do, prevent their adoption. Nevertheless I shall always be happy to receive them and will give them due consideration.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General, Commanding.

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SAINT LOUIS, December 31, 1861.

Brigadier-General POPE, Otterville:

GENERAL: I send herewith the proceedings of a military commission ordered by Colonel Deitzler, First Kansas Regiment, for the trial of certain prisoners at Tipton, Mo., within the limits of your command.

In the first place, a military commission can be ordered only by the General-in-Chief of the Army or by a general commanding a department, consequently all the proceedings of the commission ordered by Colonel Deitzler are null and void. The prisoners are therefore in precisely the same position as if no trial had taken place.

In the second place, military commissions should, as a general rule be resorted to only for cases which cannot be tried by a court-martial or by a proper civil tribunal. They are, in other words, tribunals of necessity, organized for the investigation and punishment of offenses which would otherwise go unpunished. Their proceedings should be regulated by the rules governing courts-martial, so far as they may be applicable, and the evidence should in all cases be fully recorded.

Prisoners of war, properly so called-that is, men duly enrolled and commissioned in the service of an acknowledged enemy-are, so far as the military authorities are concerned, to be treated in the manner prescribed by the usages and customs of war. They are entitled to the rights of war; but this fact does not exempt them from punishment by the civil tribunals for treason to the Government. But treason is an offense technically defined by the Constitution, and is not triable by a military commission; nor will such tribunal try or punish a soldier duly enrolled and mustered into the enemy’s service by proper authority for taking life in battle or according to the rules of modern warfare. But it is a well-established principle that insurgents and marauding, predatory, and guerrilla bands are not entitled to this exemption. Such men are, by the laws of war, regarded as no more nor less than murderers, robbers, and thieves. The military garb and name cannot change the character of their offenses nor exempt them from punishment. Moreover, if a prisoner of war has committed acts in violation of the laws of war, such as murder, robbery, arson, &c., the fact of his being a prisoner of war does not exempt him from trial and punishment by a military commission. In such cases the charge should be “violation of the laws of war,” and not violation of the “Rules and {p.823} Articles of War,” which are statutory provisions, modifying the laws of war only in the particular cases to which these provisions apply. In all cases not embraced in this statutory law, and not made triable by the courts which it creates, we must recur to the general code of war and try by a military commission.

A military commission will be immediately ordered to assemble at La Mine Cantonment for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it. You will furnish the judge-advocate with a copy of this letter for his guidance, and will see that the charges and specifications are properly drawn up.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, December 31, 1861.

Brigadier-General SCHOFIELD, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I inclose a memorandum of information* received here respecting the principal persons who originated or encouraged the arsons committed on the North Missouri Railroad, and also a communication from Mr. Clay Taylor, whom you will observe is one of the parties accused, although he was not aware of that fact when he wrote. It is believed here that there is pretty good foundation for these charges. I wish you to get all the information on this subject you can, and, if you deem the evidence sufficient to justify it, to arrest the parties. Do not let the contents of the memorandum be made public. If General Prentiss has taken the command of your forces you will, of course, report this letter to him. I also wish the matter of Mr. Clay Taylor’s complaint to be investigated, and if injustice has been done him it must be repaired. I have had no information from you or General Prentiss for several days. Why is this?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

* Not found.

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**WASHINGTON CITY, January 3, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

GENERAL: I have some anxiety in regard to your Orders, No. 24, making the friends of the enemy contribute to the support of the refugees from the Southwest.

I have regarded that order as eminently wise and proper, and desired to see it carried out with vigor. Recently it was intimated from Saint Louis that an effort was being made by some of our Union friends in Saint Louis to induce you to relax the order, if not to recall it entirely, and this report gave me great concern. I apprehended that efforts had been made to obtain the interposition of the President, and therefore I determined to see him in regard to the matter. He told me to tell you “that he had not given the subject much consideration, but that he {p.824} was very much inclined to favor the policy you had announced in your order, and that he heard nothing in regard to the matter from any one that was not favorable to that policy.”

As a matter of course, if your own judgment condemns the policy, now that you have witnessed its workings at least to some extent, then I have not a word to say; but it is so evident to my mind that a vigorous and severe policy is the only one that suits the case of these secessionists, that I should regret exceedingly to see your order recalled, and that I have ventured to make any suggestion to you upon the subject is a proof of how deeply I feel in regard to this matter.

One word more. The President, in our conversation, informed me of the substance of his recent telegraphic correspondence with you. I am exceedingly anxious to join you when you are prepared to make a decisive movement to the south, and will take it as a great personal favor if you will allow one of your aides to give me timely notice. I hope it will not be long deferred, for I am convinced that our cause is in greater danger from foreign intervention than from defeat by the armies of the South. If this war is allowed to drag along for three months more you may set it down for a certainty that we shall have England on our hands as well as Jeff. Davis.

Respectfully, yours,

FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.

** For reply, see p. 490.

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LANCASTER, OHIO, January 5, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:

DEAR SIR: The ground on which you can treat these railroad destroyers as military criminals is that they are within your lines in the guise of peaceful citizens, destroying life and property, and therefore, as secret enemies caught in the warlike act, amenable to martial law. The secessionists cannot except to it, for in Tennessee they hang all the bridge-burners they catch, and in this case you very truly say severity is mercy. However, all you want is to protect life and property, and perhaps the best way to do it is this: Try by a court-martial all that you have caught. Hang at once two or three of the ringleaders in the presence of their fellows, sentence a dozen or twenty, or even fifty, of the most culpable and reprieve then] for a time, with the distinct understanding that they will be hanged, according to sentence, if further depredations are committed by their associates, bat that they may hope for mercy if there is order and peace. Discharge the least culpable and let them go home and carry the conditions with them, with the assurance that if they themselves are caught again they will find no mercy. And in holding as hostages care should be taken to hold from each neighborhood, family, and clique one or more.

The scoundrels engaged at the Little Platte deserve more severe handling than those you have caught, for they deliberately planned and committed the most cruel, indiscriminate murder of men, women, and children.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

T. EWING.

{p.825}

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SAINT LOUIS, January 11, 1862.

Col. FRED. STEELE, Commanding Sedalia:

COLONEL: Yours of the 9th is just received. I entirely disapprove of the release of prisoners of war on their parole to go where they please. Most of them do not keep their parole at all, and merely serve as spies about our lines and get up insurrections. This is especially the case with “Virginia gentlemen” of the class you refer to. They pay no regard whatever to their oath of allegiance. All prisoners of war-that is, taken in arms or in the enemy’s service-should be held as such, and not allowed to leave camp. This taking of prisoners and releasing them over and over again is all wrong; it is time to end it. All such men should be sent here, where they can be retained or exchanged.

Such men as the Washingtons and Magoffins are not proper persons for release.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, January 14, 1862.

Col. L. F. ROSS, Commanding Cape Girardeau, Mo.:

COLONEL: I have delayed answering your letter of December 23, in relation to General Watkins, in order to obtain certain information which I have been expecting about General W. [Watkins] and others in that part of the country.

Very many of those who have returned from the enemy and given their parole have acted as spies on our operations, giving the enemy all the information they could obtain, assisting in getting up insurrections, and planning the burning of bridges, &c. It is therefore necessary to observe due precaution in this matter.

If General Watkins has been in the enemy’s service, either State or Confederate, he must come back in one of two capacities-either as a prisoner of war or as a citizen returning to his allegiance. If he returns as a prisoner of war, he may be released on his parole of honor that he will remain quietly on his farm, giving no information or assistance of any kind to the enemy, and that he will present himself at your post or any other when called for.

If he returns as a loyal citizen, he certainly cannot object to taking the oath of allegiance. Such oath will not, as a general rule, be required of men who have not been in the enemy’s service or have in no way assisted the enemy, although they may have been in the Confederate States. For example, secessionists here in Saint Louis have not been required to take any oath of allegiance; but if they have been in the enemy’s service, and now wish to return to their allegiance, they are invariably required to take the oath and sometimes to give additional security.

If General Watkins should decide to take the oath all stock taken from him should be returned. With regard to his slaves, if any are in your camp as fugitives, they are so held in positive violation of General Orders, No. 3, of 1861, unless such slaves were taken in virtue of the act of Congress. Except in the case provided for by Congress troops should be permitted neither to steal slaves nor to catch and return {p.826} them to their owners or pretended owners. The military are neither slave-stealers nor slave-catchers. To avoid all difficulties about this matter keep fugitives out of camp, and let the question of ownership be decided by the civil tribunals.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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WASHINGTON, D. C., January 15, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

MY DEAR SIR: This will introduce Gov. G. Koerner, of Illinois, who is my personal friend, and who calls on you at my particular request. Please open the sealed letter he will hand you before he leaves you and confer with him as to its contents.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 15, 1862.

Major-General HALLECK:

MY DEAR SIR: The Germans are true and patriotic, and so far as they have got cross in Missouri it is upon mistake and misunderstanding. Without a knowledge of its contents Governor Koerner, of Illinois, will hand you this letter. He is an educated and talented German gentleman, as true a man as lives. With his assistance you can set everything right with the Germans. I write this without his knowledge, asking him at the same time, by letter, to deliver it. My clear judgment is that, with reference to the German element in your command, you should have Governor Koerner with you; and if agreeable to you and him, I will make him a brigadier-general, so that he can afford to so give his time. He does not wish to command in the field, though he has more military knowledge than many who do. If he goes into the place he will simply be an efficient, zealous, and unselfish assistant to you. I say all this upon intimate personal acquaintance with Governor Koerner.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

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SAINT LOUIS, January 17, 1862.

Brig. Gen. SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Commanding, &c., Rolla:

GENERAL: Yours of yesterday is received. I regret to inform you that neither the Pay nor Quartermaster’s Department have any money. Troops are sent from here to Cairo without pay. I can do no better for you. The moment money is received the forces under your command shall be supplied. They were all paid to the 31st of October. Some here and in North Missouri are not paid for September and October. I have done everything in my power for the troops at Rolla, and they have no cause to complain of me.

The truth is that Congress is so busy discussing the eternal nigger question that they fail to make any appropriations, and the financial departments are dead broke. No requisitions for money are filled.

{p.827}

The extra-duty pay will be forthcoming as soon as we get any money. Assure these men that they will be paid, but they must have patience. I am doing everything in my power for them.

We must all do the best we can to make the men comfortable and contented till we get more means. I rely on you to use all your powers of conciliation, especially with the German troops. You told me you could manage them, and I rely on you to do it. At present we have more difficulties to conquer with our own men than with the enemy.

Yours, truly,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, January 21, 1862.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

Your Excellency’s letter of the 15th, by Governor Koerner, is just received. I nominated Governor K. [Koerner] some time ago for appointment as aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, the highest authorized by law as a staff officer. Should Your Excellency see fit to make him a brigadier-general I will use my best endeavors to give him such employment as may best suit him.

The difficulty with the Germans results from two causes: 1st the want of pay, the pay department here being out of funds, which fact it is very difficult to satisfactorily explain to them; 2d, they are continually tampered with by designing politicians in and out of service in order to serve particular ends. A part of the scheme is the story about the ill-treatment of General Sigel, which is without the slightest foundation.

All these difficulties are being satisfactorily arranged. A firm and decided course will end them forever. Any yielding on the part of the Government will only create new difficulties and give rise to new demands. Being a German myself by descent, I know something of the German character, and I am confident that in a few weeks, if the Government does not interfere, I can reduce these disaffected elements to order and discipline.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT Loins, January 22, 1862.

Brig. Gen. JOHN POPE, Commanding, &c., Otterville:

GENERAL: I have just received your telegrams of yesterday* and today. Your arrangements are all satisfactory. Major Allen has determined to send 75 extra wagons with the division. Colonel Davis’ experience in such marches renders it unnecessary for me to give him any special instructions. He will communicate with General Curtis’ command at Lebanon as early as practicable. Colonel Phelps says there are two fords at Linn Creek, which can be used at all seasons of the year.

{p.828}

I hear of more rebel organizations in the vicinity of Lexington; if so, break them up.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

* “See p. 512.

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SAINT LOUIS, February 2, 1862.

Maj. Gen. D. HUNTER, Commanding Department of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth:

GENERAL: Yours of the 28th is received. I presume that ere thin the First Kansas Infantry have reported to you, as they left Lexington some time since. After the order was issued it was ascertained that the detachment called “Kansas Rangers” was not composed of Kansas troops, and the order respecting it was revoked.

Your General Orders, No. 12, are just received. I am delighted with them. The only way to keep peace between the Kansians and Missourians is to keep them apart. We have numerous old grudges to settle.

I have directed my adjutant-general to send you a full file of my general orders, and I would be pleased if you can reciprocate.

The expedition against Price moves very slowly, the roads being horrible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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SAINT LOUIS, February 2, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Washington:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith extracts from General Sigel’s letters, published in the German papers and translated. The German papers here are filled with anonymous attacks on the Government at Washington and on my administration here, coming, as it is well ascertained, from the German officers under General Sigel’s command. They have also held a number of secret meetings in this city for the purpose of organizing a meeting among the foreign troops and an insurrection of the German population. I have succeeded in introducing police officers into some of these meetings, and their reports are conclusive as to the existence of this plot. I send you a copy of a report of a captain of police, who was present at a meeting of this kind on the 26th ultimo. I would remark that most of the officers named were here without my knowledge and contrary to my positive orders. Being ordered to move from Rolla toward Springfield, they left their regiments and came here to stir up mutiny and insurrection. Several of them belong to Sigel’s immediate command.

General Sigel’s name is put forward first, but he is an instrument rather than the head of these revolutionists. Letters and papers which have fallen into my hands prove that the instigators of this movement are the emissaries of leading politicians of the Frémont party, and it is expected that the result will, by means of the newspaper press, be made to inure to his benefit as against the present administration. The plan, as discussed at one of these secret meetings, was to force the President to make Sigel a major-general, which would make him second in command in this department. He would then claim all the German regiments {p.829} and the largest portion of the troops in this State. By this means, it was said, the Frémont party would be virtually restored to power here; and, by continually fomenting dissatisfaction among the German troops and German population, they could completely paralyze and control the action of the Government. Moreover, it was said that the German and Abolition press throughout the country would use Sigel as an instrument with which to attack me, and break down, or at least greatly weaken, my authority and influence in this State, so that, at the proper time, the press and the Germans throughout the country could demand my removal and the substitution of Sigel in the command. This having been accomplished, Sigel, his army, and the German press would require the restoration of Frémont. By a joint movement in Congress, by mass meetings, &c., it was thought that the President would finally be forced to yield. I am also told that leading secessionists in this city are cognizant of these movements and assist them indirectly.

Any yielding on the part of the Government to the demands of Sigel’s friends will only add to the mutiny and insurrection, for his promotion would be but a single step in the plan. Our only safety is to put it down with a strong hand, and, when we get sufficient proof, arrest the leaders and remove them out of the department. I am fully posted in the matter and am prepared for them, but I must have the support of the Government, and the President should make no appointment of these foreign officers without consulting you. If he had appointed Osterhaus and Albert at the time I recommended they could have been kept out of this faction. Now it is too late, as they are fully committed, and ought not to be appointed. Of course this is intended to be entirely confidential.*

Yours, truly,

H. W. HALLECK.

* See McClellan to Halleck, February 6, 1862, Series I, Volume VIZ, p. 937.

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SAINT LOUIS, February 2, 1862.

Maj. Gen. D. HUNTER, Commanding Department of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 29th ultimo is just received. If Colonel Newgent’s command is in your department please muster them out. If I can find them in my department I will do the same. I wish to get rid of all these irregular, illegal, and fragmentary organizations as soon as possible. They are of great expense and of very little use.

I am delighted with your recent orders. Keep the Kansas troops out of Missouri and I will keep the Missourians out of Kansas. They can’t agree, and make infinite trouble. The only way is to keep them apart.

Yours, truly,

N. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, Kans., February 8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:

GENERAL: Believing that the public interests may be promoted by an interchange of views between us and a knowledge with each (in some {p.830} general sort) of what the other intends, I venture on intruding some outlines of the condition of affairs in this department on your attention.

It seems, from all the evidence before me that Senator J. H. Lane has been trading at Washington on a capital partly made up of his own Senatorial position and partly of such scraps of influence as I may have possessed in the confidence or esteem of the President, said scraps having been “jayhawked” by the Kansas Senator without due consent of the proper owner.

In other words, I find that “Lane’s great Southern expedition” was entertained and sanctioned by the President under misrepresentations made by somebody to the effect that said “expedition” was the joint design and wish of Senator Lane and myself. Mr. Lincoln doubtless thought he was obliging me and aimed to oblige me in the matter, but so little was I personally consulted, that to this hour I am in ignorance what were the terms or striking points of Senator Lane’s programme. Never to this hour has Senator Lane consulted me on the subject directly or indirectly, while the authorities at Washington have preserved a similar indiscreet reticence, thinking no doubt (as General Thomas intimates in a recent letter) that as the plan was of my own concoction in joint committee of two with Senator Lane, there could be no use, but rather an impertinence, in any third party’s trying to explain the general drift and details to one of the original patentees.

Thus I am left in ignorance, but it is more than probable that you have been more favored.

Your co-operation certainly would be necessary to make effective any such expedition as that talked of, and as you have never been suspected of enjoying Senator Lane’s confidence and sharing his counsels, I think it more than probable that the veil of mystery must have been lifted in your particular case. If so let me know, for otherwise I must lower myself in the estimation of the authorities at Washington by confessing that I have never at any time, directly or indirectly, consulted with or been consulted by the Kansas Senator in reference to this or any other military operation whatever, and that as to any brotherly confidence between us there is just about as much now as there ever was.

You can hardly conceive to what an extent the authorities at Washington have carried their faith in the representations of Mr. Lane and their belief in a sort of Damon and Pythias affection between that gentleman and myself. Regiments have been sent here with orders to “report for duty with the forces under General J. H. Lane;” blanks telegraphed for by me have been shipped to “Brigadier-General Lane, Fort Leavenworth,” and have never reached these headquarters. In fact, I may say that, so far as Washington was concerned, the Kansas Senator would seem to have effectually “jayhawked” out of the minds of the War Department any knowledge or remembrance of the general commanding this department.

And now we have reached an aspect of the case which would be intensely ludicrous, if it were not so fraught with humiliation to officials and detriment to the public service. I am daily receiving letters from majors, colonels, and lieutenant-colonels announcing that they have been appointed additional aides-de-camp on the staff of General McClellan, with orders to report to me in person, that I may again order them to report on the staff of “Brig. Gen. J. H. Lane.”

The trouble is that I know of no such brigadier-general, Senator Lane having told me expressly and in terms, at the only interview we have had since his return to Kansas, that he had not accepted his commission, and was only my visitor “as a Senator and member of the Military {p.831} Committee of the Senate of the United States.” I may add that in the opinion of those who know him best it is not his intention to accept the brigadiership, his hue and cry for that position having only been raised at a time when he thought it probable that Stanton (or whomsoever was Governor Robinson’s nominee) might oust him from the Senate. They say that he will never resign his seat in the Senate unless he can have supreme control of this department, with liberty to appoint his personal adherents and the legion of army contractors who follow in his wake in charge of the quartermaster’s and subsistence departments of the public service in Kansas. This statement I believe.

As to the vote obtained by him in the Kansas Legislature, asking that he be appointed major-general, &c., I have heard from men thoroughly informed that it was also “jayhawked” from the reluctant lips of an overwhelming opposition majority by Lane’s positive promise to resign his Senatorship forthwith in case it was passed. This made all Lane’s legislative enemies his most active friends, on the principle of “anything to get rid of him,” and all the aspirants for his seat at once impressed their friends into voting anything that would create a vacancy.

Now, what is to be done with this erratic Senator, or how are the authorities at Washington to be convinced that it is neither wise nor quite decorous to act in matters vitally affecting a department without the knowledge or sanction of the department commander? On these points I have to ask light from you, my “confidential” relations being apparently confined to Senator Lane, while you, and very deservedly, I confess, are believed to receive beams from the light of “the inner sanctuary.

Disappointed himself, Lane is now bent on making trouble and obstructing the expedition which he finds he cannot control. He is bestirring himself in a thousand little irritating processes, trying to make a quarrel or “disagreement” with me his pretext for backing out of an employment which he never intended to accept. As a specimen of the work he is at and the friends he is working with I send you this copy of a telegram sent to him a few days since, a copy having been sent to me by a friend at Washington:

WASHINGTON.

General LANE, Fort Leavenworth:

I have been with the man you name. Hunter will not get the money or men he requires. His command cannot go forward. Hold on. Don’t resign your seat.

JOHN COVODE.

And now, having given you a pretty thorough insight of the shape of matters here, and reserving a statement of my own plans and the military condition of the department for another letter, I am, general, very truly and obediently, yours,

D. HUNTER.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, March 7, 1862.

E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington:

The Departments of the Ohio and the Missouri should be under one general head. If not, all south of the Cumberland River should be added to this deportment. If I can have the general charge of the two, I would leave General Buell in the particular command of his present {p.832} department and army. The Department of Kansas has less connection with present operations, and could be left as it is.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 3.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE Mississippi, Saint Louis, March 14, 1862.

I. All jurors, whether in civil or criminal courts, in the State of Missouri will hereafter be required to take the oath of allegiance prescribed by the convention on the 16th of October, 1861. Those refusing to take such oath will be rejected as aliens.

II. Any neglect on the part of army or volunteer surgeons in their duties to the sick and wounded will be immediately reported to these headquarters. It is said that some of the medical officers, prisoners of war, have failed to give proper attention to their own sick and wounded. In all cases of this kind the medical officer will be deprived of his parole and be placed in close confinement, and the facts reported to headquarters.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 7.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE Mississippi, Saint Louis, March 19, 1862.

...

II. Brig. Gen. J. W. Denver will be assigned to the command of the District of Kansas, to include what was heretofore known as the Department of Kansas, except the Kansas troops now in the field under Colonel Deitzler, near the southwestern frontier of Missouri. These troops will report for duty to Major-General Curtis, in Arkansas. All officers of the District of Kansas will report by letter to Brigadier-General Denver, at Fort Leavenworth.

III. The term “mixed colors” used in General Orders, No. 59, of March 10, 1862, Department of the Missouri, is intended to include only such clothing as in the opinion of the Quartermaster’s Department may be mistaken in the field for the uniform of the enemy. Clothing of other mixed colors will not be exchanged.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WASHINGTON CITY, March 22, 1862.

General H. W. HALLECK, &c., Saint Louis:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just left the Secretary (late in the evening). When about to bid him good evening he conversationally told me that Jim Lane had been to him to-day with an order from the President for you not to put Denver in command in Kansas, but that Davies (a recent appointment from New York, a brother of Tush, younger) was to be assigned to that command.

{p.833}

He told me that his answer to Lane was a positive refusal to attend to any such order, and if its enforcement should be attempted he would leave the office. He said so many right-minded things about your right to make your own assignments within your own command, expressing his active confidence in you, that I finally asked him if he had any objections to my writing you a private note that you might feel assured of proper support here. He said he had none, and then went on at some length, expressing his determination to allow no improper interference with you while he continued in the department.

He then added that I might say that he had called upon the Secretary of the Treasury for the money you need for the payment of troops, and had been told that eight millions would soon be ready, and that he (the Secretary of War) had directed that the first payment should be made to your troops, as you desired (by a telegram).

I then bid the Secretary good evening and left him, but he called me back, and added that if I was going to write to you he wished me to convey his respects and his entire confidence in your ability and patriotism, explaining that he had been employed against you in the mine case in California, and that his partner had some difficulty or controversy with you of a somewhat personal nature, but that for his part he had taken no interest in it, and had never had any other than the highest respect for you, and he hoped you would not imagine that he ever had.

The Secretary understands the importance of your command and the necessity of your being the commander for carrying out its objects.

My writing this note, general, is a motion of my own, not his, and I have been moved to it only because of the very sensible and proper remarks of the Secretary, made without any thought of their being communicated.

I have constituted myself a sort of temporary aide-de-camp to the Secretary for a short time. I do not expect or desire t o remain here, and shall be more willing to go than any one to have me go.

I remain, very truly, yours,

E. A. HITCHCOCK

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 10.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Saint Louis, March 28, 1862.

I. It having been reported that shippers and carriers of goods have recently violated the “regulations for the transportation and trade of the Department of the Missouri,” established in January last, claiming that said “regulations” had been revoked, notice is hereby given that General Orders, No. 61, of Department of the Missouri, current series, revoking General Orders of March 3rd and 6th of same series, does not in any manner affect the “regulations” of January last, which “regulations for transportation and trade” will be enforced in all parts of the present Department of the Mississippi, except reconquered territory, the trade of which is regulated by the license system promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury in his circular of March 4.

II. The orders of officers of the customs within this department, when in conformity with the regulations of January last and the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury, must be complied with by shippers and carriers; and it is directed that all military officers assist in their enforcement. {p.834}

III. In view of the rapid extension of steamboat navigation into disloyal States, and the importance of having the boats engaged in such navigation controlled by loyal citizens, it is ordered that all licenses to pilots and engineers navigating the waters of this military department be revoked from and after the 15th proximo, and that said pilots and engineers take out new licenses from the “supervising inspector,” who will only grant licenses to persons of approved loyalty; or, in case of doubt, will require bond with security for the loyal conduct of such engineers and pilots.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 13.}

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Saint Louis, March 30, 1862.

I. Commanders of army corps, divisions, and brigades, and of military districts, where their commands are equal to a brigade, are authorized to order military commissions to try offenses against the laws of war, which are not triable by general court-martial; but all sentences of such commissions extending to loss of life, or confiscation of property, or imprisonment exceeding the term of thirty days, must be confirmed by the commanding general of the department.

II. The attention of all such commanders and of all officers of military commissions, is called to General orders, No. 1, of 1862, Department of the Missouri, in relation to the powers and duties of commissions as distinguished from courts-martial.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

N. H. MCLEAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6