Doc. 155.-General Schofield's order.
headquarters Department of Missouri, St. Louis, August 2, 1863.Large numbers of men are leaving the broken rebel armies in the Mississippi valley, and returning to Missouri. Many of them doubtless come back with the purpose of following a career of plunder and murder, under the form of guerrilla warfare, while others would gladly return to their homes as peaceable citizens, if permitted to do so, and protected from violence. The State is in danger of a repetition of the scenes of violence and bloodshed which characterized the months of July and August, 1862. The united efforts of all loyal and peaceably-disposed citizens, as well as of the troops of this department, will be required to avert this evil. It is the desire of the Commanding General that all those who voluntarily abandon the rebel cause, and desire to return to their allegiance to the United States, shall be permitted to do so under such restrictions as the public peace shall require. All such persons may surrender themselves and their arms at the nearest military post, and will be released upon taking the oath of allegiance and giving bonds for their future good conduct. They will be required to reside in such portion of Missouri or other State as the Provost-Marshal who releases them shall direct. All who shall fail to comply with these conditions, and shall remain within our lines without renewing their allegiance, will be treated as criminals, according to the laws of war. Those who shall engage in robbery, murder, or other similar crimes, will be exterminated without mercy. Humanity demands of every citizen active and earnest cooperation with the military authorities in putting down these common enemies of mankind. The Commanding General demands of every citizen the full discharge of his duty in this regard. Those who neglect it will be held responsible, in their persons and property, for the damage that may result from their neglect, and will be punished at the discretion of a military commission. If milder means shall fail, the Commanding General will order the destruction or seizure of all houses, barns, provisions, and other property belonging to disloyal persons in those portions of the State which are made the haunts of guerrillas. To enable them to protect themselves from violence, and to aid the troops when necessary, all loyal and peaceable citizens in. Missouri will be permitted to bear arms. As far as practicable, arms which have heretofore been taken from such citizens will be returned to them.
By command of Maj.-Gen. Schofield.