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[585] base of operations; to fortify and garrison, likewise, Cape Girardeau, Ironton, Rolla, and Jefferson City; using for this purpose hired labor so far as possible, so that his raw recruits, even though unarmed, might be drilled and fitted for service so rapidly as might be; when, on the receipt of sufficient arms, he would take the field at the head of a numerous and effective army, and speedily regain all that should have, meantime, been lost. He now issued the following stringent and stirring general order:

Headquarters of the Western Department, St. Louis, August 31st.
Circumstances, in my judgment, of sufficient urgency, render it necessary that the Commanding General of this department should assume the administrative power of the State. Its disorganized condition, the helplessness of the civil authority, the total insecurity of life, and the devastation of property by bands of murderers and marauders, who infest nearly every county in the State, and avail themselves of the public misfortunes and the vicinity of a hostile force to gratify private and neighborhood vengeance, and who find an enemy wherever they find plunder, finally demand the severest measures to repress the daily increasing crimes and outrages which are driving off the inhabitants and ruining the State. In this condition, the public safety and the success of our arms require unity of purpose, without let or hindrance to the prompt administration of affairs.

In order, therefore, to suppress disorders, to maintain, as far as now practicable, the public peace, and to give security and protection to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do hereby extend and declare established martial law throughout the State of Missouri. The lines of the army of occupation in this State are, for the present, declared to extend from Leaven-worth, by way of the posts of Jefferson City, Rolla, and Ironton, to Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi river. All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands, within these lines, shall be tried by Court-Martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up arms against the United States, or shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men.

All persons who shall be proven to have destroyed, after the publication of this order, railroad tracks, bridges, or telegraphs, shall suffer tile extreme penalty of the law.

All persons engaged in treasonable correspondence, in giving or procuring aid to the enemies of the United States, in disturbing the public tranquillity by creating and circulating false reports or incendiary documents, are in their own interest warned that they are exposing themselves.

All persons who have been led away from their allegiance are required to return to their homes forthwith; any such absence, without sufficient cause, will be held to be presumptive evidence against them.

The object of this declaration is to place in the hands of the military authorities the power to give instantaneous effect to existing laws, and to supply such deficiencies as the conditions of war demand. But it is not intended to suspend the ordinary tribunals of the country, where the law will be administered by the civil officers in the usual manner and with their customary authority, while the same can be peaceably exercised.

The Commanding General will labor vigilantly for the public welfare, and, in his efforts for their safety, hopes to obtain not only the acquiescence, but the active support, of the people of the country.


This order, so far as it declared the slaves of Rebels to be free, was subsequently overruled and annulled by President Lincoln, as will hereafter be seen.

Gen. Price, very naturally, did not see fit to await the fulfillment of Gen. Fremont's programme. Though abandoned by McCulloch, with the bulk of the Confederate army, he moved northward from Springfield about the middle of August, receiving reenforcements continually, and, deflecting to the west as he advanced, pushed back a far inferior force of Unionists under Gen. Lane, after a little brush, at the crossing of a stream known as Dry Wood, and sent a detachment to and occupied Fort Scott, on the edge of Kansas,

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