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While Ewing's fight was going on. Shelby advanced to Potosi, and thence to Big river bridge, threatening Gen. Smith's advance; which withdrew from that point to within safer supporting distance of his main position at De Soto. Previous to and pending these events, the guerrilla warfare in north Missouri had been waging with redoubled fury. Rebel agents, amnesty-oath-takers, recruits, “sympathizers,” O A. K. s, and traitors of every hue and stripe, had warmed into life at the approach of the great invasion. Women's fingers were busy making clothes for Rebel soldiers out of goods plundered by the guerrillas; women's tongues were busy telling Union neighbors “ their time was now coming.” Gen. Fisk, with all his force, had been scouring the bush for weeks in the river counties, in pursuit of hostile bands, composed largely of recruits from among that class of inhabitants who claim protection, yet decline to perform the full duties of citizens, on the ground that they “never tuck no sides.” A few facts will convey some idea of this warfare, carried on by Confederate agents here, while the agents abroad of their bloody and hypocritical despotism — Mason, Slidell, and Mann, in Europe — have the effrontery to tell the nations of Christendom that our government “carries on the war with increasing ferocity, regardless of the laws of civilized warfare.” These gangs of Rebels, whose families had been living in peace among their loyal neighbors, committed the most cold blooded and diabolical murders, such as riding up to a farm-house, asking for water, and, while receiving it, shooting down the giver — an aged, inoffensive farmer-because he was a radical “ Union man.” In the single sub-district of Mexico, the commanding officer furnished a list of near one hundred Union men who, in the course of six weeks, had been killed, maimed, or “run off,” became they were “radical Union men,” or Abolitionists. About the 1st of September, Anderson's gang attacked a railroad train on the North Missouri road, took from it 22 unarmed soldiers, many on sick leave, and, after robbing, placed them in a row and shot them in cold blood; some of the bodies they scalped. and put others across the track and run the engine over them. On the 27th, this gang, with numbers swollen to 300 or 400 men, attacked Major Johnson, with about 120 of the 39th Missouri volunteer infantry, raw recruits, and, after stampeding their horses, shot every man, most of them in cold blood. Anderson, a few days later, was recognized by Gen. Price, at Booneville. as a Confederate captain, and, with a verbal admonition to behave himself, ordered by Colonel Maclane, chief of Price's staff, to proceed to north Missouri and destroy the railroads; which orders were found on the miscreant when killed by Lt.-Col. Cox, about the 27th of October.
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