Doc. 93.-Gen. Hurlburt's proclamation. July 15, 1861.
To the Citizens of Northeast Missouri:--False and designing men, seeking the overthrow of a Government which they have known by its benefits and comforts, have so misled the minds of many of you, that armed opposition to the Constitution and the laws has, in many parts of your country, become the fashion of the times. It becomes my duty, as commanding a portion of the Government troops now in service in your section, to warn you that the time for toleration of treason has passed, and the man, or body of men, who venture to stand in defiance of the supreme authority of the Union, peril their lives in the attempt. It is a question now of free government under the Constitution your fathers made, or of no government. You must make your choice to obey, maintain, and support the Union which has given you every element of prosperity you have, or to deliver yourselves by your own folly into the hands of an irresponsible mob, excited by passion, crazy with prejudice, unable and unwilling to protect your lives, your property, or your reputation. If you choose on your own free will to put yourselves into this position, if you will deliberately call down upon yourselves and your neighbors the curse of war, if you will compel the Executive power of the nation to put in motion among you the terrible machinery of the military service, remember when the blow comes that you have compelled it to descend upon you. Without your wrongful acts this would not be. Your peaceful and prospective pursuits would go on as usual, and your country would be free from armed occupation, as it was when you were loyal to the nation, as it is now wherever the idea of secession has not cursed the country. There is one simple and easy remedy for this state of things, and that remedy is in your hands; it is a return to the old habits of trust, confidence, and affection for the Union, to the old peaceful times when every man was protected by the law, and loved the law for the blessings it conferred. Thus much of warning and advice to those who have been swept along with this tide of evil influence. The character of the resistance  which has been made is in strict conformity with the source from which it originates. Cowardly assassins watch for opportunities of murder, and become heroes among their associated bands by slaughtering by stealth those whom openly they dare not meet. This system, unknown to civilized warfare, is the natural fruit that treason bears. The process of criminal courts administered in disaffected neighborhoods, will not cure this system of assassination, but the stern and imperative demand of military necessity, and the duty of self-protection, will furnish a sharp, decisive, and rapid remedy in the summary justice of a court-martial. Men who have forsworn themselves by treason will be ready to commit perjury again as the means of escape from merited captivity; and when the mistaken lenity of officers permits them to go free upon their renewed oath, they openly boast that they never meant to keep it, and thus truth and honor are merely by-words where the sentiment of loyalty has failed. But I am slow to believe that this old sentiment of patriotism has utterly died out. I believe that there are yet many who reverence and love the Union, and stand by the old flag that has never known dishonor. To all such I am authorized to say that the United States will extend to every one full and complete protection and support; but they, as lovers of the Union, must express by words and by acts, that love and regard. They must organize themselves, and take their part and share in reconstructing the frame of society. They must make their sympathy known by their actions, if they seek to be of use in these times of trial. No peaceable citizen who remains in the discharge of his ordinary duties shall be molested by troops under my command with impunity, but so far as the power vested in me is concerned, he shall be fully protected. Those, on the contrary, who neglect their private offices to do mischief to the common country, to instigate sedition, and to promote rebellion, must take the consequences which their acts draw upon them; for, as treason is the highest of crimes — as it involves every other crime — as it is in this country not only a crime against the Government, but against civilization and the hope of the world — it needs, and must have, peremptory and effective chastisement, that will follow as inevitably as fate. I therefore call upon all citizens of Northeastern Missouri to devote themselves to their ordinary business pursuits; to all irregular and unlawful assemblies to lay down arms, if taken up against the Government, and to be fully assured that the United States, though preferring a quiet and uniform obedience to the laws, is yet ready and abundantly able to enforce compliance, and to inflict, if it be necessary, the extreme penalty on all active and known traitors.
Stephen A. Hurlburt, Brig.-Gen. U. S. Volunteers.