156 1/2.-military situation in Missouri.
Under date of Mexico
,) Aug. 8, Brig.-Gen. Pope
writes a letter to Mr. Isaac
, of St. Louis
, explaining some points in his recent proclamation, which we have already published.
After a vivid picture of the disordered condition in which he found affairs upon taking command of his Department, Gen. Pope
My first object was to restore peace and safety, so that the forces under my command could be removed from the vicinity of the settlements, and to do this with the least bloodshed, the least distress to quiet persons, and the least exasperation of feeling amongst the people.
Two courses were open to me to effect this desirable result.
The first was to put in motion in all parts of this region small bodies of troops, to hunt out the parties in arms against the peace, and follow them to their homes or places of retreat, wherever they may be. This course would have led to frequent and bloody encounters, to searching of houses, and arrests in many cases of innocent persons, and would have only resulted in spreading the apprehension of distress over districts hitherto quiet.
I was, and am satisfied, that the people of the counties in North Missouri
are abundantly able to keep peace among themselves, and this is all I ask or exact from them.
It is certainly their interests that they should do so.
To spare effusion of blood, destruction of life or property, and harassing and ofttimes indiscriminating outrage upon the people, I have determined to present, if possible, some common inducements to preserve the peace in their own midst.
That common bond was their property always in my power, though the owner was beyond my reach.
I believed, as I do now, that as soon as it was felt that, only by preserving peace and quiet among themselves, and not molesting public or private property, there would immediately result security of person and property, and the power to pursue unmolested their several avocations,--Union men and Secessionists would alike engage in putting a stop to lawless and predatory bands, and that the persons themselves who had joined these armed marauders, would soon cease their forays and abandon their organizations when they discovered that they had no sympathizers at home, and that every act they committed hostile to the peace of the country was a direct blow not only at their own property and safety, but also at that of their own friends and relatives.
Certainly loss of property is not to be weighed for a moment with loss of life, or personal liberty, and as I believe firmly that the policy I have adopted will bring peace and quiet to North Missouri
, with the least destruction of human life, I intend to enforce it promptly and vigorously in all cases.
Security of property, and the absence of the military, depend simply upon the people of North Missouri
keeping the peace among themselve, as in times past, and if they fail to do so, they will be less wise than most of their species.
I have not the slightest disposition to play the tyrant to any man on earth.
I only ask the people of North Missouri
to keep the peace and respect the rights of others in their own midst, and this I mean to exact from them if I have the power.
If they will only do this, as they have done in times past, and can easily do now, they will neither see me nor my command.
I sincerely hope that these views may be satisfactory to you, and remain, very truly,, yours, &c.,