for it without, but not with; those for it with or without, but prefer it with; and those for it with or without, but prefer it without. Among these again is a subdivision of those who are for gradual, but not for immediate, and those who are for immediate, but not for gradual, extinction of slavery. It is easy to conceive that all these shades of opinion, and even more, may be sincerely entertained by honest and truthful men; yet all being for the Union, by reason of these differences each will prefer a different way of sustaining the Union. At once sincerity is questioned and motives are assailed; actual war coming, blood grows hot and blood is spilled. Thought is forced from old channels into confusion; deception breeds and thrives; confidence dies, and universal suspicion reigns. Each man feels an impulse to kill his neighbor, lest he be first killed by him. Revenge and retaliation follow, and all this, as before said, may be among honest men only. But this is not all. Every foul bird comes abroad, and every dirty reptile rises up. These add crime to confusion. Strong measures deemed indispensable, but harsh at best, such men make worse by maladministration. Murders for old grudges and murders for pelf proceed under any cloak that will best cover for the occasion. These causes amply account for what has occurred in Missouri, without ascribing it to the weakness or wickedness of any general. The newspaper files—those chronicles of current events—will show that the evils now complained of were quite as prevalent under Fremont, Hunter, Halleck, and Curtis as under Schofield. If the former had greater force opposed to them, they had also greater forces with which to meet it. When the organized rebel army left the State, the main Federal force had to go also, leaving the department commander at home relatively no stronger than before. Without disparaging any, I affirm with confidence that no commander of that department has, in proportion to his means, done better than General Schofield. The first specific charge against General Schofield is that the enrolled militia was placed under his command, when it had not been placed under the command of General Curtis. That, I believe, is true; but you do not point out, nor can I conceive, how that did or could injure loyal men or the Union cause.
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