Today in History:

11 Series I Volume XIII- Serial 19 - Missouri - Arkansas Campaign


enrollment. On the other hand, the loyal men throughout those portions of the State which had suffered from rebel outrages rallied at the first call with an eagerness which showed how deeply they had suffered and how highly they prized the opportunity of ridding themselves once and forever of the great evil under which they had so long lived.

In the city of Saint Louis and other portions of the State not subject to guerrilla outrages the case was different. The President's order for a general draft of militia had not yet been issued but was expected, and this was regarded as a step toward preparation for it. Thousands fled from the State to avoid the enrollment. By the disloyal of all shades it was assumed as part of a general conscription, intended to force them into the ranks to fight against their Southern friends. Many young men, who would otherwise have been glad to remain quietly at home, were induced by these misrepresentations to enter the rebel ranks. Indeed, the question what to do with the disloyal among those subject to military duty was the most difficult one to settle. Their obligation to do the required service was certainly no less, if not far greater, than that of the loyal. It was regarded by the loyal people, and, apparently with justice, a great hardship that rebel sympathizers should be excused from the military duty which was required of those who had been faithful to their allegiance. Whatever may be said of the policy of embodying unfaithful men in a large army, it would manifestly have been ruinous in a scattered force, such as the militia must often be, and where the loyal would often be outnumbered by the traitors.

It was first proposed to exempt them upon payment of a certain fee; but this proved impracticable. A sum which the poor man in the country could pay was ridiculously small when required of the wealthy man in the city. Many reputed loyal men, but more mindful of their comforts than of the salvation of their country,would willingly pay a high fee, which the really loyal poor man could not, and thus throw upon the shoulders of his poor neighbor the burdens, of which the latter was willing to bear his share, but not the whole. Finally it was determined to take the high ground that none but those of approved loyalty should be required or permitted to bear arms in defense of the State. I have had no reason since to doubt the correctness of the principle thus established nor the wisdom of the policy pursued under it.

Another serious question was how to provide the means for arming, subsisting,and clothing this force. A portion of the arms required were supplied from the United States Arsenal, but they were of a kind poorly adapted to the service required of the militia. Subsistence was entirely denied, and clothing was out of the question. The State was entirely without means.

The calamity under which the State was suffering had been brought upon her by the influence of prominent and wealthy persons, thousands of whom were still living in the State, and even in the city of Saint Louis, enjoying the protection of the Government, and many of them growing rich upon their country's calamity. These persons even yet did not hesitate to talk and act treason whenever they could do so with impunity. They even persuaded young men to join the bands of outlaws who were plundering the loyal people and driving them from their homes and furnished them with arms and money. No permanent peace could be expected in the State until these aiders of rebellion should be banished or silenced.

For these reasons, after consultation with the Governor of Missouri,