Today in History:

693 Series I Volume III- Serial 3 - Wilson's Creek


Camp Hunter, September 2, 1861.

To all whom it may concern:

Whereas Major General John C. Fremont, commanding the minions of Abraham Lincoln in the State of Missouri, has seen fit to declare martial law throughout the whole State, and has threatened to shoot any citizen colder found in arms within certain limits; also to confiscate the property and fire the negroes belonging to the members of the Missouri State Guard:

Therefore know ye that I, M. Jeff. Thompson, brigadier-general of the First Military District of Missouri, having not only the military authority of brigadier-general, but certain police powers, granted by Acting Gov. Thomas C. Reynolds, and confirmed afterwards by Governor Jackson, do most solemnly promise that for every member of the Missouri State Guard, or soldier of our allies, the armies of the Confederate States, who shall be put to death in pursuance of this said order of General Fremont, I will "hag, draw, and quarter" a minion of said Abraham Lincoln.

While I am anxious that this unfortunate was shall be conducted, if possible, upon the most liberal principles of civilized warfare, and every order that I have issued has been with that object, yet, if this rule is to be bandoned (it must first be done by our enemies), I intend to exceed General Fremont in his excesses, and will make all tories that come within my reach rue the day that a different policy was adopted by their leader.

Already mills, barns, warehouses, and other private property has been wastefully destroyed by the enemy in this district, while we have taken nothing except articles strictly contraband or absolutely necessary. Should these things be repeated, I will retaliate tenfold, so help me God!



Pitman's Ferry, September 3, 1861.

Major General LEONIDAS POLK,

Commanding Department Numbers 2, Memphis, Tenn.:

GENERAL: I received yesterday your letter of the 30th ultimo.* I am much pleased that my views in falling back have finally met your approval. Before your letter was received I informed General Pillow that I could not advance; that I had neither provisions nor transportation, but if both had been at command I could not, against my better judgment, have entered into the arrangement proposed. I hope before this that General Pillow has returned to New Madrid. In all the views expressed by you concerning my movement sand operations, you fail, I think, to consider the orders under which I am acting. The Secretary of War, in assigning me to command in Arkansas, directed in Missouri contiguous thereto. I beg to call your attention to these instructions, for, with every disposition to co-operate with you, I must not lose sight of my instructions or my duty to Arkansas.

I mentioned in a former communication that I did not believe the enemy would attempt to invade Arkansas from this direction, and gave


*Not found.