Today in History:

87 Series I Volume XLI-II Serial 84 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part II


uncontrolled commotion, giving license to every outrage that the total depravity of human nature is heir to. That element who reasoned upon the cause and effect, that element not imbued with lurking treason, that element in whom law finds votaries, aided by coming events, commenced raising its powerful head as a guiding star to the future destiny of the great State of Missouri. With compromising spirit these good men resorted to conciliation, pleading in vain for a return of fraternal feeling and a sense of duty. But supplications were hurled back with mockery and scorn, and the degenerate and wildly deluded masses, by continued oppressions, insults, and robberies, and vaunting treason, led by men of high political distinction, but desperate fortunes, soon contributed to the seething caldron; that element alone needed to cause its sickening vapors to fill the atmosphere and render dark the future of our country. A resort to arms, the formation of irregular troops, called home guards, on the part of the Union, and similar organizations on the part of the rebels (with the exception that the rebels, by the heresy of their acts, abrogated all law and order, and were governed only by the might of strength and passion), which involved every man and woman in the State (for the females used their magic influence to degenerate man). The subsequent military operation, although in the end successful, fluctuated in defeat and success, alternately placing in power the rebel element. Surely following the occupation of the country by each conflicting power, came the excesses incident to war, engendered by an intense hate, heightened by personally wrongs inflicted, the recrimination, not restrained by power, surely following.

The advent of Federal forces in Missouri was hailed with delight, and thousands of the home guard flocked to the standard of the Union. Yet operations in other fields, more important for the destinies of the Union cause, made it impossible to give bleeding Missouri the aid the magnitude of her suffering required. Hence, with what Federal force then in Missouri the provisional government (acting in a spirit of sympathy for our national cause and as an act of safety for itself), organized a force styled Enrolled Missouri State Militia, numbering seventy-five to eighty regiments of men, and Missouri State Militia in actual service, 10,000 men (subsequently, in addition to the volunteer contingent, the State has furnished thirty-four regiments of infantry and twelve regiments of cavalry). The militia organizations rendered valuable aid at the times of the greatest need; but owing to the fact of its organization being of a character not requiring its presence in the field constantly, rendered it impossible to give it that discipline necessary for its complete government, hence outrages similar to those committed by the rebels themselves were of frequent occurrence, and with it came retaliation of course.

With all the restraining influences brought to bear by discipline and military power upon the advent of Federal troops in Missouri, it was not sufficient to prevent the infliction of a series of outrages by its troops against alike the loyal and disloyal portions of the State. This event aggravated the diseased stated of affairs.

After the expulsion of the rebel army from Missouri the work for the constituted Federal military authorities in Missouri was herculean, not that the continued interruptions and raids into the State was a thing of such magnitude, but the reorganization of the discordant elements composing the body politic of the country at large constituted the herculean task.

To bring the elements into a subjection necessary to the enjoyment of civil rights, to restore to the people the protection of their homes and