Today in History:

35 Series I Volume XLI-III Serial 85 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part III


and large, and it is impossible for small squads of men to scout, as the bushwhackers in every instance, nearly, outnumber them, and they are better mounted and better armed. In the first part of August the troops here, in conjunction with a company stationed at Columbia and a small squad of Illinois men, had a fight with bushwhackers in Boone County, under command of one Todd, killing and wounding several of the latter. About the middle of August a squad of from twenty to forty were in the eastern part of this county, and on the 20th entered Portland, robbed stores, and make the citizens pay a tax of $25 a head. They went to the place of Mr. Martin, on Nine-Mile Prairie, and robbed him of $5,000. They collected over $10,000 in this manner, besides several fine horses. A squad of soldiers sent out from here fell in with these scoundrels the next day and killed one of them. The bushwhackers are concentrating in Boone County. There is a rendezvous in Prussia Bottom, above Providence, in Boone County, where there are from 300 to 500 men, who lately crossed the Missouri River. They are not mounted, but are procuring horses very fast, and are splendidly armed. They are recruiting with great success. It is beyond a doubt that most of the drafted men in this and Boone County will join them, as it is openly avowed by many. An outbreak is feared here every moment, and Union men are fleeing from their homes. David Cunningham, a citizen of Boone County, a preacher, is recruiting bushwhackers. He is said to have eighty men. This man is one of the wealthiest citizens of Boone County, and holds a large real estate, as also others who are now in the rebel service, but it is impossible at present to proceed according to General Orders, Numbers 5, headquarters Department of the Missouri, office of the provost-marshal-general, March 25, 1864, section 10, as the forces here are outnumbered by bushwhackers, and therefore I am obliged to postpone this until a more favorable time. There can be nothing done with the troops here, as only a few men of Company L, Ninth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, are mounted. The Enrolled Militia is apparently dissolved, as many of them have joined the twelvemonths' troops and the rect went home. It is a sad fact that the men of Company L, Ninth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, are dreaded even by loyal men nearly as much as bushwhackers, as their officers seem to exercise but little control over them. They have a very loose discipline on scouts as well as in camp, as the empty hen horses and watermelon patches, &c., can testify. Complaints are coming in nearly every day of depredations committed by these men, but I am at a loss how to detect the transgressors and bring them to justice, as I have never met with the desired aid and co-operation from the hands of Captain T. L. Campbell, commanding post here, and the men knowing this pay very little respect to the property of private citizens, who are insulted and annoyed by such vandalism. I have not yet received my stationery, although the requisitions have been forwarded through you a month ago, and I have been obliged to buy paper, pens, and ink for the use of the office for the last month. I have the honor to send two accounts for the purchase of a desk and two chairs which I was authorized to buy by the auditor of the officer of the provost-marshal-general, and would respectfully request to forward them for payment to that office with your indorsement.

I have the honor to be, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Provost-Marshal.