November 19, 1862,
Major General Saml. R. Curtis to Colonel J.C. Kelton
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., November 19, 1862.
Col. J.C.. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
The Governor and other civil authorities of Kansas have sent a delegation to me presenting the imminent danger of the frontier between Missouri and Kansas from Quantrill and other rebel bands who are being driven from Missouri by our troops. Quantrill had already burned a small town (Pottawatomie), and universal alarm began to scatter the people of the border. I was urged and induced very reluctantly to act without the delay incident to a proper presentation and instruction from headquarters, and I therefore report my action, with accompanying documents.
I directed the Twelfth Kansas Infantry to remain on the border instead of going forward as ordered, and authorized rejected Prussian guns now at Leavenworth to be loaned temporarily to the Governor, in case he deemed it necessary to call out 1,000 or 1,500 mounted men. I also stated that unless otherwise ordered this militia force would be placed on the same footing as the Missouri Militia, that is, when in actual service. Unable to get rations from the secessionists, they may receive rations from the commissary department. I urged the Governor not to call out any force unless insurrection or invasion was clearly to be apprehended. The Indian refugees from below have given some trouble because of their extreme suffering, and the former Governor and recently elected Governor apprehended danger from them if not held in check by more home force. The condemned Prussian arms thus loaned are to be returned at any moment, if needed for our regular volunteers or in case my conduct is disapproved at headquarters. I have been trying to get an Iowa regiment from Council Bluffs, but it lacks a few men of being full, and the Governor refuses to send them till they are full and equipped. I have explained to the Governor of Kansas my intention to stop the Iowa regiment and try to draw other troops to that position as fast as my command will allow, and expressed my earnest hope that occasion would not require him to call out any of the Kansas Militia.
All the new regiments raised in Kansas, except the Twelfth, are with General Blunt, near Fayetteville, Ark. This Twelfth seems to be doing all it can, but it does not seem sufficient for the emergency.
I do not apprehend any serious expense or trouble to grow out of this, but respectfully present the matter for the general's consideration and approval or disapproval.
Hoping my conduct will be satisfactory and salutary, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
SAML. R. CURTIS,
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