August 25, 1863,
Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr. to Major General John M. Schofield; General Order No. 11
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE BORDER,
Kansas City, Mo., August 25, 1863.
Maj. Gen. JOHN M. SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis, Mo.:
SIR: I got in late yesterday afternoon. I send in inclosed paper General Orders, No. 11, which I found it necessary to issue at once, or I would have first consulted you. The excitement in Kansas is great, and there is (or was before this order) great danger of a raid of citizens for the purpose of destroying the towns along the border. My political enemies are fanning the flames, and wish me for a burnt-offering to satisfy the just passion of the people.
If you think it best, please consider me as applying for a court of inquiry. It should be appointed by the General-in-Chief, or the Secretary of War. General Deitzler, of Lawrence, is the only officer of rank I think in Kansas who would be regarded as perfectly impartial. He is at Lawrence now on sick furlough, but is well enough for such duty, and knows the district.
I do not make unconditional application for the court, because I have seen no censure of any one act of mine, or omission even, except my absence from headquarters. It is all mere mob clamor, and all at Leavenworth. Besides, I do not, with my want of familiarity with the custom of the service in such matters and with the horrors of the massacre distressing me, feel confidence in my judgment as to the matter. I therefore ask your friendly advice and action, with the statement that if a full clearance of me, by the court, is worth anything to you, or me, or the service, I would like to have the court.
I left my headquarters to go to Leavenworth the day before the massacre, on public business. I have never taken an hour of ease or rest with anything undone which I thought necessary for the protection of the border. No man, woman, or child ever suggested the idea of stationing troops permanently at Lawrence. The whole border has been patrolled night and day for 90 miles, and all the troops under my command posted and employed as well as I know how to do it. I have not the slightest doubt that any fair court would not only acquit me of all suspicion of negligence, but also give me credit for great precaution and some skill in my adjustment of troops. I assure you, general, I would quit the service at once if I were accused, after candid investigation, of the slightest negligence or of a want of average skill in the command of the forces you have given me.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS EWING, JR.,
GENERAL ORDERS,No. 11.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF THE BORDER,
Kansas City, Mo., August 25, 1863.
I. All persons living in Jackson, Cuss, and Bates Counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon included in this district, except those living within 1 mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman Mills, Pleasant Hill, and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big Blue, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof. Those who, within that time, establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer of the military station nearest their present places of residence will receive from him certificates stating the fact of their loyalty, and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificates will be permitted to remove to any military station in this district, or to any part of the State of Kansas, except the counties on the eastern border of the State. All others shall remove out of this district. Officers commanding companies and detachments serving in the counties named will see that this paragraph is promptly obeyed.
II. All grain and hay in the field or under shelter in the district from which the inhabitants are required to remove within reach of military stations after the 9th day of September next will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officers there, and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names of all loyal owners and the amount of such produce taken from them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th day of September next not convenient to such stations will be destroyed.
III. The provisions of General Orders, No. 10, from these headquarters will be at once vigorously executed by officers commanding in the parts of the district and at the stations not subject to the operation of Paragraph I of this order, and especially in the towns of Independence, Westport, and Kansas City.
IV. Paragraph III, General Orders, No. 10, is revoked as to all who have borne arms against the Government in this district since the 21st day of August, 1863.
By order of Brigadier-General Ewing:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
visits since 02/04/2004
page revised 05/25/2006