August 24, 1863, Leavenworth, Kansas
Governor Thomas Carney to Major-General Schofield

LEAVENWORTH, KANS., August 24, 1863.

 Major-General SCHOFIELD,  Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: Disaster has again fallen on our State. Lawrence is in ashes. Millions of property have been destroyed, and, worse yet, nearly 200 lives of our best citizens have been sacrificed. No fiends in human shape could have acted with more savage barbarity than did Quantrill and his band in their last successful raid. I must hold Missouri responsible for this fearful, fiendish raid. No body of men large as that commanded by Quantrill could have been gathered together without the people residing in Western Missouri knowing everything about it. Such people cannot be considered loyal, and should not be treated as loyal citizens; for, while they conceal the movements of desperadoes like Quantrill and his followers, they are in the worst sense of the word their aiders and abettors, and should be held equally guilty. There is no way of reaching these armed ruffians while the civilian is permitted to cloak him. There can be no peace in Missouri--there will be utter desolation in Kansas--unless both are made to feel promptly the rigor of military law. The peace of both States and the safety of the Republic demand alike this resolute course of action. I urge upon you, therefore, the adoption of this policy as the only policy which can save both Western Missouri and Kansas, for if this policy be not immediately adopted, the people themselves, acting upon the common principle of self-defense, will take the matter in their own hands and avenge their own wrongs. You will not misunderstand me. I do not use, or intend to use, any threats. I tell you only what our people, to a man almost, feel. The excitement over the success of Quantrill is intense---intense all over the State---and I do not see how I can hesitate to demand, or how you can refuse to grant, a court of inquiry by which the cause of that fatal success may be fully investigated and all the facts laid before the public. I go even further: I demand that this court of inquiry shall have power to investigate all matters touching military wrongdoing in Kansas; and I do this most earnestly to guarantee alike our present and future safety.

As regards arms, we are destitute. There are none at the fort and none in the State. I telegraphed the Secretary of War this fact, asking him to turn over to me here arms in sufficient quantity to meet our wants. He ordered it done, and replied further, that anything the Government could do to aid Kansas should be done. This being so, will  you not express to me arms for cavalry and infantry sufficient to arm the regiments? I inclose the copy of the dispatch of the Secretary of War to me, that you may see its purport and understand its spirit.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




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