August 28, 1863,
Major-General J. M. Schofield to Col. E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant-General
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, August 28, 1863.
Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C :
COLONEL: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for the consideration of the General-in-Chief, a copy of a communication from His Excellency the Governor of Kansas, relative to the burning of the town of Lawrence and the massacre of its citizens, and demanding a "court of inquiry, with power to investigate all matters touching military wrongdoing in Kansas." General Ewing also requests a court of inquiry to investigate his conduct and management of his district since his assignment to that command, and especially with reference to his responsibility for the terrible disaster at Lawrence. I am not yet able to give an accurate report of that affair, nor to judge very accurately how much blame, if any, should attach to General Ewing. So far as I am able to judge at this time, I see no reason for attaching censure to General Ewing, but the feeling on the subject among the people of Kansas seems to be very intense. I believe justice to those people, to General Ewing, to myself, and to the Government demands a full and public investigation of the whole matter, so that the responsibility may fall where it properly belongs, and the public mind be relieved of any misapprehension that may exist.
As suggested, the investigation ought not to stop with General Ewing's administration, but should extend to all military wrong-doing in Kansas during the war, or at least during the last year. I might, upon the request of General Ewing, appoint a court of inquiry, but I have no officers available of proper rank and qualifications. I deem it important that the court be composed of officers of high rank, and not connected with this department. I therefore respectfully request the appointment of a court of inquiry, with full powers to investigate all matters touching the military administration of General Ewing and of his predecessor in command in Kansas. If it be deemed desirable for any reason to extend the investigation to other portions of this department while under my command, I would be glad to have it so extended.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
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