August 29, 1863,
Major-General J. M. Schofield to Governor Thomas Carney
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI.
Saint Louis, August 29, 1863.
His Excellency THOMAS CARNEY,
Governor of Kansas:
GOVERNOR: I have forwarded a copy of your letter of the 24th to the War Department, and requested the President to appoint a court of inquiry, with full powers to investigate all matters touching military affairs in Kansas, and have urged it strongly. I have no doubt the court will be appointed, and that the responsibility of the sad calamity which has befallen Lawrence will be placed where it properly belongs. Be assured that nothing in my power shall be omitted to visit just vengeance upon all who are in any way guilty of the horrible crime, and to secure Kansas against anything of the kind in future. Meanwhile let me urge upon you the importance of mollifying the just anger of your people, or rather of reconciling them to the necessity and propriety of leaving it to the United States troops to execute the vengeance which they so justly demand. It needs no argument to convince you of the necessity of this course; without it there would be no end of retaliation on either side, and utter desolation on both sides of the border would be the result.
Anything you may require in the way of arms for your militia and complete outfit for your new regiment of volunteers shall be furnished at once. Immediately upon the receipt of your letter I ordered three thousand stand of arms to be shipped to you at once, and to-day have ordered some horses for the Fifteenth Regiment. The arms are not of the best class, but are the very best I have, and are perfectly serviceable.
Permit me to suggest that your militia should be thoroughly organized throughout the State, and that every town should have arms in store, under a small guard, sufficient to arm the militia of the town. The arms can be easily supplied by the General Government, Without such organization, no town in Missouri or Kansas near the border is safe unless it be occupied by United States troops, and to occupy them all you will perceive is utterly impossible with the force under my command. To entirely prevent the assemblage of such bands of desperate outlaws as that under Quantrill, in the summer season, is simply impossible without five times my present force. In a State like Kansas, where everybody is loyal, such a state of things could not exist; but when half or more of the people are disloyal, of all shades, as in Western Missouri, and consequently cannot be permitted to carry arms, whether willingly or unwillingly, they are the servants of these brigands and are entirely at their mercy. If they resist their demands or inform upon them, it is at the peril of their lives. I do not wish to extenuate in any degree the crimes of those who are responsible for these inhuman acts; they shall suffer the fullest penalty; but I simply state what at a moment's reflection will convince you are facts, to show the necessity for full preparation on your part to assist me in preventing the recurrence of any calamity like that which befell Lawrence.
I am informed that a meeting was held in Leavenworth a few days ago, in which it was resolved that the people should meet at Paola, on the 8th of September, for the purpose of entering Missouri, to recover their stolen property. If this was the only result of such expedition, or if their vengeance could be limited to those who are actually guilty, there would be no objection to it; but it is a simple matter of course that the action of such an irresponsible organization of enraged citizens would be indiscriminate retaliation upon innocent and guilty alike. You cannot expect me to permit anything of this sort; my present duty requires me to prevent it at all hazards and by all the means in my power. But I hope a few days of reflection will show the popular leaders in Kansas the finally and wickedness of such retaliation, and cause them to be abandoned. I shall confidently rely upon your powerful influence to prevent any such action on the part of the people of Kansas as will force me into the painful position of having to oppose them in any degree, particularly by force.
Be assured, Governor, of my earnest desire to do all in my power to promote the peace and security of Kansas. I shall be glad at all times to know your views and wishes touching your State.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. SCHOFIELD,
visits since 02/04/2004
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