September 11, 1863, The Missouri Democrat,
”The Draft in
Saint Louis

For a day or two past the work of making soldiers nolens volens has been going on quite briskly. Many of our citizens who two days ago scarcely dreamed of war, except as they read the dispatches in the morning papers over their hot coffee and cakes, have suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, found themselves metamorphosed into warriors. How or for what purpose the change has been accomplished many are utterly unable to divine. No public order was issued, no announcement of a cause for this singular proceeding made. Orders were privately issued by the general commanding the militia of the district to his subordinates to assemble their commands forthwith, that a detail might be made for immediate service, and upon the regiments being assembled the work of detailing began. We have heard no particular complaint on account of the mode of selection. The great inquiry has been what the movement means. About this there is a mystery which those in authority have not seen fit to clear up. The general impression is that the calling out of the militia at this time, and the detailing of two or three provisional regiments for duty, has some connection with the threatened movement of Jim Lane on the border; in other words, that our conservative military chieftains had got a big panic on them, lest the great Kansian and his followers, if permitted to come over the border, might, in cleaning out rebels, not be disposed to make nice distinctions, and clean them (the conservatives) out too. It might, therefore, be considered policy for these parties to surround themselves with radical bodyguards, as the masses of the militia are pretty much all radicals, for the purpose of meeting "the invasion." Be this as it may, the Kansas question is generally supposed to have some connection with the draft, and is in consequence freely discussed. We have heard of but one conclusion among the privates, which is, that if there is to be a fight with Jim Lane, and they have to be in it, they will be on Lane's side. Such is the expression of more than nine tenths of the "conscripts." To any casual observer it is apparent that the most popular man in this corner of the Department of Missouri at the present time is Lane, as the most unpopular is Schofield. As the absurdity of opposing any such element as this draft has collected in any way to Lane and his rebel-killers is so apparent, this movement has been met with better temper than might, perhaps, have been anticipated. Our authorities, however, have committed a great mistake in preserving any mystery about the matter.


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