May 2, 1864, Liberty,
Colonel James H. Moss to Brigadier General Fisk
HEADQUARTERS, Liberty, Mo., May 2, 1864.
Commanding District of North Missouri:
Inclosed you will find a telegram from General Rosecrans, in regard to rebel operations in prospect. I presume you are in full possession of whatever information General Rosecrans may have in relation to this matter. So far as my sub-district is concerned, we as yet have no signs of trouble. Our anxiety and apprehension for the future rest almost entirely upon the movements of the rebels on the south side of the river. If Quantrill or Shelby should come up with a considerable force, and reach the river in Jackson or La Fayette, we will doubtless have raids into Clay and Ray and perhaps Clinton and Platte, by detachments from the main body of rebel troops.
These detachments will find in each of these counties a few men of lawless character ready to join them, and perhaps who are already in concert with them. The movements of such men are very secret and very rapid, and if you have information, through General Rosecrans or from any other source, of the advance of any considerable rebel force heading toward Lexington, Kansas City, or the State of Kansas (which latter is the most probable of the three), you had better increase your force by sending another company to this county to be stationed at Missouri City, and a company in Ray County to be stationed at or near a place called Albany. These are the important points, and if occupied by efficient troops will, in my opinion, give security to the four counties of Ray, Clay, Clinton, and Platte.
In regard to the uprising of bands of guerrillas among the citizens in the counties above named, you need not have any apprehension. The great mass of the people will be active in their efforts to crush out any movements of this character on the part of the few lawless characters who might be disposed to inaugurate them in their midst, but the people have no control over the outlawed bands, composed of stragglers from the commands of Quantrill and Shelby, and when they come in they gather up all the lawless element in the country and add it to their forces. There is one other feature in the border troubles with which you should be familiar. We never have rebel bushwhackers and thieves infesting the border counties in Missouri, without having their allies and confederates from Kansas, in the shape of Red Legs, &c.
In other words, these plunderers are all in partnership, and by a joint-stock operation they successfully robbed and desolated some four or five counties south of the river, and would like very much to do the same thing on the north side. This letter will be handed you by Lieutenant Rhea, of Captain Younger's company, now on duty. The condition of the company is not as good as I would desire, from the fact that a number of good and efficient men have paid out within the last few days, &c.. all of which will be more fully explained to you by Lieutenant Rhea, whom you will find to be a man of good sense, and with whom you can talk freely about matters appertaining to this sub-district.
JAMES H. MOSS,
visits since 02/04/2004
page revised 05/25/2006