May 8, 1864, Paola,
Brigadier General Thos. J. McKean to Major General S. R. Curtis (with “indorsement” by Curtis, referred to Rosecrans)
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS,
Paola, Kans., May 8, 1864.
Maj. Gen. S. R. CURTIS,
Comdg. Department of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth:
GENERAL: I propose to have several companies of militia to guard the towns for a short time and take eight or ten companies of our troops from the eastern border for an expedition against guerrilla bands across the Missouri line, and capture or break them up before they can ascertain our weak points and make raids. But in order to do this we must have authority to go into that State and the cooperation of the troops there. If they are not strong enough to co-operate, we should at least know their position and strength. If you think favorably I will communicate further. All plans should be kept secret, and the first thing to be done would be to have a full understanding about the line. The next, a conference with the district commander east of me. The action in regard to the militia should not be published. I am confident the guerrillas are getting ready to concentrate, and that Quantrill is now east of us, and if we can strike first, all danger maybe averted for the season.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. J. McKEAN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, May 11, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Rosecrans.
It seems to me there should be a sudden and powerful effort to ferret out Quantrill's recruiting, cowardly assassins that occupy the Sni Hills east of General McKean. For this purpose hearty cooperation and a united movement is desirable. If General Brown is not cordial and constantly active, for God's sake change him for Fisk or some other man. Quantrill has repeatedly recruited a force and sallied forth from the very region he now occupies, and this State or Kansas has been the victim. My troops have heard of Quantrill's successful march through the western tier of Missouri counties up to the vicinity of General Brown's headquarters. They are restive and the people on this side of the line are more so. Rebels in Missouri try to prevent united action on a pretense of Kansas men being all jayhawkers. This is all bosh. Our troops are Union men and generally the same everywhere--true to loyal men, but death to traitors.
Your early reply is requested.
S. R. CURTIS,
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