July 9, 1864,
Geo. S. Park to General Curtis, Confidential
CONFIDENTIAL.] BOTTOM OPPOSITE PARKVILLE,
July 9, 1864.
DEAR SIR: The Union men of Parkville are on this side of the river, but their families are not over. There are many families of Union soldiers now in the army on the Parkville side who are alarmed, and if we take ours away there will be a rush and much suffering among them. Can we have any protection? Soldiers that stay a day or so and leave are worse than none, for then secret vengeance is taken on Union men. I suppose you have ere this an account of the attack. The Union men were most providentially favored. While they rushed to the quarters the Unions escaped through the pickets. Squads galloped through town firing on them in every direction. There were only ten Union boys at the quarters. I had been watching all night, and had just laid down. I gathered my gun and ran toward the quarters, but met the bushwhackers and turned and ran. They fired and called to halt, but they did not offer sufficient inducements. Our nurseryman and his wife were both shot through the breast. I sent word to the secesh doctor that we would hold him responsible for the wounded if they were not well tended, and provided them with nurses. They shot Brink after he surrendered. They swore Platte County belonged to them, and they had it and would return and finish up their work. They went to rob only Union men's houses. Mrs. Drienbon, whose husband is at Fort Smith, and others, were compelled to give up their money. The thirty Paw Paws were stationed four miles out, and the ten or twenty Union lambs without a shepherd here just a bait. Captain Taylor, from Jackson County, commanded. There were some of Quantrill's and Jackson County men, and some eight or ten who were with Paw Paws here last winter. It is reported some crossed from Jackson County yesterday.
Now for some facts touching the Paw Paws: During the attack, bushwhackers collected the secesh by the mill; among them Lieutenant Nash and Captain Ford. Afterward they were seen around with the bushwhackers very friendly. Mrs. Kahm and others saw him. One of the Paw Paws came in and went among them while they were firing. Another was seen showing them where the Union men lived and laughing. Another Paw Paw said they would not fire on Confederate soldiers, and they would not hurt them. Paw Paws and Confederate soldiers understand each other. They are a cloak. They have civil and military power here. Major Clark was heard to say to Captain Ford: "We must do something for a show." If the Paw Paws are to rule, the sooner the Union men leave the country the better for them. Tell Governor Hall if he continues to arm these rebels to massacre our best citizens, "vengeance is mine saith the Lord." While they are marrying and giving in marriage, the cries of their suffering, wounded victims go up to Heaven. The few innocent Union boys in the quarters here were the objects of special hatred to the Paw Paws. But it is useless to say anything more. The weakest here all know the bushwhackers and Paw Paws are all on the same piece, having their different parts to act. The worst guerrillas from the South come here under the protection of the Paw Paws. We gave notice of a meeting under General Rosecrans' order to-day. No Union man can be there. There will probably be a rebel organization. Will you inform General Rosecrans of these facts? He certainly does not know the state of things here. The plot I heretofore informed you of is being now carried out. The rebel camp in the pasture of Doctor Walker and Hughes has never been disturbed. They took breakfast at Walker's and Miller's the morning before they came to Parkville, and then told them to report to Major Clarkwall right. They went back that way. It is estimated that eighty men came into town, and a company of Red Shirts, said by the secesh to be Quantrill's men, were in reserve in the woods. Now, they may be collecting for a raid, but they may, if not ready to collect to sweep the country, scatter among the secesh till they are ready. Nothing can save Platte County but a force from abroad. Please write me if there is any chance to get troops so we can stay. It is useless to be exposed any longer without any chance. We have no faith in present arrangements. Is there any chance of a change? If there is none, we are ruined without hope in the future. Who is responsible for the arming of these rebels! Must the State be taxed to pay them--O, the crime! the crime! Our bleeding friends are terrible witnesses. But I weary you and close. We know not what to do. Our property and our lives most of the time are at their mercy. Quantrill's assassins are scouting all through the woods. We see them on the bluffs. Secesh receive them with open arms, and they hide and feed them when they scatter, and go with them when needed.
GEO. S. PARK.
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