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5 Series I Volume XXII-II Serial 33 - Little Rock Part II

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Page 5 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

again overrun by them, and their reiterated acts of brigandism were none the less violent or atrocious that they involved the additional crime of perjury. Oaths and bonds imposed no restraint upon such persons, whose demoniac passions now burned with a new and doubtly heated flame.

It was in these dark days, when this whole section was in terror and dismay at the unchecked and apparently uncontrollable outrages of these men, that Brigadier General John McNeil, Missouri State Militia, commanding the Division of Northeastern Missouri, caused ten of these persons, all of whom had been, and at the time of their capture were, participants in the outrages of the general nature recited, to be publicly executed at Palmyra, in this State. The immediate occasion for this execution was the abduction and undoubted murder by these men, or their associates in crime, of one Andrew Allsman, a loyal citizen of Palmyra, a non-combatant, a man respectable in character and advanced in years. It was not, however, simply to avenge his death that ten criminals were executed. It was, additionally, to vindicate the power and authority of law and of the Government; to strike terror into the hearts of those whom no sentiments of right, honor, or justice could reach. It was to give safety and peace to this distracted country, and to assure the now almost incredulous people that the Government was not utterly powerless for their protection. It was a stroke absolutely essential to teach traitors that they could not, and should not, with impunity, outrage the rights and sacrifice the happiness and safety of whole communities. The act has achieved its desired purpose. The law and the supremacy of our Government are vindicated. Citizens return in peace and safety to their homes. They are no longer assassinated at pleasure by lawless raffians. They feel that in truth they have a Government, and that Government is, indeed, able and willing to cover them with its protecting shield.

Your memorialists have observed with many apprehensions the demand made by Jefferson Davis, President of the so-called Confederate States, for the delivery of General McNeil to the Confederate authorities. We therefore adopt this method and take this occasion of laying before you a representation of the condition and experience of Missouri during the progress of this rebellion, believing this only necessary to convince Your Excellency that the act of General McNeil in the premises was not only in accordance with the spirit of the general orders then and now in force in this department, but that it was the only measure which could restore peace and assure safety to the loyal citizens of Northern Missouri. In view of all the facts, therefore, your memorialists most heartily approve of the act of General McNeil as specified, and sustain his act in the premises, believing that in so doing he not only had in view and subserved the high and sacred interests of our whole country, but also showed himself to be a good soldier and a true and humane patriot.

Expressing the highest confidence in your administration, and the sincerest wish that the blessings of Heaven may attend your efforts to restore our country to a condition of perfect unity, peace, and prosperity, and assuring you that all our influence is given you in your endeavors to achieve such a glorious consummation, we remain your loyal fellow-citizens.*

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*Numerously signed by citizens of Clarke, Lewis, and Shelby Counties.

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Page 5 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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