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July 7, 2015

1863 - Pacific Rail Road to Warrensburg is eminently a military necessity

1863 Missouri Kansas Map
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George R. Taylor in the Abraham Lincoln Paper
Title: George R. Taylor to Hamilton R. Gamble
Date: 13 Apr 1863
Subject: Pacific Railroad and Missouri; endorsed by Gamble to Lincoln
Pages: 4
Text: From George R. Taylor to Hamilton R. Gamble, April 13, 1863 Presidents Office Pacific Rail Road St Louis April 13th 1863. I have the honor to address you this communication by order of the Board of Directors of the Company, and beg to attract your attention to the following preliminary facts-- 1st-- This road will be operated to Dresden seven miles west of Sedalia in Pettis County, and 196 miles from St Louis the ensuing week-- 2d-- This Company have resources enabling it to construct the road at the earliest practicable period from Dresden to Warrensburg, the County seat of Johnson County, distant from St Louis 218 and from Kansas City 62 miles -- being in the midst of the prairie Country, and contiguous to Jackson, Cass, Bates, Henry and Lafayette Counties-- 3d-- The only delays we have to encounter is obtaining labor, and as the immediate extension of the Pacific Rail Road to Warrensburg is eminently a military necessity, the directors have instructed me to invoke your aid as Governor of the State, with the President of the United States, to obtain an order exempting from the General Conscription act, all employees or men in the service of the Company -- the same applicable to those employed in operating as well constructing the road.-- Or if the President declines to exempt all the employees, will he exempt all men employed or hereafter to be employed in the Construction of the road from Dresden to Warrensburg-- The importance of such exemption is of the greatest importance to the immediate extention of this road, and I do not hesitate in stating to your Excellency that if it should please the President to issue the order, this road could be operated to Warrensburg during the year.-- I have the honor to be your Excellencys Obt Servt-- G. R. Taylor. President [ Endorsed by Hamilton R. Gamble :] St Louis April 13, 1863 Respectfully referred to President Lincoln as an illustration of the propriety of leaving Missouri out of the operation of the conscription act. The men needed for this road will be rendering a service to the government equal in military importance to any service they could possibly render in the field and they will not engage in the labor if they are subject to conscription 1 H R Gamble Gov of Mo
Footnotes: 1 Lincoln did not exempt Missouri from the Conscription Act.
Series: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.

Egbert B. Brown in the Abraham Lincoln Papers
Title: Egbert B. Brown to Oliver D Greene
Date: 20 Jul 1864
Subject: Military affairs in Missouri
Pages: 6
Text: From Egbert B. Brown to Oliver D. Greene 1 , July 20, 1864 Warrensburg, Mo., July 20th 1864. Major I have the honor to report for the information of the Major General Commanding a brief Summary of the operations in this District during the past fifty days and its comparative condition with that of the past three years in the Summer months. The reports of the Commanding officers of Scouting parties and detachments of troops exhibit a commendable degree of activity and energy with results as favorable as could be expected Besides the Ordinary guard and escort duties (which in consequence of the extended territory, number of stations and the long distance that forage is being transported are very heavy), I have been furnished since the first of June with over one Hundred detailed reports of Scouts in twenty eight of which we had had affairs with the guerrillas -- twenty five resulting in their defeat and three in ours, the number of guerrillas reported to have been killed and who afterwards died from their wounds is nearly one Hundred, our losses have been forty two killed and ten seriously wounded, in making these scouts the troops hard marched an aggregate distance of over ten thousand miles part of it on foot through the brush and where there were no roads, the results from this active Scouting is exhibited in the number of affairs with the guerrillas, and the improved State of the District this year as compared to any of the preceding years of the war at the same season, the number of guerrilla outrages are less than one half that they were in former years and these are mostly confined to a small tract of country bordering on the Missouri River above Glasgow and that which lays near the line of Jackson and Lafayette counties, the other parts of the district are in a state of comparative quiet being held by our six thousand armed citizen guards, (Organized in a similar manner to that required under G. O. 107.) 2 with the little assistance I have been able to render them. at the most important or exposed points, the only part of the District where the guerrillas have been able to retain their hold has been when from any cause the citizens have failed to organize for self defense, the condition of the District will be best illustrated by a practical comparison of its present with its former conditions Since April the Pacific Rail Road Company have uninterruptedly constructed twenty four miles and are carrying forward rapidly the grading masonry and track laying on Seventy five miles addition of their road through the heart of the infested part of the District, neither the operations or material have been interfered with, this could not have been done at any other time since April 1861, there is fifty per cent more land planted and tilled this year than there was last, there is not one citizen robbed or one horse or mule stolen now where there was a hundred a year ago, property and person are comparatively safe except in the parts of the district infested by guerrillas to which I have alluded, business is reviving, confidence is being restored, the civil courts are again trying to perform their functions and much of the former bitterness of feeling that resulted in the peoples despoiling and assassinating each other has been removed, there is a growing sentiment in favor of law and order and in opposition to violence in the minds of all good citizens The six months of peace that had been enjoyed since October was disturbed by the return from the South of several guerrilla bands about the 1st of May and for some time universal fear doubt and distrust followed, but the numerous successes of our troops and the energetic action of the citizen guards has in a great measure restored confidence to the people in their ability to defend themselves against any force now in the country or any that would probably come into it unless it was regularly organized for effective service, The officers and soldiers under my command deserve the favorable consideration of the General Commanding for the sincere earnestness with which they have endeavored to carry out his commands and policy as well as for their endurance in the field and their bravery in the numerous contests with the guerrilla bands, too much credit cannot be awarded them for their cheerful obedience, their devotion to the Government, their respect for the laws and their regard for the rights of the person and property of the people of the country engaged in a warfare the most exasperating and but little credit to or gained frequently rudely treated by the people they are fighting to protect, their very name a term of reproach unthanked for their patriotic efforts for their country often ungenerously censured for their failures magnified for their successes disparaged or forgotten (though in the aggregate they have attained to the importance of battles) they have yet never failed in their duty or forgot their high position as American citizens and soldiers of the army of the Union I am Very Truly Your obedient Servant E B Brown Brig Genl Vols Comdg
Footnotes: 1 General Egbert B. Brown commanded the District of Central Missouri and Major Oliver D. Greene was Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of the Missouri. 2 General Order, No. 107 was promulgated by Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, commanding the Department of the Missouri, in June 1864, and provided in part for the organization of home guard units, the number of troops in his department being too small to allow for a garrison to be placed in every town.
Series: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.