August 6-9, 1864 - Scout in Saline County, Mo., with skirmishes (7th) at Arrow Rock.
Report of Lieut. Col. Bazel F. Lazear, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
Hdqrs. Detach. First Cav. Missouri State Militia.
Marshall, Mo., August 10, 1864
Captain: Since my report of the 5th instant I have the honor to report, for the information of the major-general commanding, that I scouted the county in the direction of Miami, but learning that a force of 400 guerrillas were in Marshall the county was not thoroughly scouted. Upon the receipt of the above we marched to Marshall, arriving there the 6th; found that ten guerrillas had visited the place the 5th, burning the court-house and one other building, plundering some of the inhabitants, and shooting five negroes in town and four a short distance from town. If the citizens had remained at home this raid on Marshall would never have been made. 7th, marched to Arrow Rock, scouting the county as well as could be done without dividing the command too much, not knowing what force we would find. Had two skirmishes, one with a party of fifteen, the other twenty, killing 3 and wounding several, who made their escape in the brush. Killed 2 horses and captured 4, one of them wounded. Our casualties, none. One of the parties fired several rounds before scattering, but the other only fired two shots. 8th, scouted the county in the vicinity of Arrow Rock thoroughly, but found no guerrillas as they had scattered that morning, a party of twenty camped within eight miles of camp the night of the 7th on the premises of one Marshall Piper who gave us no notice of the fact, and being a notorious rebel and under bond was shot. The guerrillas shot a negro man the 7th, just before we came upon them. 9th returned to Marshall.
This is certainly the most rebellious county I have been in. I have arrested several women that I will send in in due time, and have arrested several of the worst rebels that I am holding as hostages for the lives of Union men. We have searched but very few houses, but what we have, nearly all have goods that are undoubtedly stolen. You can't pick up a letter about any of their houses but you will find treason in them. This county needs rough handling, and as the guerrillas have threatened what they will do I have warned and notified their friends that I would hold them responsible for the acts of the guerrillas, and will retaliate for any violence done the Union men either in person or property. The Union people are very much discouraged, but if I am allowed to carry out the policy I have started out on rebels will not be allowed to stay here if Union men can't. It is very hard to prove that men willingly feed guerrillas as they all deny it, but they all do so, and when they allow them to feed and camp upon their premises day after day and give no information, but deny that they know anything of them, it is as good evidence of their guilt as I want and I shall act accordingly. I have endeavored in this report to give a picture of the situation of affairs in this county, but it has to be seen to be understood. From the best information I can get I do not believe there are 100 guerrillas in the county, and the removal of 100 families to the South would do more good to quiet this county than to hunt guerrillas one year and leave the families here. I have not learned the particulars of the burning of Frankfort, but will soon.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. Lazear
Lieut. Col. First Cav., Mo. State Mil., Comdg. in the Field
Source: The Official Records of the War Of The Rebellion, pp. 219-220.
Submitter: Vicki Piper