Geary and Kansas by John H. Gihon, M.D.



Governor Geary's instructions.---The United States troops.--Enrolment, mustering and discharge of the militia.--The troops withheld from the service of the governor.

    SOON after his appointment, and before his departure for the west, Governor Geary received the following instructions:--

              "Department of State:
                  "Washington, August 26, 1856.
    "Sir: The present condition of the territory of Kansas renders your duties as governor highly responsible and delicate. In the instructions heretofore communicated to your predecessor, in February last, in the annual message to Congress of the 24th of the previous December; and in orders issued from the War Department (printed copies of which are herewith furnished), you will find the policy of the President fully presented. It is first, to maintain order and quiet in the territory of Kansas; and, second, if disturbances occur therein, to bring to punishment the offenders.
    "Should the force which has been provided to attain these objects prove insufficient, you will promptly make known that fact to the President, that he may take such measures in regard thereto as to him may seem to be demanded by the exigencies of the case.
    "It is important that the President should be kept well informed, as to the state of things in Kansas, and that the source of the information should be such as to insure its accuracy. You are therefore directed by him to communicate constantly with this department. Such facts as it is deemed important to have early known here, you will cause to be transmitted by telegraph as well as by mail.
    "The President indulges a hope, that, by your energy, impartiality, and discretion, the tranquillity of the territory will be restored, and the persons and property of the citizens therein protected.
                "I am, sir, &c.,
                    "W. L. MARCY."
"His Excellency, John W. Geary,
        "Governor of Kansas Territory."

    In order that the governor might have ample means to carry out these instructions, and "to maintain order and quiet in the territory of Kansas, and if disturbances occurred therein, to bring to punishment the offenders," he was not only given discretionary powers as to the expenditure of money, but was directed, if he found the United States forces inadequate, not only to muster into the service the militia of the territory, but to avail himself of requisitions made upon the governors of other states. A letter received from the secretary of state was as follows:--

                  "Department of State:
                    "Washington, September 2, 1856.
    "Sir: Reliable information having reached the President that armed and organized bodies of men, avowedly in rebellion against the territorial government have concentrated in such numbers as to require additional military force for their dispersion, you will have the militia of the territory, completely enrolled and organized to the end that they may on short notice be brought into the service of the United States. Upon requisition of the commander of the military department in which Kansas is embraced, you will furnish by companies, or regiments, or brigades, or divisions, such number and composition of troops, as, from time to time, you may find, on his report to you, to be necessary for the suppression of all combinations to resist the laws of the United States too powerful to be suppressed by the civil authority, and for the maintenance of public order and civil government in the territory.
                "I am, sir, &c.,
                    "W. L. MARCY.
"To His Excellency, John W. Geary,
        "Governor of the Territory of Kansas. Lecompton."

    A dispatch was also forwarded to General Smith, by the secretary of war. From the instructions this contains, as well as from the tenor of other documents that will be found in this chapter, it is quite palpable that the administration at Washington had been utterly deceived in regard to the true condition of things in Kansas, and was laboring under the strange hallucination that all the difficulties existing there were attributable to free-state settlers and invaders. These were the only persons who were supposed to be violating "the peace and quiet" of the territory; these were the only offenders whom Governor Geary was expected to "bring to punishment;" these were the parties against whom the troops were to be employed; and hence it is not difficult to account for the fact that the countenance of the administration was withheld and the troops withdrawn from him, as soon as it was ascertained that he had so far misunderstood his instructions and the wishes of his employers, as to cause the arrest of a pro-slavery murderer. All went well so long as he continued to cram the filthy jail with free-state prisoners; but his fate was sealed when he exhibited a disposition to punish their political opposers. This was no part of the programme, and the powers at Washington were astonished that Geary did not understand, or, understanding, did not lend his aid to further their policy. The following is a copy of the dispatch from the secretary of war:--

                    "War Department:
                      "Washington, September 3, 1856.
    "Sir: Your dispatch of 22d August and its enclosures sufficiently exhibit the inadequacy of the force under your command to perform the duties which have been devolved upon you in the present unhappy condition of Kansas by the orders and instructions heretofore communicated. To meet this exigency, the President has directed the governor of the territory to complete the enrolment and organization of the militia, as you will find fully set forth in the enclosed copy of a letter addressed to him by the secretary of state; and the president has directed me to say to you that you are authorized, from time to time, to make requisitions upon the governor for such militia force as you may require to enable you promptly and successfully to execute your orders and suppress insurrection against the government of the territory of Kansas, and under the circumstances heretofore set forth in your instructions, to give the requisite aid to the officers of the civil government who may be obstructed in the due execution of the law. Should you not be able to derive from the militia of Kansas the adequate force for these purposes, such additional number of militia as may be necessary will be drawn from the states of Illinois and Kentucky, as shown in the requisition, a copy of which is here enclosed.
    "The views contained in your instructions to the officers commanding the troops, under date of August 19, are fully approved, and accord so entirely with the purposes of the executive as to leave but little to add in relation to the course which it is desired you should pursue. The position of the insurgents, as shown by your letter and its enclosures, is that of open rebellion against the laws and constitutional authorities, with such manifestation of a purpose to spread devastation over the land as no longer justifies further hesitation or indulgence. To you, as to every soldier whose habitual feeling is to protect the citizens of his own country, and only to use his arms against a public enemy, it cannot be otherwise than deeply painful to be brought into conflict with any portion of his fellow-countrymen; but patriotism and humanity alike require that rebellion should be promptly crushed, and the perpetration of the crimes which now disturb the peace and security of the good people of the territory of Kansas should be effectually checked. You will, therefore, energetically employ all the means within your reach to restore the supremacy of law, always endeavoring to carry out your present purpose to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood.
    "In making your requisitions for militia force, you will be governed by the existing organization of the army and the laws made and provided in such cases. When companies, regiments, brigades, or divisions are presented to be mustered into the service of the United States, you will cause them, before they are received, to be minutely inspected by an officer of your command, appointed for the purpose.
              "Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                    "JEFFERSON DAVIS,
                      "Secretary of War.
"Major-General Persifer F. Smith,
        "Commanding Department of the West."

    The following, sent by telegraph to the governor, establishes the fact beyond a doubt, that the government regarded all the offences as coming from one party, the free-state; because, while it points out, with exaggeration, outrages alleged to have been committed by that party, it makes no mention of, nor reference to, the still greater enormities perpetrated by the pro-slavery agitators and invaders:--

                    "Washington, September 9, 1856.
"To J. W. GEARY.
    "I presume the orders sent by Colonel Emory on the 3d instant have already reached you. If the militia which those orders made subject to the requisition of General Smith are not sufficient for the exigency, notify me by telegraph. The insurrectionary invasion of the territory by the way of Nebraska, and the subsequent hostile attacks on the post-office at Franklin, and on the dwellings of Titus and of Clarke, seem to have stimulated to unlawful acts of the same character on the borders of Missouri. The President expects you to maintain the public peace, and to bring to punishment all acts of violence or disorder by whomever perpetrated and on whatever pretext. And he relies on your energy and discretion, and the approved capacity, decision, and coolness of character of General Smith, to prevent or suppress all attempts to kindle civil war in the territory of Kansas. A communication on the same subject has this day been telegraphed to General Smith, by the secretary of war, with positive directions that no parties or bodies of armed men shall be allowed to carry on military operations in the territory, save such persons as are enrolled by him into the service of the United States.
                  "W. L. MARCY,
                    "Secretary of State."

    It is true that the honorable secretary of state here directs the governor to "bring to punishment all acts of violence or disorder, by whomever perpetrated, and on whatever pretext;" but, at the same time, while he distinctly points to every offence that could be charged against the free-state men, even to a hostile attack upon the house of Clarke, which house had never been molested, he seems to have been entirely oblivious of the fact that General Reid and Captain Pate and General Whitfield, at the head of armed bands of Missourians, had invaded the territory, sacked towns, robbed post-offices, burned houses, ravished and branded women, stolen horses and cattle, destroyed crops, and committed other enormities too horrible to imagine or describe. He seemed insensible of the fact, that a band of marauders, under the command of this very man Clarke, whose house is falsely alleged to have been assailed, had pillaged stores and dwellings, and after having murdered a man in the most brutal manner, buried him a few inches below the ground, leaving his hands sticking out for tomb-stones; and at the time the secretary was writing his dispatch, an immense army was congregating in Missouri, carrying black flags as the indices of their murderous intentions, for the purpose of invading Kansas, under the authority of the governor, to destroy free-state towns and massacre their inhabitants. These were not the men whom Governor Geary was expected to "bring to punishment;" for he no sooner dared to lay his hand upon the worst assassin of them all, than he was clearly given to understand that his services were no longer needed.

    Immediately after the dismissal of the volunteers called into service by Secretary Woodson, as related in another chapter, Governor Geary gave the requisite instructions for the enrolment of all the actual citizens of the territory, with a view to the proper organization of the militia, to be mustered into the service of the government whenever exigencies should seem to require. It was soon apparent that several companies would be needed to assist the civil authorities to execute warrants, to guard the prisoners of the territory, and to aid in the maintenance of the peace in various localities. General Smith being made aware of this fact, he made requisition, as follows, upon the governor, for three companies, one of cavalry and two of infantry, to be mustered into the regular service of the United States:--


              "Head Quarters, Department of the West,
                  "Fort Leavenworth, September 17, 1856.
        "Governor of the Territory of Kansas.
    "Sir: By virtue of the authority given me by the President of the United States, a copy of which is in your possession, I have the honor to make a requisition on you for two companies of militia, infantry for the service of the United states.
    "Each company to consist of one captain, one first-lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals, two musicians, and seventy-four privates.
    "The companies, when ready, will be mustered into the service of the United States by an officer who will be detailed for that purpose by Lieutenant-Colonel Cooke from his command.
              "With the highest respect, your obedient servant,
                    "PERSIFER F. SMITH,
                "Bt. Major-General commanding Department."

    On the 28th, a similar requisition was made "for one company of cavalry, to consist of one captain, one first-lieutenant, one second-lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals, two buglers, one farrier and blacksmith, and seventy-four privates."

    These companies were forthwith organized and duly mustered into the service for the period of three months, by United States officers detailed for that purpose. One of these infantry companies was raised at Lawrence, and was composed entirely of free-state men, under the command of Captain Samuel Walker. The others were enrolled and stationed at Lecompton, and were all of the pro-slavery party, the mounted company commanded by Captain John Wallis, and the infantry by Captain John Donaldson. In all they numbered nearly two hundred and fifty men. Colonel H. T. Titus having been commissioned by the governor, as his aid-de-camp, had special direction of these troops.

    Peace being thoroughly established in every part of the territory, and the militia wearying of their inactivity, became desirous of returning to the pursuits of civil life, and on the 19th of November the free-state company at Lawrence addressed a communication to the governor, signed by the captain and all his men, as follows:--

    "The undersigned, members of the Kansas militia, mustered into the service of the United States, at Lawrence, K. T., in obedience to your call, would respectfully submit, that when our services were required, the territory was distracted with internal feuds and threatened with invasion by those from abroad who had no residence in the country, then, since, or prospectively.

    "We were ready to give assistance in staying the hand of violence, which had laid this country waste, to some extent depopulated it, and made life insecure. We trusted you were sincere in your professions to act justly towards the settlers, and we cheerfully left our ordinary occupations to aid, so far as we could, in restoring peace and quiet to this unfortunate territory.

    "We have watched your course since your arrival amongst us as our executive, with much anxiety, and although we have wished to see you do what you have not done, still we are sensible, and bear it in grateful remembrance, that, by your activity and energy, you have done much towards the restoration of that feeling of protection that all who live under organized governments have a right to expect. We thank you for it, and trust confidently that you may not forget that we are part and parcel of this great republic, although we may differ from our neighboring state on some political subjects.

    "We now feel that you have the power and will to protect the citizens of the country, and that, therefore, our services are not required. If you think such is the case, we request to be permitted to return to our several occupations, with the assurance that should you require our assistance in the future, you may be sure that right and justice to all will always be the object of our best efforts, and should you call for them, they will be given to you with unreserved zeal and fidelity."

    Upon the receipt of this petition, the governor addressed a letter to General Smith, informing him of the continuation of the general peace, and that the services of the militia could be dispensed with, and suggested "the propriety of mustering them out of the service, in order that they might retire to their homes, and gratify their desires in the pursuits of peace."

    A few days afterwards, on the 25th, a similar request to that of Captain Walker, was received from Captain Donaldson and his company. This had seventy-eight signatures, and read as follows:--

    "We, the undersigned, officers and members of Company A, 2d Regt. Inft. Kansas Militia, believing that the policy adopted by your excellency, which has been so rigidly carried out, has produced such happy results that we can no longer serve you to advantage; whilst, therefore, acknowledging our appreciation and admiration of that peace and quiet which has been restored once more by your noble efforts, we respectfully ask to be discharged honorably from the service."

    On the same day, the following communication, signed by Captain Wallis and all his men, was also received:--

    "The general peace pervading the territory, indicating that the object for which we were called into service has been accomplished, should it meet your approbation, we are now desirous of quitting the tented field, and returning to our homes, our families and friends, where we hope, under your effective administration, to be permitted peaceably and safely to attend our varied avocations. These hopes are inspired by what we have seen of your success in quelling the disturbances by which our territory has been so sadly distressed. Confiding in your integrity and ability, you have our most devout wishes that peace may attend your administration, and that the reward of patriotism may be yours."

    These communications were respectively answered by the governor, their compliments to his integrity and efficiency acknowledged, and the means immediately adopted to comply with the request of the petitioners. A correspondence having been opened on the subject with General Smith, he appointed the 1st day of December, by especial desire of the governor, to muster the two pro-slavery companies out of service at Fort Leavenworth, and the other at Lawrence. It then appeared that the paymaster had no appropriation for the payment of these troops; hence the governor, in a letter to General Smith, says:--

    "I send by Major S. Woods a warrant of my own private funds, payable to your order, for fifteen hundred dollars, to be handed over to the paymaster for the purpose of paying the privates and non-commissioned officers. * * * It appears to me that if application be made to the department, payment would be ordered to the volunteers, and I would be immediately reimbursed."

    In reply to this the governor was informed by communication from head-quarters, that no instructions could be given for the payment of the militia "until an appropriation for that purpose is made by Congress," and hence it would be necessary for the governor "to make arrangements with some individual to disburse" the fifteen hundred dollars he had forwarded "to the men to be discharged." Secretary Woodson was accordingly chosen for that purpose, and the militia were dismissed from the service, having been paid with the governor's private funds, although mustered by direction of the president, and on requisition of the commander of the military department of the west.

    Peace continuing to prevail, the governor had in the mean time announced the fact to General Smith, and suggested that, for the comfort of the regular troops, their services not being immediately required, they should be withdrawn to Fort Leavenworth for winter-quarters, which was accordingly done, one small company of infantry, under Captain Flint, being left to guard the prisoners at Tecumseh, and a company of twenty-three dragoons, under Captain Newby, being quartered on the Grasshopper Creek near Lecompton.

    Such was the gratifying aspect of affairs through the entire fall and winter, until the peace was again threatened by the almost daily outrages of Sherrard and his friends, the predictions of the Lecompton Union, and at last, the personal insult offered to the governor on the 9th of February, and the open endorsement of that act by a large portion of the members of the legislature. Before this latter occurrence, a number of peaceful citizens had called upon the governor, urging the necessity for the presence at Lecompton of a small force of United States troops to protect them against the threatened disturbances. Finding, from his own experience, that this alarm was not altogether groundless, as he had before supposed, he dispatched a messenger with the following requisition to General Smith:--

              "Executive Department, Kansas Territory,
                    "February 9, 1857.
        "Commanding Department of the West.
    "Dear Sir: There are certain persons present in Lecompton, who are determined, if within the bounds of possibility, to bring about a breach of the peace. During the last few days a number of persons have been grossly insulted; and to-day an insult has been offered to myself. A person named Sherrard, who some days ago had been appointed Sheriff of Douglas county, which appointment was strongly protested against by a respectable number of the citizens of the county, and I had deferred commissioning him. This, it appears, gave mortal offence to Sherrard, and he has made up his mind to assassinate me. This may lead to trouble. It must be prevented, and that by immediate action. I require, therefore, two additional companies of dragoons, to report to me with the least possible delay. I think this is absolutely necessary, and I trust you will immediately comply with my request. I write in great haste, as the messenger is about leaving.
"I wish you would keep an eye upon Leavenworth City, as I hear of troublesome indications there. I am confident that there is a conspiracy on foot to disturb the peace, and various pretexts will be, and have been used to accomplish this fell purpose.
"I am perfectly cool, and intend to keep so; but I am also more vigilant than ever.
                  "Very truly, your friend,
                        "JNO. W. GEARY."

    It soon became known through the town that the governor had sent a messenger to Fort Leavenworth for troops, and the fact afforded ground for merriment to the crowds of ruffians who hung about the groggeries, ready to commit any atrocity by direction of certain prominent men; they having received later intelligence from the seat of government than his excellency, and been satisfactorily assured that the United States forces were no longer under his control. Information to this effect was conveyed to Governor Geary, who treated it with the scorn he supposed it merited. What, then, was his astonishment, when the messenger returned from General Smith with the following answer:--

              "Head Quarters, Department of the West,
                    "Fort Leavenworth, Feb. 11, 1857.
        "Governor of Kansas Territory,
            "Lecompton, K. T.
    "Governor: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant, in which you 'require immediately, two additional companies of dragoons to report to you in consequence of your confidence that there is a conspiracy on foot to disturb the peace'--and also acknowledge the receipt of a previous letter requiring a battalion to be sent to you in view of the large immigration expected here in the spring.
    "If you refer to the laws you will observe that the president is authorized to call the military and naval forces into action, to: 1st, repel invasion; 2d, to suppress insurrection; and 3d, to repress combinations to obstruct the execution of the laws, too strong for the civil power. Insults or probable breaches of the peace do not authorize the employment of the troops.
    "Besides, all the forces here have just been designated by the secretary of war, and are under orders, for other service more distant; and even the companies near you will have to be recalled. They are sufficient to repress any breach of the peace, and I cannot move them until the weather improves.
    "But even they are to be employed to aid the civil authority only in the contingencies mentioned in the laws above referred to. The garrisons to be left in the territory will be available if the president directs their employment.
    "The contingency under which the troops were acting I consider to have ceased. Without the grossest imprudence on the part of the civil authorities in Leavenworth, I see not the slightest probability of any disturbance there; and on inquiry, I can hear of none from various inhabitants. With the highest respect,
                    "Your obedient servant,
                        "PERSIFER F. SMITH,
                      "Brevet Major-General commanding."

    This was the first official information he had received of the fact that the government, which had sent him to Kansas, to suppress insurrection, preserve the peace, and punish offenders, with the largest promises of support and assistance, had secretly taken from him even the means to protect his own life against assassins, who being apprised of the action at Washington, and encouraged by it, were plotting his destruction. When he took possession of the government of Kansas, he was to have control, not only of all the regular forces in the territory, to be used at his discretion, when he considered exigencies required their employment, but he was empowered to enrol all the militia of the territory, and muster them into the service, and to call upon the governors of Kentucky and Illinois for two additional regiments. Now, having conquered a peace by his indomitable energy, and saved the country from an impending civil war, and finding the peace again threatened and his own life in danger, in order to obey his instructions to "preserve the peace" he had established, and be governed by "the exigencies of affairs as they should be presented to HIM on the spot," he calls upon General Smith for a few soldiers, who, in reply, tells him that the troops are no longer under his control; "the contingency under which they were acting I consider to have ceased;" "besides, all the forces here have just been designated by the secretary of war, and are under orders, for other service more distant, and even the companies near you will have to be recalled!"

    Never was a grosser insult ever offered to an official. And why? Governor Geary had accomplished the ostensible object of his mission to Kansas. He had put an end to a destructive civil war, and from chaos, confusion, and wretchedness, brought peace, prosperity and happiness. True; but he had done more than that. He had arrested a pro-slavery murderer, and when a partial chief justice had set him at liberty, he persisted in bringing him to justice and punishment, agreeably to the letter of his instructions. Other pro-slavery murderers, and the companions of such, made their complaints at Washington; Calhoun and Clarke declared that Geary should be removed for that act; they had sufficient influence to accomplish their threats, and succeeded to perfection.

    Whilst things were in this condition, and the indignation meeting of honest citizens was about to be held at Lecompton on the 18th of February, Judge Cato, as has been related, called upon the governor, requesting him to interpose his authority to disperse the meeting. The judge knew that the governor had no authority to interpose--he knew that he had been stripped of all military power, and that to appear at the meeting in person, would simply have been to present a mark for the bullet of the assassin, which, of all things, was then the most desired. At that time Captain Newby's small company of dragoons was on the north side of the Kansas River, which was impassable, in consequence of the ice having just broken up, and might just as well, for all the use they could have rendered the governor, have been in the Fejee Islands; and Captain Flint's company of infantry were ten miles off at Tecumseh. Besides, both these companies were ordered to report themselves at Fort Leavenworth, as soon as the weather would permit them to travel, which they did, Captain Flint's company stopping at Lecompton, and taking with it the only soldier the governor had left to guard an iron safe containing the public documents, and moneys belonging to himself and others.

    Shortly after the receipt of the foregoing letter of General Smith, the governor returned the following reply, which did not reach the general at Fort Leavenworth, he having departed for Washington:--

              "Executive Department, K. T.,
                    "Lecompton, March 2, 1857.
        "Commanding Department of the West.
    "Dear Sir: Your letter of 11th February was duly received, and my most serious consideration has been given to its contents.
    "I regret to be compelled to differ from you in the opinion that 'the contingency under which the troops were acting' has 'ceased.' It seems to me that a proper view of the existing condition of things in the territory would lead to a different conclusion.
    "The peace that now prevails is not only threatened by irresponsible individuals, but its destruction is boldly proclaimed by the newspaper organ of a clique or faction of sufficient influence and numbers 'to obstruct the execution of the laws,' and 'too strong for the civil power.' That attempts have been made to execute these threats and verify these predictions, you have already received conclusive assurances.
    "That the presence of the troops here has been needed up to the present moment, and that it has held in check those determined to create disturbances, is quite apparent; and that their removal at this time, when their presence is daily becoming more needful, will be attended with serious and perhaps calamitous results, is very probable.
    "Besides, the large incoming immigration of peaceful settlers requires protection, which cannot be given by any civil posses that can be raised, in consequence of the bitter feelings existing among the advocates of conflicting political sentiments on the highly exciting question which so long kept the territory in a state of feverish agitation and even anarchy.
    "Large combinations will doubtless be formed to resist attempted and even threatened violations of the law--and invasion and insurrection, with their fearful consequences, may be anticipated.
    "The presence of the troops, even should their active service never be required, will be sufficient, perhaps, to 'repel invasion,' which there is reason to expect--'suppress insurrection,' which has been predicted by seeming authority--and 'repress combinations to obstruct the execution of the laws too strong for the civil power,' which seem to exist.
    "The withdrawal of all the troops at this time would, in my opinion, be the signal for the lawless to commence difficulties, which their presence alone may entirely prevent. A little care to guard against evils which we can foresee, may prevent others of greater magnitude which are beyond our comprehension.
    "In view of these facts, I must respectfully ask, that Captain Newby's company may be permitted to remain in this vicinity during the present month, or, at least, until I shall be able to communicate with and receive an answer from the authorities at Washington, upon the subject. The importance of the matter will doubtless suggest itself to your mind, and grant a ready compliance with this request.
    "An immediate answer will oblige, most sincerely,
              "Your friend and obedient servant,
                    "JNO. W. GEARY,
                "Governor of Kansas Territory."

    In view of the facts so clearly established by the foregoing documents--that General Smith had declined furnishing Governor Geary with troops at the time he supposed their services were needed; that the general declared the secretary of war had ordered all the forces to other and more distant service; and that even the few soldiers still near the governor had been ordered to report themselves at Fort Leavenworth, as soon as the weather would sufficiently moderate to enable them to travel,--it is somewhat remarkable that General Smith, after the resignation of Governor Geary, should have addressed the following communication to Secretary Davis:--

                    "Baltimore, March 28, 1857.
    "Dear Sir: I received a letter a few minutes since from the editor of the Evening Star, requesting me to 'substantiate a contradiction you make to some assertion in the Herald of Governor Geary.' I happen to have my letter-book, and send you a copy of my letter to the governor when he 'required' a squadron of dragoons to be sent to him. He had already Captain Newby's and Captain Flint's companies of troops under his control, and he stated no case that would justify reinforcing them in the middle of the winter. I declined sending them, evidently without your interference in the matter, for you were in Washington. His letter is of the 9th February and my answer of the 11th. I exercised the discretion left me by the president, for I saw there was no need of them.
    "I send the copy to you, for I do not think myself at liberty to publish part of an official correspondence without authority from higher authority.
    "Moreover, I think your simple contradiction is sufficient; the affair will not offer to Governor Geary any advantage in pursuing it, unless he provokes proof of what the Herald says, and that is on record in the Department of the West.
    "I have copies of my letters, but his are on file in the office of the Department of the West.
    "I repeat, that with my knowledge of all that took place the governor will not pursue the matter.
              "With sincere respect, your obedient servant,
                    "PERSIFER F. SMITH,
                Bt. Maj.-Gen. Comm'g Dep't of the West."

    In the general's letter to the governor he says: "All the forces here have just been designated by the secretary of war, and are under orders for other service more distant." In the letter to General Davis he says: "I declined sending them, evidently without your interference in the matter, for you were in Washington." What General Smith means by saying that the simple contradiction of Secretary Davis will be sufficient to disprove the fact that the troops had been withdrawn from Governor Geary's service, it would be extremely difficult to comprehend. It is certain that the troops were withdrawn, and from the following communication to the Adjutant-General of the United States, it would seem at the suggestion of General Smith himself:--

              "Head-Quarters, Department of the west,
                  "Fort Leavenworth, Saturday, Nov. 11.
    "Colonel: Since my last communication nothing of importance has happened in the department. After the success of the measures taken a few weeks since to prevent the gross outrages on the law, then threatened, and to suppress the disorders then existing in the territory, order and tranquillity have gradually resumed their legitimate sway, the laws have again been put in operation, and the administration of justice revived. Deserted farms are again occupied, fences rebuilt, fields put under cultivation, and the ruins of houses destroyed by fire, replaced by more durable habitations; the roads are covered with travellers, unarmed and secure; and the towns thronged with persons selling their produce and purchasing from the stores. All these evidences of restored order have enabled me with the concurrence of the governor of the territory to recall the troops from the active duty on which they have been employed, and to establish them again at their proper posts where they are to pass the winter. As there are no secure prisons yet built for territorial authorities to use in the administration of justice, at his request there will remain at the disposition of the governor a few men to guard prisoners in the custody of the law and for other such contingencies.
    "I am happy, then to be enabled to announce to the War Department, and through it to the president, the entire success of the measures they directed to be taken for the suppression of insurrection and removal of obstructions to the regular administration of justice, and that this end has been attained without the shedding of blood or the exertion of any force beyond the ordinary arrest of persons accused of crimes.
    "The winter has commenced with severity much earlier than usual, and it is now too late to send the companies of the Sixth Infantry to the posts further west--their original destination. From necessity they must be crowded into the quarters at Fort Leavenworth. The great reduction in the number of men in the First Cavalry will render this possible now, which it would not be if the latter regiment were full.
    "Being no longer occupied with the affairs of the territory, which have caused so much uneasiness, undivided attention can be paid for punishing the Cheyennes Indians. In pursuing them in the spring, the great want will be forage and transportation for supplies. Pasturing animals in rapid movements is impossible; nor can horses perform a regular day's work on grass. In short, daily journeys, grass is sufficient for there is time to pasture and very little labor to undergo. Additional appropriations will therefore be necessary to provide for the expedition, which must be chiefly of mounted men, and ought to be ready by the middle of April. The details of the force and the direction of the operations cannot now be determined; but a general appropriation of an additional sum--much less, however than that given to the Sioux expedition--will be advisable.
    "I will again report that I consider tranquillity and order entirely restored in Kansas. I foresee nothing in the shape of disorder that the ordinary means in the hands of the civil authority, directed by as able and energetic hands as those of the present governor, are not amply sufficient to control; and the whole time and efforts of the troops here can henceforward be devoted to the protection of the frontier.
              "With the highest respect, your obedient servant,
                    "PERSIFER F. SMITH,
                      "Commanding Department."
"Colonel Samuel Cooper, Adjutant-General of the Army."

    Now, from all this, it very clearly appears that, although the president had placed at the disposal of Governor Geary the United States forces in Kansas, to preserve the peace and bring offenders to punishment, and to be employed by him as he supposed existing circumstances should require, those forces, at the suggestion of General Smith (who had been confined, by indisposition, to his quarters during the entire term of Governor Geary's administration, and, therefore, had very limited opportunities for ascertaining the true condition of the territory, and the exigencies that might demand the use of troops), and without consulting Governor Geary on the subject, were taken from the support of the governor and ordered to other service, and that at a time when the peace of the territory and the life of the executive were alike threatened and in danger.


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