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Holmes Brigade, USV, Inc.
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Edina, Knox County, Mo.
August 2, 1861
TO: THE CITIZENS OF KNOX COUNTY MISSOURI
Having been placed in command of the State Troops in Northeast Missouri, in discharge of my duty I recently visited the down of Edina for the sole purpose of dispersing a force quartered here, claiming to be Federal troops, but to our great disappointment, when we entered the town the bird had flown.
Proclamation was immediately made to the soldiers to keep out of private houses, but that they might, under the direction of an officer, search the quarters of the dispersed army and capture anything they might find belonging to the same. In accordance with the above proclamation, a search was made, considerable camp equipage, provisions and provender were found, known to belong to the fleeing enemy. This has been taken possession of and retained, according to the usages of war.
But I have been informed that some of the soldiers have transcended their limits and have taken private property. As soon as the fact was made known to me, I ordered an officer to put a stop to it, which was immediately done. I endeavored to find out where any depredation had been committed, and to repair the damage done by either returning the articles or paying for them.
We have been necessarily compelled to press some articles, but in all cases we have endeavored to pay for what we got; and I would remark that we have taken three dollars worth of property from our friend to one from those opposed to us, and if anything has been taken by the men under my command that has not been accounted for, I hereby pledge myself to have any and all property settled for whenever the facts can be made known.
As it regards my actions toward those whom we designate our enemies I would just state, that there have been several arrest made some of them proved to be, on examination, private citizens. In all such cases they have been released. When they have proven to be sworn troops against the lawful militia of Missouri they have been paroled. No officer or soldier has been authorized to arrest any but sworn soldiers.
Fellow Citizens, I am in this region to restore quiet; that we may enjoy the peace that we have hitherto enjoyed, and I hereby proclaim that I have no intention to arrest peaceable citizens; but on the contrary, I pledge myself to use all means in my power, to protect all citizens, regardless of their opinion, in the enjoyment of all their constitutional rights.
And to those who have taken up arms against us I would say, whenever you lay down your arms and return to your business, as citizens, you, too, shall be protected in your rights, both you and your property. And I hereby give notice to all quiet and peaceable citizens not to be alarmed at our presence in this county; we are here for good, as we believe, and whenever the causes that placed us in the field cease to exist, we shall most gladly accept the opportunity to disband our forces and return to our homes.
Martin E. Green,