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Untitled Document Fort Scott – May 16th 1858

Dear General

Your note of 14th inst by Express is just recd acompanied by the Revolver for both of which accept my thanks – The distrust so far as we can hear is at present quiet for the reason I presume that these fellows here done all the mischief they can do at present – On Wednesday morning I recd the writs from the grand jury and started out with 35 dragoons – Went to the source of the trouble and found perfect peace and no party to be heard of - As Mr Jones will probably inform you we were within 4 miles of some of those who had been engaged in the driving out but are now scattered & at homes but as they were parties against whom I had no writs and my only evidence was hearsay I did not dare to take the responsibility of getting the troops engaged when we might be hauled up for illegality – had I met them I would have arrested them and risked it but going after them I thought rather too much

Went from there through Sugar Mound Mound City & Moneka – then crossed over to the

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heads of the little Osage – made a camp and went the whole length of the river above Burnsville to every suspected house and found not one single one of the implicated parties – nor could I find one man who would give information if they had any to give

Was out 4 days & returned with the feeling that if I get them with Dragoons it will be good luck

Capt Wood leaves with all the troops but the battery in the morning – I think it is best that the land office should have some protection as I am confident that these devils are only disbanded for the time being and will be ready to act again at a moments warning I intend to take a trip alone up the Osage this week if possible and then perhaps I may get some reliable information –

Would it not be well if the Conservative Free State men throw off them men to offer a reward for information that will lead to the arrest of Montgomery Baines Durton & Witchen - Judge W and Capt Wood do not agree very well – one is very sanguine the other very cool and you might as well mix oil & water –

Genl Clarke requested me to inquire if he had been concerned in any of the late dificulties here and write you – I have done so and do not find that he has taken any active part but I wish he could have more command of his tongue – He is an extremely hospitable gentleman and has influence over the ultra Pro Slavery party as much as if not more than any other man - I have not yet heard a line from

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Mr Winston – Court has adjourned for the present and no money to pay off – nor was I able to say where it would come - I hope as soon as Mr W. recovers that he will come or send at once as the credit of the United States under Mr Duirus is at a very low ebb indeed – I hope by August that we shall have things quiet here – There is no mistake about it – the Ultra P. S’ men here are a good deal to blame for the state of feeling that exists - They have tyranised in time past but the larger part of them have gone away & we can I think hold in check them that remain and as soon as we can the moderate free State men will act with us - The Osage district and the Sugar Mound District is the worst but I have seen and talked with them and shall again and I hope for a good result by going round from man to man –

Remember me to Mr Walsh and Mr Jones & all friends & believers

Truly Yours

H. P. A. Smith


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