Executive Office, Iowa,
January 18, 1862.
W. C. Sipple, Esq., President Board of Supervisors,
Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa:
Sir: — I have just received a communication from the Board over which you preside, touching the present unfortunate state of affairs in your county. I have already sent to your county my aid, Lieut.-Col H. C. Nutt, to investigate the situation of affairs and to take such steps as may be necessary to preserve the public peace. The condition of affairs on the southern border of your county is very unfortunate, and I intend to use all the means in my power to afford protection to our citizens. It has been suggested to me that the public peace has been jeopardized by these facts:
1st — That rebels and sympathizers from Missouri, who have made themselves peculiarly obnoxious to Union men there, by their outrageous conduct, have fled to this State and are now in your county with their property to avoid vengeance from those whom they formerly outraged.
2nd — That the same class of persons in Missouri, who cannot leave are sending their property into your county for protection from confiscation.
3rd — That these men have sympathizers in your county who harbor, these men and conceal their property.
4th — That the Union men in Missouri who have suffered from the outrages of these persons are thus tempted to invade our State for the purpose of punishing them. I have instructed Col. Nutt to investigate these alleged facts and report to me fully thereon. Should I find the allegations to be correct, I shall take measures to relieve your people from this difficulty. Whilst I intend to protect our people from outrage and invasion, I also intend that our State shall not be exposed to danger of both by becoming an asylum for rebels and their property. I trust I shall have your assistance in effecting this object, and that you will impress upon your citizens the impolicy of exposing themselves to the dangers they bring upon themselves and their neighbors, by harboring either rebels or their property.
The communication stated that Fred Rector, Esq., late acting County Judge of your county, had been authorized to organize the militia of your county, and “that when he had succeeded in organizing a sufficient force to protect the county he was, without any reason, deprived of his authority.”
This is a grave error. The reason that Judge Rector's authority was annulled was, that I was credibly informed that his loyalty to our government was doubted; that he was alleged to be of a class somewhat numerous in your county, whose sympathies are much stronger for rebels than Union men. No man whose position is not above suspicion on this point can receive any authority from me, if I know his position, or can retain it a moment longer than the knowledge reaches me, if I have the power to annull it. Col. Hedges of your county has been authorized to organize your militia, and I do not see any good reason why his authority should be revoked and given to Judge Hodges
Col. Hedges is represented to me as an efficient man, and his loyalty is undoubted. The State arms now in your county are in the hands of good and loyal men, and I do not see the necessity of placing them elsewhere. If there should be any further disturbance of the peace of your county, the men who now have the arms can use them as well as others.
Col. Nutt will, on request, exhibit his instructions. Any aid you can render him will no doubt be thankfully received.
SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD.
SOURCE: Henry Warren Lathrop, The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood, Iowa's War Governor, p. 163-5