Tough times in Missouri

Extracts from letter of J. I. K. Hayward to J. W. Brooks, dated Steamer Hannibal City, August 13, 1861.

…Then, as a sample of what is done by some officers, last week a man named McAfee (speaker of the last house of representatives) was arrested. General Hurlbut ordered him to be set to digging trenches and pits for necessaries -note: field toilets, sometimes called sinks-, at which he was kept all one day when the mercury ranged about 100 degrees in the shade. A few days after he was taken from Macon to Palmyra, and the general ordered him to be tied on the top of the cab on the engine. It was prevented by our men, who, when persuasion failed, the engineer swore he would not run the engine if it was done (and I upheld him in it), and as he was being marched to the engine to mount it the signal was given, and the train started, giving them barely time to get on the cars. When there is added to this the irregularities of the soldiery such as taking poultry, pigs, milk, butter, preserves, potatoes, horses, and in fact everything they want; entering and searching houses, and stealing in many cases; committing rapes on the negroes and such like things the effect has been to make a great many Union men inveterate enemies, and if these things continue much longer, our cause is ruined. These things are not exaggerated by me, and, though they do not characterize all the troops, several regiments have conducted in this way, and have also repeatedly fired on peaceable citizens sometimes from trains as they passed and no punishment, or none of any account, has been meted out to them….

…If the thing goes on this way much longer, we are ruined. I fear we cannot run the road or live in the country except under military protection. It is enough to drive a people to madness, and it is doing it fast….