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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 12, 1861.
THE CAMP JACKSON PRISONERS.
If any additional testimony were wanting to establish the treasonable character of the leaders of the Camp Jackson troops, it is at last furnished by the exchange of prisoners recently effected through the agency of Williams, Barclay and others. We now learn what was sufficiently proved before, that by their own confession, a large proportion of the prisoners taken by Gen. Lyon, of the United States army, at Camp Jackson, on the 10th of May last, were secessionists, or confederate soldiers. They are not treated as such by Gen. Price, a confederate General, and they acknowledge that such was their character, by being exchanged as prisoners of war by the confederates. We suppose we shall hear no more about the “loyalty” of Camp Jackson, or the outrage upon the rights of good Union citizens, by capturing that camp.
No one, we presume, will deny the right of any member of that camp to take the position that belongs to him. But the next question is, what is to be done with these secession soldiers now released from their obligation not to take up arms against the government of the United States? The answer is obvious. Common sense and common prudence, as well as the usages of war, require that the should be placed immediately under a safe military escort and sent forthwith to Columbus, Ky., or Memphis, Tenn., and delivered up to their friends and co-laborers in this infamous rebellion, where they can enjoy the full benefit of their release from the obligation of their parole. No man ought to object to their joining the rebel forces now, as by their exchange we have secured an equal number of quite as valuable Union soldiers. But we notice many of these gentlemen of Camp Jackson notoriety, at large upon the streets, in earnest conference with leading secessionists of this city.
Is it possible that these confederate soldiers are to be allowed the liberty of the city, and permitted to visit our camps and fortifications; associate with our officers and soldiers, and thus gain important information for the use of the rebel army?
This ought not to be permitted for a single day. Let every man of them be found under his proper colors-the barred rag that flaunts in the breeze at Columbus and Memphis, and Cassville, the emblem both of treason and tyranny. Let this be done, and let a vigilant watch be kept for the young secession scions, whose bronzed faces are beginning to appear on our streets, after their summer campaign in the rebel ranks, that they may be at once secured and placed where they cannot at the same time enjoy comfortable winter quarters, and render efficient service to the rebel army by furnishing information of our strength and condition. Justice to our brave soldiers demands this-the safety of St. Louis demands it. If citizens with southern sympathies choose to remain quietly at home attending to their business, giving no aid or comfort to the enemy by word or deed, they may well claim and should receive the protection of the government. But that those whose secession proclivities are so rampant that they will leave their homes in fair weather, forget their obligations as good citizens, and aid and encourage rebels in their diabolical attempt to destroy our national existence, should return to hybernate in our midst is impudence unparalleled. They have forfeited all claims to protection, and richly merit and should promptly receive the rewards of treason whenever the government can lay its hands upon them.
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