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Order Number 11, August, 1863
TWO days after his safe arrival in Missouri from the Lawrence massacre, Quantrell disbanded the Guerrillas. Fully six thousand Federals were on his track. The savageness of the blow struck there had appalled and infuriated the country. The journalistic pulse of the North rose to fever heat and beat as though to its raging fever there had been added raving insanity. In the delirium of the governing powers impossible things were demanded. Quantrell was to be hunted to the death; he was to be hanged, drawn and quartered; his band was to be annihilated; he was to be fought with fire, persecution, depopulation and wholesale destruction. At the height of the very worst of these terrible paroxysms, Ewing’s famous General Order No. 11 was issued. It required every citizen of Jackson, Cass, Bates and a portion of Vernon counties to abandon their houses and come either into the lines of designated places that were fortified, or within the jurisdiction of said lines. If neither was done, and said citizens remained outside beyond the time limit specified for such removal, they were to be regarded as outlaws and punished accordingly. Innocent and guilty alike felt the rigors of this unprecedented proscription. For the union man there was the same line of demarkation that was drawn for the secessionist. Age had no immunity; sex was not regarded. The rights of property156 vanished; predatory bands preyed at will; nothing could be sold; everything had to be abandoned; it was the obliterating of prosperity by counties; it was the depopulation of miles upon miles of fertile territory in a night.
General Ewing had been unjustly censured for the promulgation of such an order and held responsible in many ways for its execution. The genius of a celebrated painter, Captain George C. Bingham of Missouri, had been evoked to give infamy to the vandalism of the dead and voice to the indignation of history over its consummation. Bingham’s picture of burning and plundering houses, of a sky made awful with mingling flames and smoke, of a long line of helpless fugitives going away they knew not whither, of appealing women and gray haired non-combatants, of skeleton chimneys rising like wrathful and accusing things from the wreck of pillaged homesteads, of uniformed things called officers rummaging in trunks and drawers, of colonels loaded with plunder, and capt............
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