Quincy is threatened by guerrillas! The pent-up fires of the volcano are trembling beneath our very feet, ready to burst forth into flame and fury. Our lives and property are in imminent danger of being sacrificed to the malice and treason of a merciless mob. Citizens of Quincy, you are called upon by every dictate of law and order and self-preservation to rally at the Court House to-night and prepare for this pressing emergency. The call, published in our columns this evening, and signed by several of our most prominent and cool headed fellow citizens, sets forth the simple fact that we are menaced from an unlooked-for quarter, that Quantrill's cut-throat band are meditating a descent upon our city for the purposes of plunder, robbery and murder. Stern and speedy measures for our protection must be immediately taken, or we may be awakened from our slumbers some night to behold the sacking of our burning city, and a repetition of the Lawrence massacre with all its attendant horrors.
We are speaking the words of truth and soberness. We know too much of the brewing troubles to cry "Peace, peace," when there is no peace, to sing the siren song of safety when we are nearing the whirling waters of the vortex and our ears are filled with the din of the bursting billows upon the rocks of Sylla and Charybdis. Many of our citizens have been aware that bushwhackers from Missouri have been fast multiplying in our midst of late, but it may be startling news for some to learn that forty or fifty of Quantrell's cutthroats are not in our city, plotting mischief whose terrible magnitude may well excite the most serious apprehension. Fresh from the slaughter of Lawrence, these blood thirsty villians and traitors are now seeking new fields to ravage and desolate with their internal butcheries. Not daring to risk the chances of an open attack, they have been slipping in by twos and threes, until one can hardly walk around the public square without meeting one or more of these death-deserving rebels and robbers.
It is reported that the gang have just captured Lexington, Missouri, and plundered several neighboring towns. Our Missouri exchanges contain accounts of late guerrilla operations in various counties in the northern portion of the State. The leaves are putting forth rapidly to screen them in their devilish work. The season of their activity has come and they have again begun in earnest. Having stripped their old "stamping ground" of every thing available, it is natural they should look with wistful eyes towards our flourishing city, and long to put their accused hands upon the rich spoils which he temptingly in their view. That this is their determined purpose we have the best evidence for believing. The incarnate fiend Quantril himself, it is positively asserted, was in our city last Tuesday night, arranging the preliminaries for an attack. The K. G. C.'s will, of course, co-operate in carrying out the bloody programme. Unless the men turn out to-night organize and arm to repel invasion and suppress the uprising of the treasonable order in our midst, the meditated mischief is sure to be accomplished. Shall we prepare to enforce law and order, or shall we allow our streets to be disgraced by riot and bloodshed in the cause of rebellion and treason?
We have before exposed the traitorous plans and purposes of the K. G. C.'s, — or the K. B.'s, which are the same — only to be ridiculed as over-suspicious and an alarmist. Those in the interest of the treason-plotters laughed off the matter as a vulgar sell, and even induced others of a more sensible turn of mind to believe the silly story. The rebel organ of this city, the most damnable, lying scoundrelly concern that ever added infamy to the rebel cause, has plumed itself for a week past upon its powers of burlesque and billings gate. Without attempting to gainsay the facts which we stated, it endeavors, by all ingenious course of pleasantry and ridicule, to divert public attention from their startling significance, and thus give the treason-mongers time to perfect their villainous plans. This is what the treacherous traitors well know how to do, and their home organ is ever ready to obey its superiors. But now that the danger we so clearly pointed out a few days ago is more imminent, and measures have been taken by our most respectable and worthy citizens to guard against it, we think the Herald might as well draw in its horns a little. It will soon discover where the "gazelle" comes in.
We would not needlessly alarm the fears of any one, but we could not be true to the best interests of the people, nor do our duty as public journalists, if we failed in this hour of peril to cry aloud and spare not. Scores of rebel refugees from Missouri are here to escape the avenging sword of justice, lifted to cleave them asunder for the crimes and savage atrocities with which they have reddened the soil of our neighboring State. These murderous minions of Jeff. Davis, with their hands all dripping with the blood of their fellow men, make their headquarters, and secretly mature their plans for robbing and plundering; and yet we, the loyal patriotic citizens of free Illinois, afford them that protection and countenance which is denied them in the border of Dixie! It is a blistering shame, a grinding humiliation, that degrades our manhood and cowers the proudest feelings of our nature. When will we arise in our might, shake off the loathsome load, and drive out the accursed crew from our midst? Then to the rescue. Turn out to-night. There is hot work ahead if we do not bestir ourselves. If we do our duty, the first crack of a rebel rifle in our city will be the signal of our deliverance.