Posted June 20, 2003

Solving the Mystery of the Arsenal Guns

by Randy R. McGuire, PhD

 

Part I:

Introduction

Sources and Methodology

Background of the Arsenal

The St. Louis Arsenal in the Years Leading up to the Civil War

Go to Part I

Part II:

Events of Early 1861 Affect the St. Louis Arsenal

Conclusion

Go to Part II

Bibliography

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix A

Excerpts from The War of the Rebellion:

A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union . . . Armies (1880-1901)

(Union records, dating from 12 November 1859 to 26 May 1861, pertaining to ordnance and munitions issues and the situation of Missouri in the opening days of the war.)

 

1a. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, November 12, 1859.

Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD, Secretary of War:

Sir: In compliance with your orders of the 10th instant, I transmit the inclosed tabular statement of the muskets and rifles on hand at each of the armories and arsenals. It does not include the 23,894 flint-lock muskets and 652 flint-lock rifles still remaining unaltered.

I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,

H. K. CRAIG,

Colonel of Ordnance.

[Inclosure]

1b. Statement of the number of serviceable muskets and rifles on hand at each armory and arsenal.

[The following is an abbreviated rendering of the list supplied by Colonel Craig, showing the names of the arsenals and total number of weapons on hand at each. In the original list there is a subdivision for each type of weapon and the number held by the installation.] (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 1)

Arsenal

Muskets Rifles Total Small Arms
Kennebec Arsenal, Me 24,313 0 24,313
Watertown Arsenal, Mass. 18,106 12,855 30,961
Springfield Armory, Mass. 242,976 0 242,976
Watervliet Arsenal, NY 46,721 9,688 56,409
New York Arsenal, NY 2,099 8,307 10,406
Detroit Arsenal, Mich. 446 0 446
Frankford Arsenal, Pa. 16,404 19 16,423
Allegheny Arsenal, Pa. 11,225 1,603 12,828
Pikeville, Arsenal, Md. 51 2 53
Washington Arsenal, DC 73,657 2,319 75,976
Harper's Ferry Armory, Va. 14,056 4,266 18,322
Fort Monroe Arsenal, Va. 321 51 372
Fayetteville Arsenal, NC 7,678 1,685 9,363
Charleston Arsenal, SC 2,413 814 3,227
Mount Vernon Arsenal, Ala. 2,364 32 2,396
Baton Rouge Arsenal, La. 11,672 1,488 13,160
San Antonio Arsenal, TX 1,301 260 1,561
Little Rock Arsenal, Ark. 349 54 403
Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo. 33,015 719 33,734
Benicia Arsenal, Cal. 4,574 35,044  
Vancouver Arsenal, Wash. Ter. 3,763 126 3889
In transit to California 18,000 0 18,000
 


TOTAL

561,400 48,862 610,262
       

2a. SENATE CHAMBER, Washington, December 21, 1860.

Col. H. K. CRAIG, Ordnance Department:

SIR: I will be obliged if you will inform me at your earliest convenience what number of arms of every kind has been distributed within a year past to the different States and Territories, under the existing laws or otherwise, designating rifle, infantry, ordnance, and cavalry equipments and ammunition; also what arms and munitions have been disposed of, to whom sold, and the reason for such sale, and amount now in the public armories subject to the order of your department.

With great respect, &c.,

HENRY WILSON. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 15)

[Indorsement.]

2b. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, December 22, 1860.

Under a standing rule prohibiting heads of bureaus from entering into direct correspondence with members of Congress, this letter is respectfully transmitted to the Secretary of War.

WM. MAYNADIER,

Captain of Ordnance. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 15)

 

3. WASHINGTON, December 31, 1860.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT: By virtue of the act of Congress approved February 13, 1795, entitled "An act to amend the act entitled ‘An act making alterations in the Treasury and War Departments,’" I hereby authorize Joseph Holt, Postmaster-General, to perform the duties of the office of the Secretary of War, now vacant by the resignation of John B. Floyd, until a successor shall be appointed and the vacancy filled.

JAMES BUCHANAN.

 

4. WASHINGTON, December 31, 1860.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Acting Secretary of War:

The House of Representatives has just passed a resolution instructing the Committee on Military Affairs to inquire into the sale and distribution of arms for the last year, and also the condition of the forts, arsenals, etc., with power to send for persons and papers.

Believing that the exigencies of the service require that the information asked for should be furnished to the House with the least possible delay, with the view to the early initiation of such measures as the information asked for may require, you will oblige me by furnishing me at your earliest leisure the names of such witnesses in your Department as will furnish the desired information. You will also please advise me what has been done, or what orders have been given, with the view to the protection of the public property in Charleston and in Charleston Harbor.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

B[ENJAMIN] STANTON,

Chairman Committee on Military Affairs. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 21-22)

 

5. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 3, 1861.

Hon. BENJAMIN STANTON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:

SIR: In answer to your letter, asking for information . . . in regard to the number and description of arms "distributed since the first day of January, 1860, and to whom and at what price," [these items] will be found in the accompanying statements . . . from the Ordnance Bureau. It is deemed proper to state . . . that where no distribution appears to have been made to the State or Territory, or where the amount of the distribution is small, it is because such State or Territory has not called for all the arms due on its quotas and remains a creditor for dues not distributed, which can be obtained at any time on requisition therefor. [Although the original report covers all the states and territories, only the items concerning the St. Louis Arsenal have been extrapolated here, along with a statement on the aggregate of weapons distributed to the Southern states]:

Number and description of arms distributed under the annual allotment to [Missouri] since 1 January 1860:

Rifle Muskets, caliber .58 252
Colt Belt Pistols 8
Non-Commissioned Officers’ Swords 8

Arms distributed by sale from [St. Louis Arsenal] since 1 January 1860:

3 Feb 1860, flintlock muskets altered to percussion, 4000 @ $2.50 to J.W. Zacharie &Co.

11 Jun 1860, flintlock muskets altered to percussion, 80 @ $2.00 to Capt. G. Barry

16 Nov 1860, flintlock muskets altered to percussion, 50 @ $2.00 to Phillips County,

Arkansas, Volunteers

Total number of weapons distributed to Southern states from all sources, including St. Louis Arsenal: 6-pounder bronze cannon—6; 12-pounder bronze cannon—2; .58 cal rifle musket—1617; .58 cal long range rifle musket—686; .58 cal cadet musket—716;

.69 cal percussion musket—450; Sharp’s carbine—1; Colt belt pistol—49; percussion pistol—61; various swords and sabers—325. There were also at least 18,550 flint lock muskets (.69 cal) altered to percussion which were sold to Southern states.

So, during 1860, the eleven states which would eventually secede from the Union had received, by annual distribution or by sale, a total of: 8 cannons; 12,020 muskets and rifles; 110 pistols; and 325 swords and sabers; not really an extraordinary number as those things go. (Another 5,560 flint lock muskets (.69 cal) were sold to individual entrepreneurs who may or may not have been serving Southern interests. It is unclear how many of these guns made it into Southern inventories.)

(OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 27-29)

 

6. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, January 8, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: In my last annual report, dated 30th of October, 1860, I had the honor, among other matters, to state as follows:

"The number of arms manufactured at the national armories during the last year was not as great as the available funds would have justified. This diminution is in a measure attributable to the diversion of armory operations from the manufacture of arms of the established model to the alteration of arms according to plans of patentees and to getting up models of arms for inventors. Our store of muskets of all kinds at this time does not exceed 530,000, dispersed among the arsenals of the country—nowhere more than 130,000 arms being together. As this supply of arms is applicable to the equipment of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the militia of the country, it is certainly too small, and every effort should be made to increase the number of our new-model [.58 caliber] guns, whilst no further reduction by sale of the old-model [.69 caliber] serviceable arms should be allowed until our arsenals are better supplied. Our store of muskets in former years reached nearly 700,000, and was not then considered too great for the country, as was evidenced by the liberal appropriations made for the further increase and for the construction of more perfect and productive machinery for the fabrication of small arms. . . ."

Since that date, 127,655 serviceable muskets altered to percussion have been ordered to be sold, many of which have already been disposed of and passed out of the possession of Government. I have now respectfully to recommend that no more arms on the orders already given be disposed of, and that no further sales be made except in the manner authorized by the Act of March 3, 1825.

Very Respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. Craig,

Colonel of Ordnance. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 33)

 

7. WASHINGTON, January 11, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: Will you have the goodness to furnish me, for the information of the Committee on Military Affairs, with a statement of the distribution of arms from the armories of the United States to the U. S. arsenals, and other places of deposit for safe-keeping, from the 1st day of January, A.D. 1860, to the 1st day of January, A.D. 1861, showing the number sent from each armory to each arsenal, or other place of deposit, and the time when each parcel was sent; also, whether any portion of the arms so distributed have been taken from the custody and control of the officers or persons charged with their custody or safe-keeping, and, if so, when and by whom they have been so taken. An early reply will very much oblige.

Yours, respectfully,

B[ENJAMIN] STANTON,

Chairman Committee on Military Affairs. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 36)

 

8. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 15, 1861.

Hon. B. STANTON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 11th instant, I have the honor to inclose to you a report of the Chief of Ordnance, communicating the information desired by your committee, touching the distribution of arms from the armories to the arsenals of the Southern States during the year 1860.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. HOLT

Secretary of War ad interim (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 38)

 

9. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, D.C., January 15, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference of a letter from the Hon. B. Stanton, chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives, asking for the statement of the distribution of arms from the armories to the arsenals and other places of deposit, for safe-keeping, from January 1, 1860, to January 1, 1861, &c., and, in compliance with your directions, [I] have to report that on December 30, 1859, an order was received from the War Department directing the transfer of 115,000 arms from the Springfield Armory and the Watertown and Watervliet Arsenals to different arsenals at the South.

Orders were given, in obedience to these instructions, on January 30, 1860, and the arms were removed during the past spring from and to the places as follows, viz:

From Springfield Armory, 65,000 percussion muskets, caliber of .69, and 40,000 muskets, altered from flint to percussion, caliber of .69. From Watertown Arsenal, 6,000 percussion rifles, caliber of .54. From Watervliet Arsenal, 4,000 percussion rifles, caliber of .54. Of which there were sent to Charleston Arsenal, 9,280 percussion muskets, 5,720 altered muskets and 2,000 rifles; North Carolina Arsenal, 15,480 percussion muskets, 9,520 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles; Augusta Arsenal, 12,380 percussion muskets, 7,620 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles; Mount Vernon Arsenal, 9,280 percussion muskets, 5,720 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles; Baton Rouge Arsenal, 18,580 percussion muskets, 11,420 altered muskets, and 2,000 rifles.

The arms thus transferred, which were at the Charleston Arsenal, the Mount Vernon Arsenal, and the Baton Rouge Arsenal, have been seized by the authorities of the several States of South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, and are no longer in possession of the Ordnance Department. Those stored at Augusta Arsenal and at North Carolina are still in charge of officers of this department.

In addition to the foregoing there have been transfers of arms from the armories of different arsenals, but only in such quantities as the exigencies of the service demand for immediate issues to the Army and the States, under the Act of April 23, 1808, and which I infer are not intended to be embraced in the call of the Hon. Mr. Stanton, whose letter is herewith returned.

Very respectfully, &c.,

H. K. Craig

Colonel of Ordnance. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 39)

 

10. ORDNANCE OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D.C., January 18, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 9th instant, as to ‘whether any of the arms of the United States at any of the arsenals or armories have recently been removed or ordered to be removed, and, if so, by whose orders, and for what reasons,’ I have to state that there have been no removals of arms since the 115,000 muskets and rifles which were ordered in January, 1860, from the armory at Springfield, Mass., and the arsenals at Watertown, Mass., and Watervliet, N. Y., to be deposited in the arsenals in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana (other than to meet the regular requisitions of the Army, the requisitions of the States for their yearly quotas, and such as have been sold), except the pieces of heavy ordnance ordered on the 22d ultimo from the Allegheny Arsenal, near Pittsburg, Pa., viz, twenty-one 10-inch and twenty-one 8-inch columbiads and four 32-pounder guns, ordered to Ship Island, Miss., for a fort in course of construction there, and twenty-three 10-inch and forty-eight 8-inch columbiads and seven 32-pounder guns, to Galveston Harbor, Tex., for a fort to be erected at that place, but the removal of which columbiads and guns was stopped by your order.

The removal of the muskets and rifles and the intended removal of the columbiads and guns, as well as the sale of the arms, was in obedience to orders from the Hon. John B. Floyd, late Secretary of War.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. CRAIG

Colonel of Ordnance. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 59-60)

 

11. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, January 18, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: Will you please inform me what number of improved arms, now recognized as suitable for the service, are now in possession of the Department, and how large a force the Department can now arm with the latest improved arms.

Very Respectfully, yours, &c.,

B[ENJAMIN] STANTON (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 42)

 

12. WASHINGTON, January 18, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: Please send me, for use of the Committee on Military Affairs, a copy of the order of the Secretary of War of December 30 [29], 1859, in relation to the distribution of arms, referred to in the letter of Colonel Craig to you of the 15th instant, and also the orders of January 30, 1860, referred to in the same letter, under which 115,000 stand of arms were distributed to sundry arsenals in the Southern States. You will also please advise me whether any arms have been distributed to any of the States for the year 1861, and, if so, the number and description distributed to each, and the date of the distribution.

It has seemed to me that there has been unnecessary delay in answering my former inquiries in relation to the distribution of arms.

You will oblige me, therefore, by furnishing me the information now asked for at your earliest convenience.

Very Respectfully, yours, &c.,

B[ENJAMIN] STANTON (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 42)

 

13. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, D. C., January 21, 1861.

Hon. J[OSEPH] HOLT, Secretary of War:

In answer to the letter of the Hon. B. Stanton of the 18th instant I have to state that it appears by the last returns that there were remaining in the U. S. arsenals and armories as follows: Percussion muskets and muskets altered to percussion (caliber .69), 499,554, and percussion rifles (caliber .54), 42,011; total, 541,565. If from this number are deducted the numbers of the same description that were in the arsenals in South Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana, which arsenals have been officially reported to have been taken possession of by the authorities of those States, 60,878, it leaves this number, 480,687; the whole of which are "recognized as suitable for the service." In addition to these there are, rifle muskets, model of 1855 (caliber .58), 22,827; rifles, model of 1855 (caliber .58), 12,508; total, 35,335; which are "the latest improved arms."

The letter of Mr. Stanton is herewith returned.

I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,

H. K. Craig,

Colonel of Ordnance.

NOTE.—Of the above 480,687 muskets and rifles, 22,000 of them are in the arsenal at Augusta, Ga., and 36,362 in the arsenal at Fayetteville, N. C. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 42-43)

[A simplified form of the chart accompanying his letter is reproduced below:]

States and

Territories

With Arms

All Types

of

Muskets

All Types

of

Rifles

Total

Small Arms

Union and Border States
Massachusetts 155,566 12,177 167,743
Dist. of Columbia 73,778 2,285 76,063
New York 42,005 28,406 70,411
California 47,501 7,218 54,719
Missouri 32,468 5,673 38,141
Pennsylvania 27,443 5,493 32,936
Maine 24,313   24,313
New Mexico 2,333 2,248 4,581
Washington Terr. 4,082 470 4,552
Kansas 1,385 2,193 3,578
Maryland 50   50
 


  410,924 66,163 477,087
Seceding States
North Carolina 32,678 3,636 [36,314]
Georgia 20,001 2,000 22,001
South Carolina 17,413 2,817 20,230
Alabama 17,359 2,000 19,359
Louisiana 12,364 6,141 18,505
Virginia 10,646 6,868 17,514
Texas 3,253 2,204 5,457
Arkansas 1,310 54 1,364
 


  115,024 25,720 140,744

The figures in Colonel Craig’s chart do not, unfortunately, square with his calculations in the letter. One sum in the original chart was found to be incorrect and it has been corrected for the simplified table above (see North Carolina, total number of arms). In the original chart, Colonel Craig included all of the states having arsenals, in both North and South. He then listed the total number of small arms (muskets and rifles) and artillery pieces (sea coast, siege and garrison, and field artillery) held in their inventories. There is no reason to believe the inventory numbers are inaccurate, even though Craig’s handling of the figures leaves something to be desired.

As for artillery, the Union states show the following totals of sea coast, siege and garrison, and field guns: Maine—19; New Hampshire—22; Massachusetts—265; Rhode Island—151; Connecticut—73; New York—744; Pennsylvania—295; Maryland—81; District of Columbia—490; Missouri—11; Kansas—4; New Mexico—5; California—197: for a total of 2,357 Union guns.

The seceding states show the following number of similar guns: Virginia—864; North Carolina—41; South Carolina—133; Georgia—22; Florida—464; Alabama—79; Louisiana—187; Texas—10; Arkansas—10: for a total of 1,810 Confederate guns.

Finally, in regard to the primary point of this paper concerning the number of guns in the St. Louis Arsenal, this chart, dated 21 January 1861, shows the state of Missouri to have an aggregate number (in its two arsenals) of 32,468 muskets and 5,673 rifles, for a total of 38,141 small arms. Of artillery pieces, Missouri has two siege or garrison guns (probably 12-pounders), and nine brass field guns and howitzers. The chart does not show how many of each type of weapon were at each arsenal, but it is clear from other sources that the St. Louis Arsenal contained the vast majority of ordnance in Missouri and the Liberty Arsenal held just enough to equip a small militia force in the northwestern part of the state. This becomes the key information necessary to answer the question of how many guns were at the St. Louis Arsenal in the opening days of the war. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 43)

 

14a. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 22, 1861.

Hon. B[ENJAMIN] STANTON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:

SIR: In answer to your letter of the 18th instant, I have the honor to inclose to you a report of the Chief of Ordnance, communicating the information desired by your committee respecting the recent distribution of arms to arsenals in the Southern States.

Referring to your remark touching the delay in answering your former inquiries, I beg to observe that there has been no such delay beyond that necessarily involved in the preparation of the information called for by the respective bureaus, a work upon which, generally speaking, only a very limited force could be advantageously employed. You will notice, for example, that the last report called for in response to your letter of the 8th instant—that of the Chief of Ordnance—did not reach me until yesterday afternoon.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J[OSEPH] HOLT,

Secretary of War

[Inclosure]

 

14b. WAR DEPARTMENT, December 29, 1859

The Colonel of Ordnance will give the requisite orders for supplying the arsenals at Fayetteville, N. C.; Charleston, S. C.; Augusta, Ga.; Mount Vernon, Ala., and Baton Rouge, La., with the following arms, in addition to those on hand at those arsenals, viz: 65,000 percussion muskets (caliber .69) and 40,000 altered to percussion (caliber .69) from Springfield Armory; also 6,000 percussion rifles (caliber .54) from Watertown Arsenal and 4,000 percussion rifles (caliber .54) from Watervliet Arsenal. These orders will be given from time to time as may be most suitable for economy and convenience of transportation. The distribution to the five first-named arsenals will be in proportion to their respective means of proper storage. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 44)

JOHN B. FLOYD,

Secretary of War.

 

15a. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 22, 1861.

Hon. B[ENJAMIN] STANTON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:

SIR: In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives communicated with your letter of the 8th instant, I have the honor to enclose to you reports from the Adjutant-General . . . containing the information called for touching the garrisons and defensive condition of our fortifications. . . .

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J[OSEPH] HOLT,

Secretary of War ad interim.

[Inclosure]

15b. ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, January 18, 1861.

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to lay before you a statement of so much of the information called for by resolution of the House of Representatives under date of the 31st ultimo as can be furnished by this office, and am,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General.

Tabular list of the forts belonging to the United States, with statement annexed of their actual garrison and also of their appropriate garrisons, the latter as originally set forth in a report of the Colonel of Engineers dated November 1, 1851, and which was prepared in answer to a call of the House of Representatives made on the 3d of March of the same year.

[The table of forts is omitted from this appendix since only a small part of it is relevant to this study. The list does not include every installation in the United States, but appears to contain all of those east of the Mississippi and a few in the West which could be affected by the secession. The list shows the optimum number of troops to be stationed at each post during time of war, as contrasted by the actual number of troops stationed there at the time of the report. The St. Louis Arsenal is shown to have a garrison of 33 in early 1861, while leaving the wartime figure blank. The "Missouri Depot" (Liberty Arsenal) shows a garrison of zero, at present, with nothing projected for wartime. For some unknown reason, Jefferson Barracks, which was at the time the largest cantonment west of the Mississippi, was not included in the list.] (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 47-48)

 

16. WASHINGTON, January 22, 1861

Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: Information which comes to me in the shape which is entitled to great confidence and respect satisfies me that a military force beyond the amount in reach and available for immediate exigencies is necessary at some points for local defense and the protection of the public property.

This is said to be especially the case for the protection of this District and the public property here, and also for the protection of the arsenal and custom-house and sub-treasury at Saint Louis, and perhaps at other points where the necessity may not be so great.

If you concur with me in this opinion, you will oblige me by having a bill prepared authorizing the President, if he shall deem it necessary, to call for such number of volunteers and for such time and such description of force as he may think the exigencies of the service may demand.

An early reply will much oblige your humble servant,

B[ENJAMIN] STANTON

Chairman Committee on Military Affairs. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 46-47)

17. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 24, 1861.

Hon. B[ENJAMIN] STANTON, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives:

SIR: I have received your letter of the 22d instant respecting the necessity for calling into the service of the United States a volunteer force for local defense and the protection of the public property at certain points, and requesting me, if I concur with you, to prepare a bill giving the necessary authority to the President to meet the emergency. In reply I have the honor to say that in my opinion the force now at the command of this Department is sufficient for any contemplated contingency, and that I do not apprehend a necessity for making a requisition for the services of volunteers. I may add that the President, concurring I believe in these views, would not desire to have such a bill as you propose submitted to Congress.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J[OSEPH] HOLT,

Secretary of War. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 55)

18. LITTLE ROCK, February 6, 1861. [Arkansas has not yet seceded from the Union.]

Col. S. COOPER, Adjutant-General U. S. Army:

I have to inform the authorities that companies of armed citizens from various sections of this State have already arrived, and it is said there will soon be five thousand here for the express purpose of taking this arsenal. Instructions are urgently and immediately asked. Collision seems inevitable if this arsenal is to be held.

JAMES TOTTEN,

Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Post. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 639)

 

19. LITTLE ROCK ARSENAL, Little Rock, Ark., February 6, 1861.

Col. S. COOPER, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose a copy of a communication just received from H. M. Rector, governor of the State of Arkansas, demanding the surrender of this arsenal to the State authorities. As I have already written and telegraphed you for the information of the President, I am perfectly in the dark as to the wishes of the administration, from the want [of] instructions how to meet such a crisis as at present. If I had positive orders to cover the case in point I should obey them implicitly; but I have nothing whatever, within my knowledge, indicative of the course the Government wishes its agents to pursue, and I am therefore left to act as my judgment and my honor as a Federal officer dictate under the present trying circumstances. I inclose also copies of certain resolutions, passed by the citizens of Little Rock, and of the common council of said city, explanatory of the circumstances under which the matter above referred to had been brought about. [Enclosures A, B, C, and D, which are not included here, accompanied this communication.]

JAMES TOTTEN,

Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Post. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 640)

 

20. LITTLE ROCK ARSENAL, Little Rock, Ark., February 6, 1861.

His Excellency HENRY M. RECTOR, Governor of Arkansas.

SIR: In the present trying circumstances by which the undersigned finds himself surrounded, as a Federal officer, he is anxious to learn officially from your excellency, before answering your demands for the surrender of the U. S. Arsenal at this place, the following important points, viz:

1st. If this arsenal and all the munitions of war stored therein are left intact as at the hour of 3 o’clock p.m. to-morrow, by the United States forces now in charge of them, will the governor of the State of Arkansas officially take charge of said arsenal and munitions of war in the name of the United States Government, and hold them in that light until future circumstances shall legally absolve him from the responsibility.

2d. If the United States forces now garrisoning Little Rock Arsenal evacuate said post, and leave the munitions of war intact as at the hour of 3 o’clock p. m. to-morrow, will the governor of the State of Arkansas officially guarantee to said forces an unmolested passage through the State in any direction the officer commanding said troops may elect, and guarantee, moreover, to said forces the right of carrying with them all the public and private property they brought with them to said arsenal, all which has been purchased for or by them, and all which has been sent to them since stationed at said arsenal, consisting of ordnance and ordnance stores, clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and barracks and mess furniture, as also provisions and all their individual or private property.

3d. If the arsenal and munitions of war stored therein are left intact as at the hour of 3 o’clock p. m. to-morrow, will the governor of Arkansas, in his official capacity, guarantee to the United States forces now in charge thereof the right of marching away from said place with all the honor due to them as Federal officers and soldiers who do not surrender their trust, but simply evacuate a post for want of instructions from their superiors in office, and in doubt as to the propriety of bringing on civil war among their fellow-countrymen?

Explicit and detailed answers to each and every one of these questions will have great influence upon the undersigned in his answer to the communication of the governor of Arkansas, which is promised by 3 o’clock p. m. to-morrow.

JAMES TOTTEN,

Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Post. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 643)

 

21. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Little Rock, Ark., February 7, 1861.

Capt. JAMES TOTTEN, U. S. Army, In charge of U. S. Arsenal, Little Rock:

SIR: Your communication of the 6th instant (yesterday), propounding to myself certain propositions, explicit and detailed answers to which would have great influence upon you in your answer promised the governor of Arkansas by 3 p. m. to-day, was received at about 11 o’clock this morning. After mature reflection I propose to accept your first, second, and third propositions, with the following understanding: That being informed your command brought no cannon with you—so none are to be taken away. You shall have a safe passage out of the State in any direction you may please with your command, provided, however, you do not station yourself within the limits of the State of Arkansas or on the borders thereof. Whatever your command, either of private or public property, brought with them you will be permitted to take away.

HENRY M. RECTOR,

Governor of Arkansas. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 644)

 

22. ORDERS, No. 3 }

HEADQUARTERS, LITTLE ROCK ARSENAL, Little Rock, Ark., February 8, 1861.

The troops of this command, consisting of Company F, Second Artillery, and all the enlisted men of the Ordnance Department, will be prepared to move to-day from this post to a camp to be selected by the commanding officer on the banks of the Arkansas River. The command will depart as soon as the necessary transportation can be provided.

By order of Captain Totten:

ST. CLAIR DEARING,

Second Lieutenant, Second Artillery, Post Adjutant. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 645)

 

23. LITTLE ROCK, ARK., February 9, 1861.

Col. S. COOPER, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington City, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose for the information of the President copies of four distinct papers relative to a solemn and ever-to- be-regretted act which has been forced upon me through the necessities of the circumstances surrounding me. The papers marked A, B, C, and D explain the whole sad affair from beginning to end, in connection with information previously communicated, and comment on my part, therefore, seems unnecessary at present. I have been forced, as the inclosed papers will show, to retire with, my command from Little Rock Arsenal, and yield my charge into the hands of Henry M. Rector, governor of the State of Arkansas, who has taken charge of the same in the name of the United States, to hold it in that light until legally absolved from the trust.

I hope I have acted in the whole matter in a manner which will meet the approbation of the Federal authorities. My object throughout these trying circumstances has been to avoid bringing about bloodshed and civil war in this immediate vicinity among peaceable, law-abiding, and loyal citizens of the United States. In doing so, I sincerely believe, in the absence of all instructions, I have only done what appears to be the course indicated by the present administration in its past course, so far as I am informed. It gratifies me beyond measure to be able, on this occasion, to bear honest testimony to the honorable, high-toned, loyal, and law-abiding action taken by the great majority of the most respectable citizens of Little Rock. From the richest to the poorest, I am happy to say, there was but one sentiment, and that was in opposition to the course of the governor and those who counseled and aided him in the deed done.

JAS. TOTTEN,

Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 645)

 

24. ORDERS, No. 6. }

CAMP AT FLETCHER’S LANDING, Vicinity of Little Rock, Ark., February 12, 1861.

This command, consisting of Company F, Second Artillery, and the enlisted men of the Ordnance Department formerly garrisoning Little Rock Arsenal, will embark to-day on the steamboat Madora, and proceed direct to Saint Louis, Mo., and report to the general commanding the Department of the West for orders as to its future movements.

JAMES TOTTEN,

Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 646)

 

25. ORDNANCE OFFICE, Washington, February 12, 1861.

Hon. J. HOLT, Secretary of War:

SIR: In compliance with your verbal request of this morning I have the honor to state that I have examined and ascertained that there are at the Kennebec Arsenal 24,300 muskets that have been altered from flint-lock to percussion, all of the model of 1822; and we also have at other arsenals and armories more than 100,000 percussion muskets of the model of 1842, which are much superior to the altered arms. Preparations were made for rifling the latter, but the process was stopped by your immediate predecessor. It will be resumed, and until the superior class are completed it is not deemed good policy to commence rifling those of inferior quality, like those in store at the Kennebec Arsenal, of which, it is believed, not more than one-half will be found fit for rifling. I also think it will be most economical to send the muskets to be rifled at an arsenal where we have machinery and steam power, or to the Springfield Armory.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. K. CRAIG,

Colonel of Ordnance. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 63)

26. HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, February 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. HARNEY, Commanding Department of the West:

SIR: The following dispatch was sent you by telegraph to-day:

Have you in the Saint Louis Arsenal troops enough to defend it? Ought you not to send up all the men from Jefferson Barracks? WINFIELD SCOTT.

The General-in-Chief desires to strengthen that dispatch by calling your attention to these considerations: That it is best to move in advance of excitement; that it is possible, when an emergency arises, re-enforcements may be cut off, and that all the force may now be usefully employed at work in adding to the defenses of the arsenal.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE W. LAY,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 653)

 

27. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., February 19, 1861.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS, Assist. Adj. Gen., Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from the head-quarters of the Army by Lieutenant Colonel Lay, aide-de-camp, dated the 13th instant, in which my attention is called to the subject of the defense of the Saint Louis Arsenal.

The considerations presented in that communication have not been overlooked by me, but believing from all the information I have been able to gather (and I have been favored with the advice of persons whose Judgment I have considered as perfectly reliable) that the apprehensions which have been entertained of a demonstration against the Saint Louis Arsenal have not been well founded, and that such an attempt has not been at any time seriously contemplated, it has not appeared to me that the safety of the arsenal required that I should call up any considerable portion of the troops from Jefferson Barracks. Moreover, the secession party is in a decided minority in Saint Louis, and there is every reason to suppose that in the event of a movement from any quarter upon the arsenal its garrison would be promptly succored by an overwhelming force from the city. At any rate such is the prevailing opinion in the community, and in the existence of the sentiment may, it is thought, be found a sufficient warrant for the belief that the arsenal is not at this time in danger.

The Saint Louis Arsenal is, however, being put in as complete a defensive condition as possible. Major Hagner, in whose judgment I have the most entire confidence, advised me, even before the arrival of Captain Lyon’s company, of the Second Infantry, that he considered himself strong enough to defend his position successfully. He has recently, in obedience to the orders of the General-in-Chief, been re-enforced by some three hundred recruits from Jefferson Barracks, and his command now numbers nine officers and four hundred and eighty-four men.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 654)

 

28. SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, February 21, 1861.

Col. H. K. CRAIG, Chief of Ordnance, Washington:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report for your information that since my report of the 7th instant the following additional troops have been joined to my command:

February 16, three officers and two hundred men; February 19, one officer and one hundred and one men. Our aggregate this morning is four hundred and eighty-eight.

I have thrown up field works on all sides of our main cluster of buildings, and provided them with guns commanding the interior faces of our inclosing wall and all approaches to the main square. We are perfectly secure, therefore, against any infantry attack and watchful against surprise.

I am sorry to say that the small-pox and measles have appeared within the last forty-eight hours, and a few cases have developed; but I have opened a separate hospital in the laboratory buildings for such cases, and have authority from the general commanding the department to send patients to Jefferson Barracks as often as may be necessary. The cases were brought here.

Notwithstanding the large force and the few conveniences for them upon their arrival, I think they are well cared for, and all essentials for health and comfort provided. The arrangements made still permit all the arsenal duties to proceed regularly without inconvenience to the shop work in hand.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

P. V. HAGNER,

Brevet Major, Commanding (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 655)

 

29. WASHINGTON CITY, March 11, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Our friends in Saint Louis desire that Captain Lyon may have the command of the troops at the Saint Louis Arsenal, and be charged with its defense, and that Major Hagner be required simply to take charge of the Ordnance Department. Captain Lyon ranks Major Hagner, and would have command of the troops except for the fact that Major Hagner is assigned to duty according to his brevet rank. I ask in behalf of our friends that this assignment may be rescinded and the command of the troops given to Captain Lyon.

Respectfully,

FRANK P. BLAIR. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 656; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 106)

 

30. SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 74. }

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, March 13, 1861.

Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, the senior officer of the line present and on duty at Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo., is assigned to the command of the troops and defenses at that post.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 106)

 

31. SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, March 19, 1861.

COL. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington City:

COLONEL: I received to-day through the department headquarters Special Orders, No. 74, from your office, assigning the command of the troops and defenses at this post to Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry. This order I am informed has not been accompanied by any explanation, but I have since received from the department headquarters a copy of the instructions sent to Captain Lyon, directing him ‘not to regard the officers and men of the Ordnance Department as forming a part of his command.’

Having been assigned to the command of this arsenal, by telegraphic orders, at a moment of great excitement and anxiety for its safety, and every requirement of the law having been fulfilled to enable me to exercise command over troops of the line stationed here at the time of my arrival, and subsequently confirmed in the command (after Captain Lyon’s arrival) by the terms of your telegraphic dispatch, dated February 11, 1861, stating "the command of the mixed troops belongs to Major Hagner," I need not tell you with what surprise this order was received. As it comes after all excitement in this community has been allayed; after all the necessary defenses for the arsenal have been long since arranged and completed by me in a manner so imposing as to impress all visitors with the conviction of our thorough preparation against illegal attempts, and without one word of explanation to save the pride of a soldier of twenty-five years’ active service from the reproach implied by being displaced by a junior in years, in length of service, and in Army rank in the command of the defenses of his post, you cannot doubt, sir, that the surprise is accompanied by great mortification.

If the command of mixed troops belonged to Major Hagner on the 11th of February, and any course of argument has since proven to the satisfaction of those in authority that that command no longer belongs to him, I appeal to the high sense of justice of the General-in-Chief; to his own well-deserved and well-known soldier’s pride, whether it was not due to me that that fact should be stated in orders if it induced my displacement. Had any personal impeachment been urged, ought not my long service and hitherto good standing in my profession have secured me a hearing before condemnation? Should it now be that my relatives and friends, in and out of the Army, should be left to dread that one who has, on more than one occasion, received the praise of the General-in-Chief, has now done something or omitted to do something forfeiting his good opinion for competency in the performance of a trust committed to him? May I not hope, therefore, that some explanatory statement shall be published in this case?

I have been informed by Captain Lyon to-day that he has used efforts or made application to obtain this command from me. What kind they have been I do not know, but as no communication has passed through his commanding officer, as prescribed by Army Regulations, and no previous whisper of the use or contemplated use of such efforts has reached my ears, I have been deprived of the legal right and of the authorized benefit of an answering argument to any he may have made. This injustice to me, I am sure, cannot receive the sanction of the General-in- Chief; and I confidently appeal to him for such action in the case as may secure me my full rights, as intended by law and regulation.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. V. HAGNER,

Brevet Major, Commander of Arsenal. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 657-58)

 

32a. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., March 20, 1861.

COL. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of paragraph 1, Special Orders, No. 74, of the 13th instant, from the Adjutant-General’s Office, assigning Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, to the command of the troops and defenses at the Saint Louis Arsenal, and to inclose a copy of the instructions I have given with respect to that assignment. I trust the interpretation I have placed upon the order is in accordance with the views of the War Department upon the subject.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

32b. SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 74}

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, March 13, 1861.

I. Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, the senior officer of the line present and on duty at Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo., is assigned to the command of the troops and defenses at that post.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

 

32c. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., March 13, 1861.

Capt. N. LYON, Second infantry, Commanding Troops at Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo.:

SIR: I am directed by the commanding general to address you as follows respecting the interpretation to be put upon paragraph 1 of Special Orders, No. 74, of the 13th instant, from the Adjutant-General’s Office, assigning you to the command of the troops and defenses at the Saint Louis Arsenal, with a copy of which you have been furnished:

It is not supposed that in issuing that order the Secretary of War designed you should exercise any control over the operations of the Ordnance Department, and you will not, therefore, regard the officers and men of that branch of the service stationed at the arsenal as forming a portion of your command.

The arrangements heretofore made for the accommodation of the troops at the arsenal and for the defense of the place will not be disturbed without the sanction of the commanding general, to whom you will present any considerations touching those subjects you may think worthy of adoption.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 658-59)

 

33. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 6, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. P. V. Hagner, Ordnance Department, Commanding Saint Louis Arsenal:

SIR: The department commander directs that you transfer to Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, commanding the troops at the Saint Louis Arsenal, all the mounted artillery at that place available for service, and understood to consist of two 8-inch howitzers, six 12-pounder howitzers, and four 6-pounder guns; also, the implements required to render the same effective for service, together with fifty rounds of fixed ammunition for each piece. Captain Lyon is also authorized by the department commander to throw up such defenses of earth at the arsenal, and to occupy such of the out-buildings with a night force, as in his judgment security of the place may call for.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 661)

 

34. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 9, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. P. V. Hagner, U. S. Army, Commanding Saint Louis Arsenal, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Under existing circumstances the department commander deems it of great importance that the ordnance supplies stored in the magazine at Jefferson Barracks, or elsewhere, be brought within the vicinity of the Saint Louis Arsenal limits, and he therefore directs that you cause such supplies to be transferred to the arsenal with the least practicable delay.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 662-63)

 

35. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Jefferson Barracks, Saint Louis, Mo., April 9, 1861.

Maj. N. C. MACRAE, Third Infantry, Commanding:

SIR: The department commander directs that Captain Totten’s company, Second Artillery, be sent to the Saint Louis Arsenal by the early train to-morrow, or as soon thereafter as practicable. The company will be prepared to go into camp on its arrival at the arsenal, and will take with it to that place the equipage necessary for this purpose.

The department commander further directs that the detachment of ordnance that accompanied Captain Totten’s company from Little Rock Arsenal be transferred to the Saint Louis Arsenal.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 663)

 

36. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 10, 1861.

Maj. N. C. MACRAE, Third Infantry, Commanding Jefferson Barracks, Mo.:

SIR: Instead of proceeding to Saint Louis Arsenal, as directed in the communication I had the honor to address to you, under date of yesterday, the department commander directs that Captain Totten’s company (F), Second Artillery, take post at the arsenal magazine, on the Jefferson Barracks reservation, to guard the public property stored there. It is understood that there are sufficient quarters at the magazine for the accommodation of the company; but, if not, tents must be used to the extent that may be necessary.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 664)

 

37. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 10, 1861.

Bvt. Maj. P. V. Hagner, U. S. Army, Commanding Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo.:

SIR: I am directed by the commanding general to say that, upon the information furnished by Lieutenant Wright, his instructions of yesterday’s date, ordering that the ordnance supplies stored in the Jefferson Barracks may again be brought within the arsenal limits, are so far modified as to require that the fixed ammunition only be transferred to the arsenal.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 664)

 

38. By THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A PROCLAMATlON.

[15 April 1861]

Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed and the execution thereof obstructed in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals by law:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby d0 call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details of this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.

I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the forces hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union, and in every event the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country. And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from date.

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both houses of Congress. Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve o’clock noon on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as in their wisdom the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington this fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Secretary of State: WILLIAM H. SEWARD (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 67-68)

 

39. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 15, 1861.

SIR: Under the act of Congress "for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invasions," &c., approved February 28, 1795, I have the honor to request Your Excellency to cause to be immediately detached from the militia of your State the quota designated in the table below, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.

Your Excellency will please communicate to me the time at or about which your quota will be expected at its rendezvous, as it will be met as soon as practicable by an officer or officers to muster it into the service and pay of the United States. At the same time the oath of fidelity to the United States will be administered to every officer and man. The mustering officer will be instructed to receive no man under the rank of commissioned officer who is in years apparently over forty-five or under eighteen, or who is not in physical strength and vigor.

[In the chart attached to the above notice, 24 states (which had not yet seceded), were designated to provide the total of 75,000 volunteers. The official governments of six of the states (AR, KY, MO, NC, TN and VA) refused to provide troops for this call. Ultimately, western Virginia provided a portion of Virginia’s quota and proceeded to secede from that state to become the 35th state in the Union. Missouri’s governor, Claiborne Jackson, likewise refused to honor the President’s call for volunteers. So Frank Blair arranged to have Missouri’s quota of four regiments (amounting to 151 officers, 3,123 men and one brigadier general) filled by volunteers, with the support of regular troops, from the St. Louis area. Ultimately, under this first call for volunteers, Missouri ended up providing ten regiments of 10,591 officers and men. With the additional recruits provided by Missouri and a few other states, the April 15th call resulted in 91,816 volunteers being sworn in for ninety days of service. A significant majority of these men would eventually reenlist for three-year service in Federal units.] (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 68)

 

40. In order to standardize the organization of Union Army units, the Adjutant General issued the following guidance for mustering officers in the various states:

Organizations for the militia force called for by the President of the United States April 15, 1861:

A company of infantry—1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 ensign, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 drummer and 1 fifer, 64 privates.

A company of foot riflemen—the same, except there may be a bugler instead of the drummer and fifer; or about half the companies of a regiment or battalion may have a drummer and fifer, and the other companies a bugler.

A regiment of infantry or foot riflemen, to consist of ten companies—1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 1 adjutant, 1 regimental quartermaster. 1 surgeon, 1 assistant surgeon, 1 sergeant-major, 1 quartermaster-sergeant, 1 drum-major, 1 fife-major.

A brigade, to consist of four or more regiments—1 brigadier-general, 1 aide-de-camp, 1 brigade inspector.

A division, to consist of two or more brigades—1 major-general, 2 aides-de-camp, 1 division inspector.

Some of the companies composing a regiment may be of infantry and the others rifle, if desired.

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

(OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 76)

 

41. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 16, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters of the Army, City of New York:

SIR: In the present state of affairs in this quarter, I deem it to be my duty to make a special report with reference to the Saint Louis Arsenal. The arsenal buildings and grounds are completely commanded by hills immediately in their rear and within easy range. I learn from sources which I consider reliable that it is the intention of the executive of this State to cause batteries to be erected on these hills and also upon the island opposite to the arsenal. I am further informed that, should such batteries be erected, it is contemplated by the State authorities, in the event of the secession of the State from the Union, to demand the surrender of the arsenal.

The command at the arsenal at the present consists of nine officers and about four hundred and thirty enlisted men, made up of a detachment of ordnance, Captain Totten’s company of the Second Artillery, Captain Lyon’s company of the Second Infantry, and Fourth Artillery, and general-service recruits. While this force would probably be able to resist successfully an assaulting party greatly superior to itself in numbers, it could not withstand the fire of the batteries situated as above indicated. Under these circumstances I respectfully request instructions for my guidance.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 666-67)

 

42a. SPRINGFIELD, April 17, 1861.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President, &c.:

DEAR SIR: By Governor Yates’ request I also inclose to you, along with other letters, the following memorandum received by him from Captain Lyon, commanding at the Saint Louis Arsenal.

Yours, &c.,

E. L. BAKER

[Inclosure.]

42b. Memorandum for Mr. F. J. Dean, about to visit Springfield, Illinois

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, April 16, 1861.

Captain Lyon, Second Infantry, commanding the troops at Saint Louis Arsenal, would respectfully submit to his Excellency Richard Yates, governor of Illinois, that in view of imminent danger of an attack at this point by the secessionists upon this arsenal, the custom-house, treasury, and post-office in Saint Louis, it would be well to communicate with the authorities in Washington for the purpose of holding the six regiments called for from his State in readiness for service here. At Jefferson Barracks, ten miles below, quarters for three thousand men could be had, and some one thousand or two thousand could be quartered here. A sufficient excuse also exists in the fact that the four regiments called for from this State cannot be had. As the arms of this arsenal are the main object of attack here, it might be well for Governor Yates to make requisition, for a large supply of arms, and get them shipped from here to Springfield.

N. LYON,

Captain,

Second Infantry, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 667)

 

43. SPRINGFIELD, ILL., April 17, 1861.

Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

The Governor’s call was published on yesterday and he has already received the tender of forty companies. In a day or two the six regiments will be full, but the Governor will continue to receive additional companies until further orders, provided that not more than double the number called for apply.

Reliable information from Union men in Saint Louis has been received here and civil war seems to be imminent, which ought to be averted by all means. The arsenal and the sub-treasury are the points most in danger. The Union men are not armed there. The State militia and municipal police are under the control of the secessionists. The best policy we can suggest—and, indeed, as far as we are concerned in Illinois it is the one indispensably necessary—is to require the commanding officer at the arsenal to furnish us 10,000 stand of arms and ammunition. The arms once in Illinois, we can supply the Union men in Saint Louis with them. It would be best to withdraw as many guns as possible from that arsenal, as it may ultimately be lost. We understand that about $200,000 is about to be sent to the sub-treasury there. It ought to be stopped and all the money not immediately wanted ought to be drawn out.

It is the opinion of some that perhaps it would be best to have a separate army of the West, consisting of some 20,000 men, and to be concentrated at Saint Louis or in the immediate neighborhood. This would save Missouri certainly, and in a military point of view embarrass the Southern Confederacy very much. If Federal troops can be spared, with a few guns, they ought to be sent instantly to Cairo, that point being considered the most important and commanding point of the West.

The Governor has already telegraphed for arms for our Illinois troops. They are needed immediately, and of course can be had most conveniently in Saint Louis. We are anxiously waiting for letters and instructions by mail. Our people burn with patriotism and all parties show the same alacrity to stand by the Government and the laws of the country. Illinois is a unit, and will be true to her former reputation for courage and patriotism.

Please answer by messenger, Mr. Butler.

Very respectfully,

RICHARD YATES, Governor

LYMAN TRUMBALL.

GUSTAVUS KOERNER.

WILLIAM BUTLER, State Treasurer.

JESSE K. DUBOIS, Auditor.

O. M. HATCH, Secretary of State. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 80-81)

 

44. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Jefferson City, Mo., April 17, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your dispatch of the 15th instant, making a call on Missouri for four regiments of men for immediate service, has been received. There can be, I apprehend, no doubt but the men are intended to form a part of the President’s army to make war upon the people of the seceded States.

Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its object, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on any such unholy crusade.

C. F. JACKSON,

Governor of Missouri. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 82-83)

 

45. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 18, 1861.

Capt. N. LYON, Second Infantry, Commanding Troops, Saint Louis Arsenal, Mo.:

SIR: The department commander deems it expedient to direct that no patrols be sent outside of the arsenal limits until otherwise ordered by him. The department commander further orders that none of the five thousand stands of arms recently placed at your disposal, or of the equipments and ammunition for the same, be issued without his sanction.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 668)

 

46. EAST SAINT LOUIS, April 19, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON:

Dispatches for U. S. officers at Saint Louis should be addressed to East Saint Louis by the way of Terre Haute. Their contents will then be perfectly safe as far as all western points are concerned. Notify other members of the Cabinet, and ascertain yourself about Baltimore and Washington offices. Send order by telegraph at once for mustering men into service to Capt. N. Lyon. It will surely then be executed, and we will fill your requisition in two days. Relieve Hagner. Answer immediately.

FRANK P. BLAIR, JR. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 668-69)

 

47. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 20, 1861.

His Excellency Governor Yates, Springfield, Ill.:

DEAR SIR: Please send two or three regiments of your quota of militia to support the garrison of the Saint Louis Arsenal, and to receive their arms and accouterments there. The commander of that arsenal will also have instructions from me to issue those arms and accouterments, and ten thousand more to such agent as your excellency may appoint, for which extra arms and accouterments the State of Illinois will be held responsible to this Government.

Very respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 669)

 

48. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 20, 1861.

To the COMMANDER OF THE ARSENAL at Saint Louis:

Sir: Two or three regiments of the Illinois militia recently called for by the President will present themselves to you, to assist in the defense of the Saint Louis Arsenal. Equip them at once with arms, accouterments, and ammunition, and if any part of this re-enforcement cannot be accommodated with quarters in the arsenal, let that part be sent to Jefferson Barracks, if that can be done without hazard to the arsenal. You will, moreover, issue ten thousand additional stand of arms (arms and accouterments) to the authorized agent or agents of his excellency the governor of Illinois, with a corres-ponding amount of ammunition.

Respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 669)

 

49. ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, April 21, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. S. HARNEY, Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.:

GENERAL: I am directed by the Secretary of War to say that you are hereby relieved from the command of the Department of the West, which will devolve upon the senior officer in the department, and you will repair to this city and report to the General-in-Chief.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 669)

 

50. ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Washington, April 21, 1861.

Capt. N. LYON, Second Infantry, East Saint Louis:

General Harney has this day been relieved from his command. The Secretary of War directs that you immediately execute the order previously given to arm the loyal citizens, to protect the public property, and execute the laws. Muster four regiments into the service.

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 670; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 106)

 

51. Report No. 5 }

Report of Nathaniel Grant of the seizure of U. S. Arsenal at Liberty, Mo.

MISSOURI DEPOT, Sunday, April 21, 1861.

SIR: I embrace the first opportunity to inform you that the depot was taken yesterday about 10 o’clock by a body of armed men from this and the adjacent counties. While I am writing the depot yard and grounds are filled with men, who are rapidly removing the ordnance and ordnance stores from the post. Having no means of resistance, my protest against the forcible and unlawful seizure of the public property was of no avail, and I was informed that all the military stores would be taken.

I send this to Saint Louis by boat to be mailed, and so soon as it can be done a detailed report of all the facts, so far as they can be ascertained will be forwarded.

Very respectfully, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

NATHANIEL GRANT,

In charge of Depot. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 649)

 

52. Report No. 5 }

Report of Benjamin Farrar of the seizure of U. S. Arsenal at Liberty, Mo.

EAST SAINT LOUIS, Mo. [sic], April 21, 1861.

Liberty Arsenal, in Missouri, was taken possession of by secessionists yesterday, and 1,500 arms and a few cannon distributed to citizens of Clay County. The Missouri River is blockaded at Independence. All quiet here at present.

BENJAMIN FARRAR (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 649-50)

 

53. St. Louisan Edward Bates, then Attorney General of the United States, received an informative letter from his friend, Mr. C. Gibson, a concerned Unionist who had some advice to share about how to improve the precarious situation at the St. Louis Arsenal. Mr. Bates passed along this letter to the Secretary of War for his consideration:

SAINT LOUIS, April 22, 1861.

Hon. EDWARD BATES:

MY DEAR OLD FRIEND: I have this moment returned from a visit to Captain Lyon at the arsenal. I find matters there in confusion as to the command, and that the force is inadequate to the defense of the place. It seems Captain Lyon is in command of the troops, and Major Hagner of the ordnance; that General Harney has to be in many matters consulted. I think this should be remedied at once, by placing somebody in the supreme command in all respects.

Captain Lyon has only about three hundred and sixty men in all, and of these about thirty are sick and thirty others are prisoners. The walls are long, and cannot be lined with so few men. Captain Lyon has received no authority to accept and arm volunteers. There are plenty of good men in the city, ready and anxious to volunteer at once. This should be attended to immediately.

The secessionists here have changed their tactics completely. Such is the excitement created here by the calling out of the militia, that they are confident the people of this State will vote her out of the Union, and they have good grounds to think so. They are, therefore, for leaving everything to the people, and committing no violence. They have substituted the false charge that Mr. Lincoln intends to subjugate the South in lien of their own lawless acts, and have suddenly become the most law-abiding citizens. If the State goes out, they expect the public property belonging to the United States to pass ipso facto to them. This is my own inference as to their plans, but I think it is correct.

Captain Lyon agrees with me that both the arsenal and [Jefferson] barracks are untenable as military positions. It therefore requires a large force to maintain the rights of the Government. To send the militia from any non-slaveholding State would be in my opinion most injudicious. It would inflame the popular mind to a very dangerous degree. What I propose and earnestly recommend is to enroll volunteers of this State, purging them all with an oath, to the number of three, four, or five thousand men. This number can be easily obtained if it be understood they are not to leave the State. It would place Saint Louis in the hands of the Union men, and thus give them courage, which they now lack, and it could excite but little jealousy. It would also show that there were Union men in Missouri, which is important at this time. The Government would lose nothing in permitting them to remain here, for I think they should be kept here at all events. They would not lose their citizenship by being enrolled. There is much talk in certain quarters of "superseding" the convention, and we may need all our citizens here.

Permit me also to suggest that it would be well to quietly remove a great portion of the arms and munitions of war now at the barracks to Cairo, with the avowed purpose of arming the troops to be there mustered into the service. One great point to be gained by the secessionists in capturing the arsenal is to get the arms for the State, which is now almost wholly without arms of any kind. I will be here ten days or perhaps two weeks, and any service I can render the Government will be cheerfully done.

Your sincere friend,

C. GIBSON (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 672-73)

 

54. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 22, 1861.

Hon. JOHN A. BROWNLEE, President of Board of Police Commissioners, City of Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st instant, acquainting me with certain resolutions of the board of police commissioners of this city.

In answer to the first resolution, I respectfully state that some twenty-four hours before the receipt of your communication I had decided to take up my quarters temporarily at the arsenal. With regard to the second, third, and fourth resolutions of the board, I can only say that in the issue of arms from the Saint Louis Arsenal and in the reception of volunteers into the service of the United States I must be governed solely by the instruction that may be sent to me from the War Department touching those subjects.

In conclusion, I beg leave to add that it is my sincere desire to prevent any collision between the troops of the State of Missouri and the forces of the United States at this point.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 670)

 

55. General Orders No. 9 }

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., April 23, 1861.

In compliance with instructions which have been received from the Adjutant-General’s Office, under date of April 21, 1861, Brig. Gen. W. S. Harney hereby relinquishes command of the Department of the West.

By order of Brigadier-General Harney

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 670-71)

 

56. GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, Springfield, Ill., April 25, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I have just addressed you by telegraph, stating that I was greatly embarrassed by the number of volunteers which have assembled. A less number of men are now being mustered into service in each company than the telegraph announced. To send these men home will have a demoralizing effect. Will not the Government accept additional regiments in this State? It is highly important. In my message to the Legislature I have recommended the raising of ten regiments in addition to the six regiments which you have authorized. You have directed four regiments to be stationed at Cairo and two or three regiments to support the garrison at Saint Louis Arsenal. Do we not need a requisition for more men, so that we may be fully prepared to meet any demand of the General Government for any emergency? We are deeply impressed here with the necessity for such a requisition. We have about 1,400 men now in Cairo and thirteen cannon, and are sending munitions forward as rapidly as possible. We expect to send two or three regiments to-night or to-morrow to Saint Louis.

At Cincinnati and in Indiana arrangements have been made to stop supplies of provisions and articles of commerce with the South. We have directed the officer in command at Cairo to seize munitions of war passing that point, but have not yet assumed the responsibility of preventing commercial intercourse. I would respectfully direct your attention to this subject, and the importance of instructing the officer in command at Cairo with reference to the commerce of the river. The troops that were sent to Cairo have not yet been mustered into service. There was no officer here to perform that duty when your order arrived, and the emergency of the occasion was such that it became necessary to send the troops forward immediately. I hope that an officer will soon be sent to muster them into service, and also one to assume the command at that point, with definite instructions concerning commercial intercourse with the South.

Respectfully, yours,

RICHARD YATES,

Governor (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 113)

 

57. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Springfield, Ill., April 26, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Four regiments are now mustered into service at this place [Springfield]. At Cairo we have 1,274 men not mustered. Two regiments will be mustered into service at Cairo in two or three days. To-morrow we send a regiment from this point to Cairo. Besides the four regiments, we have about twenty accepted companies at this point. There are also fourteen companies at this place not accepted, and ninety-three companies in different parts of the State who have tendered their services who are fully organized and partially drilled; also a company of dragoons of 171 picked men waiting at this point to be mustered into service.

Besides the above, a large number of companies have been organized at various points, but whose services have not yet been formally tendered.

Owing to advices received from General Wool, we have not sent the regiments to Saint Louis alluded to in my letter of yesterday.

Respectfully, yours,

RICHARD YATES,

Governor (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p.116)

 

58. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Springfield, Ill., April 26, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: We this day received from the Saint Louis Arsenal 21,000 stand of arms, all complete, 110,000 musket cartridges, and two field pieces, all complete. There are left there 8,000 stand of arms. We stand very much in need of the following articles, and they should be furnished to us without delay:

Complete camp and garrison equipage (including Sibley tents) for 10,000 men; camp kettles and knapsacks; musket accouterments for 21,000 men; 2,000,000 rounds of cartridges for army percussion muskets; bayonet scabbards and belts; two batteries of 12-pounders, necessary to command the Mississippi River, with 1,000 rounds of fixed ammunition for each gun; 1,000 rounds of fixed ammunition for forty 6-pounders; clothing for three months for 10,000 men; 500 cavalry sabers for officers. We would be glad to have the messenger who carries this letter provided with the requisition upon the proper point for above articles.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RICHARD YATES,

Governor (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 116-17)

 

59. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Springfield, Ill., April 30, 1861.

General JOHN E. WOOL:

DEAR SIR: Your telegram of 29th instant was duly received requesting me to deliver, on the requisition of the Governor of Ohio, 5,000 muskets and accouterments. I have this day complied with said requisition and directed 5,000 muskets and such accouterments as were in our possession to be delivered to the messenger of the Governor of Ohio. We hope no farther requisition may be made upon us for arms. We are so situated that it may become absolutely necessary to use every musket in our possession for our own defense as well as the protection of our loyal friends in Missouri. We have now about three regiments in Cairo and one at Alton, and perhaps 4,000 troops at this place. We are continually receiving letters and telegrams from Cairo and its vicinity urging the immediate concentration of a large force at Cairo and other towns in its neighborhood, in anticipation of an attack from a well-organized and powerful force to be sent from Memphis and other points on the Mississippi, as well as the Ohio River.

The security of Cairo and the southern portion of the State of Illinois demands that a large force should be sent there as soon as possible. Four regiments have been directed to be sent there by the War Department, and a much larger force may become necessary to repel an attack and to protect not only Cairo, but other places in Southern Illinois.

A military encampment is to be held at Saint Louis this week under the direction of the Governor of Missouri. Our friends in Saint Louis deem it very necessary for their encouragement, and it may be for their protection, that we should immediately send another regiment to Alton, so that they may be prepared for any emergency. They anticipate serious difficulties with the secessionists, and think a large force should be well armed and stationed near Saint Louis in order to preserve the public peace. Our friends are also demanding that a regiment should be located at Quincy in order to prevent any outbreak in Northern Missouri, and to protect the loyal citizens of that section of country. You will readily perceive that, situated as we are, with so much territory bordering on slave States, with so many important points to protect, and with the southern point of our State penetrating so far toward the South, that we ought not to be deprived of our arms when a crisis seems to be rapidly approaching in which every musket we can obtain will be absolutely necessary for the defense of ourselves and our immediate neighbors and loyal citizens.

We received from Saint Louis no accouterments with the muskets except the bayonet. We are destitute of cartridge-boxes, belts, and bayonet sheaths. Will you direct a supply of these to be sent to us immediately? We desire to place ourselves in as efficient a condition as possible in the shortest possible time, for if we are known to be thoroughly armed and well organized we can the more readily check the efforts of the enemies of the Government and suppress their treasonable designs.

Respectfully, yours,

RICHARD YATES,

Governor (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 147-48)

 

60. WAR DEPARTMENT, April 30, 1861.

Capt. NATHANIEL LYON, Commanding Department of the West:

SIR: The President of the United States directs that you enroll in the military service of the United States the loyal citizens of Saint Louis and vicinity, not exceeding, with those heretofore enlisted, ten thousand in number, for the purpose of maintaining the authority of the United States; for the protection of the peaceable inhabitants of Missouri; and you will, if deemed necessary for that purpose by yourself and by Messrs. Oliver T. Filly, John How, James O. Broadhead, Samuel T. Glover, J. Wilzie, and Francis P. Blair, Jr., proclaim martial law in the city of Saint Louis.

The additional force hereby authorized shall be discharged, in part or in whole, if enlisted, as soon as it appears to you and the gentlemen above named that there is no danger of an attempt on the part of the enemies of the Government to take military possession of the city of Saint Louis, or put the city in the control of a combination against the Government of the United States; and whilst such additional force remains in the service the same shall be governed by the Rules and Articles of War, and such special regulations as you may prescribe. I shall like the force heretofore directed to be enrolled to be under your command.

The arms and other military stores in the Saint Louis Arsenal not needed for the forces of the United States in Missouri must be removed to Springfield, or some other safe place of deposit in the State of Illinois, as speedily as practicable, by the ordnance officer in charge at Saint Louis.

[Indorsements.]

It is revolutionary times, and therefore I do not object to the irregularity of this.

W[infield] S[cott]

Approved, April 30, 1861. A. LINCOLN.

Colonel Thomas will make this order. SIMON CAMEPON,

Secretary of War.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 675)

 

61. SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, April 30, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington:

SIR: I am accepting all the troops that offer, and at this time some 3,300 have offered, and 3,082 are armed. Deeming the emergencies pressing, and fully requiring the Government to avail itself of all available resources, I shall still accept these volunteers till countermanding orders are received. This is unavoidable, both because the Government needs the services of these men, and because of the fear of State tyranny to force them into the secession ranks. No doubt 10,000 men can be raised here, and indications are that they will be needed, sooner or later, to meet the determined purpose of the State authorities to overturn the authority of the General Government, which, if true to herself, can maintain it here.

I suffer much the want of proper facilities. I am often in want of means to send a reliable messenger speedily to some point in the vicinity, and should have some horses for the purpose. The State is doubtless getting ready to attack Government troops with artillery. The Government should put the artillery here in condition for active service, and some fifty horses are needed at once. I have appointed a citizen to act as quartermaster and commissary, but, as before reported, he has no funds at his command, though this difficulty is somewhat avoided by referring certified accounts to Major McKinstry, but the want of experience in these matters on the part of this appointee is badly felt. A little experience, how ever, may measurably remove this difficulty.

Camp equipage much needed. Every building is occupied to its greatest capacity, and many are now out of doors. I have sent some six hundred to the marine hospital, and three other volunteer companies, together with Captain Totten’s company (F, Second Artillery), to occupy buildings outside the arsenal, hired for this purpose, both to give them shelter and occupy commanding positions, which the secessionists had intended to occupy themselves, and upon which they openly avowed they would plant siege batteries to reduce this place. This exasperates them, and has given rise to a singular correspondence, which, when convenient, I will lay before the War Department. Unless otherwise ordered, I shall proceed to execute the foregoing views, so far as in my power, towards securing the Government interests here. An armed steamer is needed to ply from Alton to Cairo and in connection with this place. As soon as possible troops will occupy Jefferson Barracks, but in view of impending emergencies this will be but temporarily.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON,

Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 675-76)

 

 

62. MADISON, WIS., May 2, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

We have 3,000 muskets at Springfield, Ill., assigned to this State on order of General Wool. Governor Yates says there are no accouterments. Many of our men use the Western weapon, the rifle. Can we not get 1,000 rifles? We have seven regiments enrolled, but no arms, even for drill.

ALEX. W. RANDALL,

Governor of Wisconsin. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 145)

 

63. Report No. 10 }

Report of Captain Langdon C. Easton, assistant quartermaster, U. S. Army, of the seizure of U. S. ordnance stores at Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS, May 4, 1861.

Capt. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

The storehouse at this place was forcibly entered last night, at half past 1 o’clock, by about fifty armed men, who carried off one hundred and two carbines, thirty-seven muskets, nine pistols, eighty-six sabers, and thirty-four thousand cartridges.

L. C. Easton, A. Q. M.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 1, p. 652)

 

64. SAINT LOUIS, May 4, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Our regiments have been mustered into service now nearly two weeks, and requisitions have been sent to Philadelphia and other points for accouterments, blankets, haversacks, tents, clothing, and other articles absolutely necessary for the health, comfort, and efficiency of the men, and as yet we have not even received a reply. Our men have enrolled under the most trying circumstances, in the very face of armed enemies, with no State government to back us and furnish us with necessaries until the ordinary machinery of the Federal Government can be brought to our assistance, nor a city government or rich men in a unanimously loyal community to advance money for our assistance and comfort, as is the case with all the regiments now being raised in the free States. We have, by being mustered into service and standing under arms naked and without clothing, saved millions of dollars of Government property, chiefly munitions of war, and as soon as we shall be suitably equipped are ready to take the field and confront the enemies of the Government wherever it may be your pleasure to send us. Under these circumstances I appeal to you to give the necessary orders on the quartermasters at Philadelphia and at other points to fill the requisitions which I send you by this messenger to furnish the quartermaster at this post with the funds necessary to maintain the troops here in comfort so long as it shall be your pleasure to keep them at this post.

I understand that some of the accouterments usually furnished by the Ordnance Department, such as cartridge boxes and bayonet scabbards, and some other small military stores, such as buttons, ordered by the officers of the regiments on private account, have been seized by parties in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. It is bad enough to face our enemies in this outpost of danger in the condition we find ourselves, but it is too bad to be robbed by our friends. If you can apply any corrective to this I shall feel under great and lasting obligations.

P. S.—The service cannot be anticipated by requisitions. Authority must be given to the quartermaster to draw for money, say for $100,000. McKinstry is heartily disposed to do all that he can for the maintenance of the Government, and there is no ground for the nonsense that has been put afloat by those who want his position here.

Respectfully,

FRANK P. BLAIR, JR (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 679-80)

 

65. INDIANAPOLIS, IND., May 6, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

I have intelligence from Col. F. P. Blair and his aide, F. A. Dick, of Saint Louis, that it is quite probable some of the forces of Indiana may be required in Saint Louis at the time of the encampment of the State troops there. Shall I observe the order of Colonel Blair in sending troops to Saint Louis?

Answer immediately.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. P. MORTON. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 680)

 

66. WAR DEPARTMENT, May 6, 1861.

Gov. O. P. MORTON, Indianapolis:

Obey no order from Mr. Blair, or any one else, other than officer duly authorized to give orders.

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 680)

 

67. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 6, 1861.

Governor SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD, Iowa City:

DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo and have the honor to inform you, in reply, that you will be afforded the opportunity, under the second call for troops just issued by the President, to muster into service the troops from your State which could not be received under the first call of the President. The number called into service from Iowa under the first proclamation is 780. Arms for that number were retained at the Saint Louis Arsenal when the shipment was made thence to Springfield. These arms were intended to be forwarded to Keokuk or Davenport, or the place where the troops would be mustered into service, the officers mustering the troops into service being designated to receive them. I may add that it is essential to avoid confusion and difficulty, that supplies should be furnished in order. First time troops called into immediate service of the United States must be provided for, and further issues must be postponed until such troops are supplied. It would in no way expedite matters to hurry off arms before troops are mustered.

In regard to furnishing arms to the militia of your State at this time, in view of the apprehensions of being troubled by the Indians, I can now only say that the Chief of Ordnance advises that 1,000 stand of arms ought to be forwarded to Keokuk, to be there taken in charge by Colonel Curtis or some other responsible person, to be used in case of an emergency. If this arrangement should answer the purpose, you will please inform this Department.

I am, very respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 162)

 

68. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, IOWA, May 6, 1861.

General JOHN E. WOOL, New York City:

DEAR SIR: Some time since certain gentlemen of Chicago, composing a military committee at that place, had made an arrangement with you, as I understand, by which 5,000 rifle muskets, or long-range rifles, were ordered from Springfield Arsenal to Chicago, and were started on the way. They were subsequently stopped in transitu, upon information being received from the Governor of Illinois that that State had been supplied with arms from Saint Louis.

This State is destitute of arms. The quota furnished us yearly, based on the census of 1850, has been so small and so utterly disproportioned to our actual population, and the arms sent having been, until last year, the old flint-lock musket altered to a percussion lock, that I may say the State is without arms. Besides, what few we have we distributed in the hands of volunteer companies in different parts of this large State, and could only be got together by long and expensive land carriage, we having as yet but few railroads.

I had applied to the military committee at Chicago, to whom you were sending the 5,000 arms from Springfield, for a loan of 1,000 stands, in view of the want of this State in that regard, and they had very generously promised, if possible, to let me have them.

As soon as I learned that Governor Yates had received from Saint Louis a supply largely in excess of the requisition in his favor I sent a special messenger to him asking him for a portion of them, but he declined letting me have any. His refusal to give me any portion of the Saint Louis arms, and his information to you that his State was supplied—by means of which the 5,000 on the way to Chicago were stopped, and I, of course, prevented from getting any portion of them—have left me, as yet, wholly unprovided for. We need arms and must have them in some way. I can’t get them in any reasonable time from private manufacturers. We have filled, and will promptly fill, all requisitions made on us by the United States for men, but our southern border is exposed to incursions of reckless men from Missouri for plunder and our western border to Indian depredations. The U. S. troops have been withdrawn from Forts Randall and Kearny; large bodies of Indians are on our northwestern border, excited by the news that our country is engaged in civil war, and I am daily in receipt of letters from that portion of our State that the danger of an attack by the Indians is imminent. They are already in the State in small bands, as I am informed, stealing horses.

Under these circumstances the General Government must furnish us arms and ammunition, unless it is wholly unable to do so. If you have the power to do so, I hope you will at once send me, to this point, 5,000 long-range rifles or rifle muskets and accouterments, with proper ammunition, or as near that amount as you can.

 

If you have not the power, please forward this letter to the War Department, with such indorsement by you as your judgment dictates. A prompt reply will confer a great favor on

Your obedient servant,

SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, p. 163)

 

69. EXECUTIVE OFFICE, Madison, Wis., May 6, 1861.

His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:

. . . If the Government authorizes the States to act efficiently in organizing military forces and in arming them, it can then better hold the control of those forces, and by distributing arms to the States, or authorizing the purchase of them by the States for the use of the Government, it would have the right as well as power of ultimate direction and control, without the confusion that otherwise might arise between the States and the Government.

In Wisconsin we need arms now. Illinois has but a trifle over double the population of Wisconsin, and the call for six regiments from Illinois and but one from Wisconsin was so disproportionate as to excite extreme dissatisfaction. Companies for five regiments instead of one are drilling now without arms, and two regiments but partially armed are in camp. I have endeavored time after time to ascertain, both by messengers and letters, to what extent service would be required or proffered service received, and to what extent it was expected the States would arm, equip, amid uniform the men.

The Government, in order to retain the confidence of the people, must show some confidence in the people. The people are anxious to know what and how much is expected of them, and they are ready to respond. . . .

I received a request to send to Saint Louis for arms, but before my messenger reached there the arms had been removed to Illinois. I received then an order from General Wool upon the Governor of Illinois for 3,000 stand of arms; enough, with what Wisconsin already has, to arm five regiments of men. While my messenger was on his way to Springfield a dispatch from General Wool stated that his powers had been suspended, and the Governor of Illinois, of course, could not answer the order.

I have to request that arms be furnished to arm such troops as are likely to be called into service from this State, so that our soldiers may become accustomed to the use of them, or that a license be given to purchase arms to be used for the same purpose, and ultimately turned over to the Government after its troubles are quieted upon its border.

You will excuse the frankness and freedom of this communication. The great interests involved and the anxiety of the whole people have induced me to thus address you, and I feel assured that you will receive it with the good-will with which it is intended.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALEX. W. RANDALL. (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 169-70)

 

70. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 9, 1861.

Col. FRANK P. BLAIR, JR., Saint Louis:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, and beg leave, in reply, to say that it is impracticable for this Department to give authority to the quartermaster at Saint Louis to draw money at his pleasure. It is impossible, whatever may be the disposition of the Department, to place $100,000 at his disposal in the manner you suggest.

Very respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 680)

 

71. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 9, 1861.

Col. FRANK P. BLAIR, JR., Saint Louis:

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, containing your requisitions on the Ordnance Bureau and the Quartermaster-General, and have referred those requisitions to the proper bureaus for their action and reply, from each of which you will hear on the subject.

The aggregate of the quota of militia called out from Missouri under the first proclamation of the President is 3,123 men. To arm and equip that number orders have already been issued to the United States mustering officers to make requisitions from the arsenals at Saint Louis and Pittsburgh. So also camp and garrison equipage have already been ordered to be furnished for that number of men. Fatigue clothing of the description now given to volunteers in the service here can be provided in a short time if desired, or, at all events, as soon as the troops in this city and those under the command of Generals Patterson and Butler are supplied. It will be impossible to furnish clothing to your troops promptly. In New York and Pennsylvania their troops have either furnished themselves or been furnished, relying for reimbursement of the expenditure hereafter by the General Government.

Very respectfully,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War. (OR Ser 1, Vol 1, pp. 681)

 

72. On 9 May 1861, Major General John Wool reported his activities of the past ten days to the Secretary of War. Among his many actions, it is interesting to note the distribution of arms and ammunition to several states, and especially to learn the disposition of the arms sent to Illinois from the St. Louis Arsenal:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE EAST, Troy, N. Y., May 9, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

. . . Upon the application of the various Governors, I ordered to Pennsylvania 26,080 muskets and 1,037,889 cartridges; to Ohio, 10,000 muskets and 400,000 cartridges; to Indiana, 5, 000 muskets and 200,000 cartridges; to Massachusetts 4,000 stand of arms; to Illinois, 200,000 cartridges; to New Hampshire, 2,000 muskets and 20,000 cartridges; to Vermont, 300 rifles; to New Jersey, 2,880 muskets; to General Sandford, of New York, 16,000 muskets; and to Commissary-General Welch, of New York, at the request of Hon. Mr. Dix, 40 rifles.

I requested the Governor of Illinois by telegraph to secure the arsenal at Saint Louis, and at the same time sent a special messenger to the Hon. Frank P. Blair, urging him to assist in its preservation, by all which means 21,000 stand of arms were secured and sent to Springfield, Ill. Out of these I requested the Governor to furnish to Ohio 5,000 muskets in addition to those previously sent there, and to Wisconsin 3,000 stand of arms. . . .

JOHN E. WOOL

Major-General (OR Ser 3, Vol 1, pp. 179-81)

 

73. FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., May 10, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G. Hdqrs. Army, Washington City:

COLONEL: I deem it of sufficient importance to report for the information of the Lieutenant-General Commander-in-Chief that I am credibly informed the governor of Missouri has established at Saint Joseph a permanent camp of State troops. The force now embodied and encamped and drilling consists of eight companies—one as light artillery, having two iron guns, taken from Liberty Arsenal; three companies of dragoons, and four of infantry. This force, by order of the governor, is to be increased from the interior. Should Missouri secede, not a doubt but offensive operations against this post will be attempted. At present I have troops sufficient to repel any force now at Saint Joseph. If informed of additional ones arriving I shall, without hesitation, call on the governor of the State of Kansas for one or two regiments of infantry, to assist in the defense of this place and the towns on the right bank of the Missouri River. It is known there are stored at Fort Kearney large quantities of ordnance, ordnance stores, subsistence and clothing, and it has been reported to me that the mustering of the State of Missouri troops at Saint Joseph is to make a sudden foray on Fort Kearney, to capture its stores, particularly the park of 12-pounder howitzers. Should I learn that Missouri troops have crossed the river for this or any other object aggressive to the rights of the citizens of this State or interest of the United States Government, I shall, with my disposable force, immediately attack them.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. S. MILES,

Colonel Second Infantry, Commanding (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 369)

 

74. Brigadier General Daniel Frost, commander of the Missouri Volunteer Militia and of the Camp Jackson encampment, wrote to Captain Lyon on 10 May 1861, when he heard that Lyon was assembling troops to march on Camp Jackson:

HEADQUARTERS CAMP JACKSON, MISSOURI MILITIA, May 10, 1861.

Capt. N. LYON, Commanding U. S. Troops in and about St. Louis Arsenal:

SIR: I am constantly in receipt of information that you contemplate an attack upon my camp, whilst I understand that you are impressed with the idea that an attack upon the arsenal and United States troops is intended on the part of the militia of Missouri. I am greatly at a loss to know what could justify you in attacking citizens of the United States who are in the lawful performance of duties devolving upon them under the Constitution in organizing and instructing the militia of the State in obedience to her laws, and therefore have been disposed to doubt the correctness of the information I have received. I would be glad to know from you personally whether there is any truth in the statements that are constantly poured into my ears. So far as regards any hostility being intended toward the United States or its property or representatives, by any portion of my command, or, as far as I can learn (and I think I am fully informed), of any other part of the State forces, I can say positively that the idea has never been entertained. On the contrary, prior to your taking command of the arsenal, I proffered to Major Bell, then in command of the very few troops constituting its guard, the services of myself and all my command, and, if necessary, the whole power of the State, to protect the United States in the full possession of all her property. Upon General Harney’s taking command of this department, I made the same proffer of services to him, and authorized his adjutant-general, Captain Williams, to communicate the fact that such had been done to the War Department. I have had no occasion since to change any of the views I entertained at that time, neither of my own volition nor through the orders of my constitutional commander.

I trust that, after this explicit statement, we may be able, by fully understanding each other, to keep far from our borders the misfortunes which so unhappily afflict our common country.

This communication will be handed to you by Colonel Bowen, my chief of staff, who will be able to explain anything not fully set forth in the foregoing.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. FROST,

Brig. Gen., Comdg. Camp Jackson, Missouri Vol. Militia.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 5-6; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 109)

 

75. HEADQUARTERS U. S. TROOPS, Saint Louis, Mo., May 10, 1861.

General D. M. FROST, Commanding Camp Jackson:

SIR: Your command is regarded as evidently hostile towards the Government of the United States. It is, for the most part, made up of those secessionists who have openly avowed their hostility to the General Government, and have been plotting at the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority.

You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confederacy, which is now at war with the United States; and you are receiving at your camp, from the said Confederacy, and under its flag, large supplies of the material of war, most of which is known to be the property of the United States.

These extraordinary preparations plainly indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the governor of this State, under whose orders you are acting, and whose purposes, recently communicated to the legislature, have just been responded to by that body in the most unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the General Government and co-operation with its enemies.

In view of these considerations, and of your failure to disperse in obedience to the proclamation of the President, and of the eminent necessities of State policy and welfare, and the obligations imposed upon me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do hereby demand, of you an immediate surrender of your command, with no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this demand shall be humanely and kindly treated. Believing myself prepared to enforce this demand, one-half hour’s time, before doing so, will be allowed for your compliance therewith.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON,

Captain, Second Infantry, Comdg. Troops

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 6-7; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 110)

 

76. SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 11, 1861.

Col. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General U. S. Army:

SIR: In compliance with instructions from your office of the 30th ultimo, I accepted, swore in, and armed 3,436 men and 70 officers of the loyal citizens of Saint Louis, as a "reserve corps," for the protection of Government property and enforcement of its laws, on the 7th and 8th instant, and should probably have still further proceeded in receiving further offers but for events to which I will now advert. The steamer J. C. Swan [sic] arrived at Saint Louis on the night of the 8th, with a large supply of military stores, including, as I was informed, muskets, ammunition, and cannon taken on board at Baton Rouge, and there obtained from the arsenal. The boat arriving in the night, great industry was used to transport these stores during the night (and before being likely to be exposed in the morning) to the camp of what is called the State militia, and which is made up for the most part of what has for a long time been known as a body of rabid and violent opposers of the General Government, and who have, during this time, been a terror to all loyal and peaceful citizens.

Their extraordinary and unscrupulous conduct, and their evident design, and of the governor of this State, to take a position of hostility to the United States, are matters of extensive detail and of abounding evidence. Having appealed to the South for assistance, every appearance indicated a rapid accumulation of men and means for seizing Government property and overturning its authority. I accordingly foresaw that under the extraordinary measures of the governor and legislature of this State aggressions would soon commence against the General Government on the part of these opposers of it, and of all who were in such a state of hostilities; willing to support the State against the Government. Of this there can be no doubt, as also that the issue would be taken by the State as soon as she felt able to sustain it. It was therefore necessary to meet this embarrassing complication as early as possible, and accordingly I proceeded yesterday with a large body of troops, supported by artillery, to the camp above referred to, and which is situated in the western part of the city, at what is known as Lindell’s Grove, between Olive street and Laclede avenue, and arrived at 3.15 o’clock p. in., and demanded of General Frost, the commander, a surrender of his entire command. Copies of the correspondence are herewith inclosed. Of the stores from Baton Rouge Arsenal, so far as understood, there were found three 32-pounder guns, one mortar, three mortar beds, and a large supply of shot and shells in ale barrels. All these artillery pieces were in boxes of heavy plank, and were addressed "Tamoroa, care of Greely & Gale, Saint Louis," "I. C. R. R.," to whom no delivery was made, this being a guise to cover the movement, and Greely & Gale being known as strong Union men saved them from close scrutiny. No doubt many arms, the mortars corresponding to the beds, and other war materials were received, agreeably to numerous reports made, but which can be obtained only by a thorough search over the city. Of the material besides tents, baggage, camp equipments,, &c., left in camp by the troops, were 1,200 rifle muskets of United States manufacture, late model, .58 caliber; 6 field pieces, brass; 25 kegs of powder; from 30 to 40 horses, and several arm chests of arms understood to be like the 1,200 muskets mentioned.

During the surrender of Camp Jackson and their passage into our lines a mob attacked our force, a published account of which will be transmitted. The prisoners, some 50 officers and 639 men, were marched under guard to this post, previous to which Camp Jackson was taken possession of by two regiments of volunteers and two companies of regulars, under command of Captain Sweeny, who remained in possession all night, bringing the entire camp equipage and munitions of war into this arsenal this morning. To-day the prisoners were all released (with the exception of one captain, who declined this parole)—the officers on their parole of honor not to fight against the United States during this war, and the men on their oath to the same effect. You will see by the returns of an election of brigadier-general for the volunteer brigade raised here, that I have been elected to this office, which, so far as depends upon me, I have accepted, and the duties of which I am now performing under the authority of the President. This subject is submitted for such action as the Department may determine to be proper.

Since the foregoing was written I have noticed among the stores taken from Camp Jackson were parts of muskets, all separate, and apparently without ever having been put together, and were doubtless taken in this condition from the arsenal.

It is proper and gratifying to mention that Captain Callender, in charge of the ordnance, has not, either through punctilious exactions about forms and responsibilities or assumed monopoly of corps above the power of the Government itself, attempted to embarrass me, but, on the contrary, has cordially and most efficiently co-operated to advance the Government interests.

Col. F. A. Dick, of this city, who has to this time served as adjutant-general of the brigade of volunteers, will be the bearer of this, and visits Washington on business connected with the Government interests at this place.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON,

Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 4-5; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, pp. 107-09)

 

77. On the day after the capture of Camp Jackson, 11 May 1861, General Daniel Frost, commander of state troops, lodged a formal protest against the action of Captain Lyon, sending it to General Harney who had just returned from Washington, DC, to resume command of the Western Department:

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, MO., May 11, 1861.

General WILLIAM S. HARNEY, U. S. Army, Commanding Department of the West:

SIR: In accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri, which have been existing for some years, and, in obedience to the orders of the governor, on Monday last I entered into an encampment with the militia force of Saint Louis County, for the purpose of instructing the same, in accordance with the laws of the United States and of this State.

Every officer and soldier in my command had taken, with uplifted hand, the following oath, to wit:

You, each, and every one of you, do solemnly swear that you will honestly and faithfully serve the State of Missouri against all her enemies, and that you will do your utmost to sustain the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State against all violence, of whatsoever kind or description, and you do further swear that you will well and truly execute and obey the legal orders of all officers properly placed over you whilst on duty: so help you God.

Whilst in the peaceable performance of the duties devolved upon me and my command under these laws, my encampment was yesterday surrounded by an overwhelming force of armed men, acting under the command of Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry, U. S. Army, and called upon by him through a written command. . . . To which communication I replied in the following terms, to wit:

CAMP JACKSON, Mo., May 10, 1861.

SIR: I never for a moment having conceived the idea that so illegal and unconstitutional a demand as I have just received from you would be made by an officer of the United States Army, I am wholly unprepared to defend my command from this unwarranted attack, and shall therefore be forced to comply with your demand.

D. M. Frost

Brig. Gen., Comdg. Camp Jackson, M. V. M.

My command was, in accordance with the above, deprived of their arms, and surrendered into the hands of Captain Lyon. After which, whilst thus disarmed and surrounded, a fire was opened upon a portion of it by his troops, and a number of my men put to death, together with several innocent lookers-on—men, women, and children.

My command was then marched as prisoners of war in triumph to this place. I am now informed, as I was at the time of the surrender, by the captain, that my command may be released upon the officers and men giving their parole "not to take up arms or to serve in a military capacity against the United States during the present civil war."

Against the whole proceeding of Captain Lyon, as well as against the terms of release, I most earnestly protest, for the following reasons:

That, in addition to the obligation of loyalty which rests upon every citizen, every man of my command now held as a prisoner has voluntarily taken an oath to sustain the Constitution and laws of the United States.

That, when my camp was attacked in this unwarrantable manner, and during the previous days of its existence, the only flags that floated there were those of the United States, with all the stars, and its fellow, bearing alone the coat of arms of the State of Missouri.

That, in addition to all this, on the morning before this attack was made, I addressed to Captain Lyon a communication, informing him of the proffer of services I had previously made of myself and of all my command, and, if necessary, the whole power of the State of Missouri, to protect the United States property, and assuring him that I had in no respect changed those views or opinions, either of my own volition or through any orders emanating from my constitutional commander.

Under all these circumstances I appeal to you, as the chief representative of the United States in this department, for justice on behalf of those loyal citizens who are now held as prisoners of war, captured under and marching to their place of confinement with the flag of the Union flying over their heads. I ask that you will not put upon the command the additional indignity of requiring us to give our parole, when we have already given our oath in support of the Constitution, but that you will order our restoration to the liberties of which we have been illegally deprived, as well as of the property of the State and individuals, as the larger portion of the equipments have been purchased with the private funds of the individuals of my command, both officers and men.

I trust that such as have been so purchased will at least be restored to the proper owners.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. M. FROST,

Brigadier-General, Missouri Volunteer Militia.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 7-8; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, pp. 113-14)

 

78. On 11 May 1861 word poured in to the War Department about the Camp Jackson Affair. One such note was addressed by the famous Carondelet boat-builder, James B. Eades. Writing from Lebanon, Illinois, Eades got a few details wrong but gave a good picture of the repercussions of the event in St. Louis:

LEBANON, ILL., May 11, 1861.

Hon. SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War:

Two thousand troops, under Captain Lyon, surrounded Camp Jackson yesterday; took 1,200 State troops, with camp equipage, into custody. Cannon stolen at Baton Rouge were recovered. Prisoners were offered release on parole but refused it. They were marched to arsenal an hour after surrender. Excited populace grossly outraged U. S. troops, and finally fired on them. The fire was returned, but immediately suppressed by Captain Lyon; 15 or 20 populace, 3 U. S. troops wounded. Intense excitement in the city. Four thousand home guards under arms patrolling streets all night. Habeas corpus writs will be applied for to-day to release prisoners, but will be disregarded by Lyon. Many prisoners marched through streets hurrahing for Jeff. Davis. Left arsenal at midnight; will arrive Monday at Washington. Our friends fear return of Harney to Saint Louis and protest against it.

J. B. EADS (OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 107)

 

79. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., May 11, 1861:

J. T. SANDERSON, Chief Clerk:

The following has just been received from Saint Louis:

General Frost’s brigade Missouri militia at Camp Jackson surrendered unconditionally at demand of Federal troops. Release on parole offered but declined on ground that to take oath would imply they had been in arms against U. S. authorities which they [denied]. While State troops were drawn up between two lines Union volunteers, stones were thrown, pistols were shot, one of which entered leg of Captain Blandowsky, who, while falling, gave command to fire. Twenty persons, including two women and several children, killed and many others wounded. Great excitement, and Republican newspapers threatened by mob.

P. S. SANDERSON. (OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 107)

 

80. The day after the Camp Jackson Affair, 11 May 1861, when tempers were still flaring on both sides, the fifth regiment of Home Guards was mustered in at the Arsenal and then marched back to north St. Louis when they were attacked by an armed mob. Captain Lyon reported the encounter on 12 May, and used the opportunity to criticize General Harney once more:

Report of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, Second U. S. Infantry

SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, May 12, 1861

COL. L. THOMAS, Adjt. Gen. U. S. Army, Washington.

SIR: On yesterday I left to Captain Callender and Lieutenant Saxton the duty of receiving and arming about 1,200 men from the northern portion of the city, who on returning to their station were fired upon by a mob, which fire was returned by the troops, from which, all told on both sides, about twelve persons were killed, two of whom, so far as I am informed, were of the United States troops; further particulars of which may be hereafter transmitted.

General Harney having arrived has assumed command of the department, and has ordered into the city all the troops of the regular service now here (except my own company) and four pieces of artillery.

It is with great delicacy and hesitancy I take the liberty to observe that the energetic and necessary measures of day before yesterday, and reported in my communication of yesterday, require persevering and consistent exertion to effect the object in view of anticipating combinations and measures of hostility against the General Government, and that the authority of General Harney under these circumstances embarrasses, in the most painful manner, the execution of the plans I had contemplated, and upon which the safety and welfare of the Government, as I conceive, so much depend, and which must be decided in a very short period.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON,

Captain, Second Infantry, Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 9)

 

81a. General Harney resumed command of the Department of the West on 11 May, when he returned from Washington, DC. The city of St. Louis was in an uproar because of the Camp Jackson Affair of the day before. On 13 May 1861, Harney submitted a short report to the Adjutant General concerning the state of affairs in St. Louis:

SAINT LOUIS, MO., May 13, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to report for the information of the General-in-Chief that, in obedience to the instructions of the honorable Secretary of War, communicated to me through the Adjutant-General of the Army, I resumed command of the Department of the West the 11th instant. On my arrival at Saint Louis I found very great excitement prevailing throughout the community in consequence of the capture, on the 10th instant, of the brigade of Missouri militia, under the command of Brig. Gen. D. M. Frost, while in camp near this city, by the United States forces, under the command of Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry. I am informed that a detailed report of that affair was forwarded previous to my resuming command of the department, but I deem it proper to state that the conduct of Captain Lyon on the occasion meets with my entire approval.

As serious apprehensions were entertained yesterday morning that the excitement existing in the city would result in an outbreak in the course of a few hours unless allayed, I deemed it necessary to issue a proclamation, of which the inclosed is a copy, and which, I am assured, was well received and had the effect to tranquilize the public mind. I also ordered up from the arsenal some 250 regular troops, with four pieces of artillery, to aid the civil authorities in the preservation of the public peace. I am happy to add that all indications of the threatened disturbance have disappeared.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

81b. PROCLAMATION.

MILITARY DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST,

Saint Louis, Mo., May 12, 1861.

I have just returned to this post and have assumed the military command of this department. No one can more deeply regret the deplorable state of things existing here than myself. The past cannot be recalled; I can only deal with the present and the future. I most anxiously desire to discharge the delicate and onerous duties devolved upon me so as to preserve the public peace. I shall carefully abstain from the exercise of any unnecessary powers and from all interference with the proper functions of the public officers of the State and city. I therefore call upon the public authorities and the people to aid me in preserving the public peace.

The military force stationed in this department by authority of the Government and now under my command will only be used in the last resort to preserve the peace. I trust I may be spared the necessity of resorting to martial law, but the public peace must be preserved and the lives and property of the people protected. Upon a careful review of my instructions I find I have no authority to change the location of the home guards. To avoid all cause of irritation and excitement if called upon to aid the local authorities in preserving the public peace I shall in preference make use of the Regular Army.

I ask the people to pursue their peaceable avocations, and to observe the laws and orders of their local authorities, arid to abstain from the excitements of public meetings and heated discussions. My appeal I trust may not be in vain, and I pledge the faith of a soldier to the earnest discharge of my duty.

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 370; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 111-12)

 

82. By 17 May 1861, General Harney felt an acute shortage of small arms. Captain Lyon had given away 21,000 stand of arms to Illinois on 26 April, but now the numbers of recruits had grown to such numbers that they could not all be armed. General Harney sent the following urgent message to the Adjutant General:

SAINT LOUIS, MO., May 17, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I deem it of the highest importance that 10,000 stand of arms be placed at my disposal at the earliest moment possible for issue to reliable Union men in Missouri. Loyal men are now being driven from the State by the secessionists. Calls are constantly made upon me by Union men for arms, that they may be enabled to defend themselves.

I also earnestly advise that Iowa be called upon to furnish at least 6,000 men for the war and Minnesota 3,000, and that this force be placed at my disposal for operations in Missouri, should it be required for the purpose.

Please answer by telegraph.

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General Commanding. (OR Ser 1, Vol 3, p. 374)

 

83. On 18 May 1861 General Harney forwarded a copy of General Frost’s protest to Lieutenant Colonel E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant General, with his recommendation for action:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., May 18, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication . . . addressed to me under date of the 11th instant, by Brig. Gen. D. M. Frost, Missouri Volunteer Militia, in relation to the capture of his command at Camp Jackson, near this city, May 10,1861, by the U. S. troops, under the command of Capt. N. Lyon, Second Infantry. I respectfully request the instructions of the Government respecting the transaction to which General Frost invites attention, and I recommend that the private property captured, munitions of war excepted, be restored.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

(OR Ser 1, Vol 3, pp. 8-9; OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 113)

[See Frost letter under date of 11 May 1861 above.]

 

84. The Adjutant General of the Department of the West answered an inquiry of Colonel John S. Bowen of the Missouri State Militia on 18 May 1861, in regard to prisoners paroled after Camp Jackson:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST, Saint Louis, Mo., May 18, 1861.

Col. JOHN S. BOWEN, Missouri Volunteer Militia, Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 17th instant to Brigadier-General Harney, commanding Department of the West, I am instructed to say that prisoners of war on parole are not restricted to any particular locality unless a condition to that effect is specifically set forth in the obligation they assume on giving their parole. No such condition was imposed upon the officers of General Frost’s command who gave their parole at Saint Louis Arsenal, May 11, 1861.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General. (OR Ser 2, Vol 3, p. 1)

 

85. Nathaniel Lyon, now a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, sent a report on 26 May 1861 to Captain Williams, Assistant Adjutant General of the Western Department, detailing the number of Camp Jackson prisoners returned to the city upon their release from custody at the Arsenal:

HEADQUARTERS MISSOURI VOLUNTEERS, Saint Louis Arsenal, May 26, 1861.

Capt. S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis:

SIR: I have the honor to report that the prisoners taken at Camp Jackson and sent to the city upon the steam-boat Isabella after their release were as follows: Officers—brigade staff, 6; Radford’s artillery, 4; First Infantry and Jackson’s artillery, 33; Second Infantry, 29; battalion infantry, 4; total, 79. Men—590. Aggregate, 669.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. LYON,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

(OR Ser 2, Vol 1, p. 116)

 

Part I:

Introduction

Sources and Methodology

Background of the Arsenal

The St. Louis Arsenal in the Years Leading up to the Civil War

Go to Part I

Part II:

Events of Early 1861 Affect the St. Louis Arsenal

Conclusion

Go to Part II

Bibliography

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

 


©2002/2003 D. H. Rule, G. E. Rule

No reproduction or distribution without consent of author.

Feel free to link to this or any other page on the site.

Please don't hyperlink to pictures, query for copying permission.

Return to Civil War St. Louis

Hit Counter

Total site hits

Hit Counter

since January 25, 2001

 

Other websites by the webmasters of Civil War St. Louis:

D. A. Houdek

The Heinlein Archives

The Heinlein Society

The Heinlein Prize

Butler Public Library

Caltronics Assembly & Design, Inc.

Laura Ingalls Wilder