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Posted July 18, 2002
General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861
by James Peckham, 1866
|The Harney Regime||
Part I - Part II - Part III
Part I - Part II - Part III
Part I - Part II - Part III
GEN. NATHANIEL LYON
MISSOURI IN 1861.
SUMTER. (Part I)
Illustrations on this page not from original text
CONTENTS—MEETING OF THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE—THE INAUGURALCOMMISSIONER D. R. RUSSELL, OF MISSISSIPPI—MEASURES TO SUBVERT LOYALTY—THE SUB-COMMITTEE—THE CHIEF CONSPIRATOR—SECESSION IN THE INTERIOR—SECESSION IN ST. LOUIS—THE MINUTE-MEN—THE UNION GUARD—APPOINTMENT OF THE UNION SAFETY COMMITTEE—ARMING OF THE UNION GUARD—UNION CONTRIBUTIONS—WHERE THE MONEY CAME FROM—PLANS OF THE SECESSIONISTS—THE ST. LOUIS ARSENAL—THE CATHOLIC BELLS—REMOVAL OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS—POLITICAL PARTIES IN JANUARY, 1861—POLITICAL MOVEMENTS—CLAIB JACKSON LOSES MUCH POWDER—PREPARATIONS TO CAPTURE THE ARSENAL—THOROUGH UNION ORGANIZATION—DARK DAYS—ARRIVAL OF CAPTAIN LYON AT THE ARSENAL—EARLY LIFE AND CAREER OF LYON—LYON AND BLAIR—LYON AND THE SAFETY COMMITTEE—REVIEW OF LYONS CHARACTER—LYON AND THE STARS AND STRIPES—A HUNGARIAN LEGEND—LYON AT THE ARSENAL—LYON IN COMMAND OF THE ARSENAL DEFENSES—HE IS THWARTED BY HAGNER—LYON TO BLAIR, UPON SURRENDERS BY OFFICERS—THE LEAVENWORTH ORDER REVOKED—THE ARSENAL TO BE SAVED—SECESH SIGNALS UNDERSTOOD—TRICK OF THE SECESH—RUMORS—LYON AMONG UNION MEN—THE POLICY OF BLAIR AND THE SAFETY COMMITTEE—EXCITEMENT OVER THE REBEL FLAG—THE FEBRUARY CANVASS—APPOINTMENT OF PEACE COMMISSIONERS—GOVERNOR JACKSON REFUSES TO COMMISSION A LOYAL OFFICER—SCENES IN JEFFERSON CITY IN FEBRUARY—CAPTAIN LYON ON THE ALERT—HE IS PRUDENT AND POLITIC—THE POWDER PURCHASED BY JACKSON—HAGNER SHALL NOT SURRENDER—THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION OF APRIL—THE POLICE COMMISSIONERS—ELECTION OF CHIEF—THE COMMISSION FIND OUT LYON—THE CATASTROPHE.
MEETING OF THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE.
THE State Legislature met on the 31st of December, 1860, effected a temporary organization, and adjourned to the 2d of January. On that day, an election for permanent officers was held in the "House," and the successful candidates were entirely of the secession mould. Speaker McAfee was an undisguised secessionist. Although the Speaker pro tem. (McIlhenny) had voted for Bell for President, he was but a pliant tool in the hands of the rebels. Clerk of the House, Murray, and Secretary of the Senate, Hough, were sincere secessionists, and served during the civil war in the rebel ranks. The vote for Speaker stood thus: McAfee, 76; M. Boyd (Bell-Everett), 43; Thomas L. Price (Douglas), 4; Heyer (secesh), 1. On the morning of the 3d, the Lieut.-Governor issued a private circular, which was placed on the desks of certain Senators, inviting to his room all those Senators who were in hearty sympathy with "our Southern brethren," and who were "firmly determined to see our sister States secure their rights," for the purpose of making up the Senate committees. Of all the officers and clerks of both branches of the Legislature, I know of but one who was not an avowed secessionist.
The inaugural of Claib Jackson was thoroughly in the interests of the rebellious States. He proclaimed with marked emphasis, that "Missouri and Kentucky should stand by the South, and preserve her equilibrium." This declaration was greeted with prolonged applause by both members and lobbyites who favored secession. It was in sad contrast to the loyal message which the Legislature had previously received from the retiring Governor, R. M. Stewart, and taught the few Union men in either branch that they were surrounded by dangers they had little anticipated.
COMMISSIONER D. R. RUSSELL, OF MISSISSIPPI.
Upon their arrival in Jefferson City, members found already there Mr. D. R. Russell, who presented himself as the "Commissioner from the State of Mississippi to the State Government of Missouri." He was received in great style by Governor, Lieut.-Governor, and secessionists generally, and the Legislature, by joint action, resolved to receive him in joint session. I shall never forget the night when the Missouri Legislature, in solemn form, tendered its homage to this envoy of the rebellion. It was about seven o'clock in the evening, in early January, 1861, and every jet in the great chandelier in the Hall of Representatives was lighted. The Door-keeper interrupted the proceedings of the "House," by announcing, "The President and members of the Senate." Reynolds marched down the aisle followed by the Senators, the latter seeking the chairs assigned for them by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Reynolds occupied the Speaker's chair, and in an affected voice said : "The Legislature of Missouri is now in joint session, according to resolution previously passed by both Houses, in order to receive the Hon. D. R. Russell, Commissioner from the State of Mississippi." A committee appointed to escort Mr. Russell within the bar of the joint session retired for that purpose, and Reynolds issued his instructions. The members were requested to arise when Mr. Russell entered, and when the latter should be introduced by the President of the joint session, members should exhibit their breeding by a courteous bow. Up sprang Stevenson, of St. Louis (Republican):
"Mr. President, are we the slaves of some foreign potentate?"
Reynolds replied that he intended his suggestions merely as an act of courtesy; but Stevenson, interrupting him, exclaimed:
"He is no American who will bow his head in homage to a traitor:"
Some little sensation was produced by this episode, but it had little influence upon the majority. With very few exceptions the members did rise, and bowed their heads at the given signal. Russell then proceeded with a lengthy speech, full of the blackest treason.
MEASURES TO SUBVERT LOYALTY.
The Legislature was no sooner organized and the committees arranged than the conspirators set to work to carry out their schemes. A meeting, for consultation, of leading secessionists, was held in a basement room of the capitol, and it was decided that St. Louis should be placed completely under the control of the State authorities. In talking of the comparative fighting strength of parties in St. Louis, it was decided that "Frank Blair could easily be cleaned out" by the chivalry, as he had nothing but "blue-bellied Yankees and beer-drinking Dutch" to assist him in case of a fight. But they could not conceal their fears over a remark made by Mr. Blair in St. Louis, at a serenade, to the effect that "every traitor should be taught the strength of Missouri hemp," and that "St. Louis should secede from Missouri if the latter should secede from the Union." The course of the conspirators showed very plainly they did not regard these as idle words.
The process of prostrating Missouri at the feet of the disunionists was begun in the Missouri Senate by Monroe Parsons, who introduced the celebrated military bill on the 5th of January. This bill contained a clause appropriating $150,000 to enable the Governor to enforce its provisions. It placed the entire control of the population of the State in the hands of the Governor, and prescribed penalties, including death, to be inflicted by sentence of drum-head courts-martial, for even the utterance of disrespectful words toward the Governor or the Legislature. It prohibited the freedom of utterance as well as the freedom of action, and relieved the people of their superior allegiance to the national Government. By obstinate parliamentary fighting, the session adjourned without adopting this iniquity. The bill was more devilish than Wentworth's "THOROUGH."
On the 5th, also, T. C. Johnson, of St. Louis, introduced in the Senate "An Act to amend an Act for the Suppression of Riot in St. Louis City and County." This bill took out of the hands of the Mayor and Sheriff the power to suppress mobs, and placed it in the hands of the Governor and the agents he was authorized to appoint.
In the "House," on the 7th, Mr. Ballou moved to suspend the rules in order to take up the St. Louis Police bill, which had already passed the Senate. The motion was sustained by a vote of 52 ayes to 19 noes. The bill became a law, after having been returned to the Senate with some slight amendments, by the signature of the Governor on the night of the 14th of January, and on the same night, such was the haste of the conspirators, Matthias Steitz and James George were appointed commissioners under its provisions. However, these appointments were not sent to the Senate, and further action was delayed.
On the 9th, Vest, of Cooper county, introduced the Convention bill, which was intended to take the State out of the Union, but which was amended by declaring that any decision of the Convention, determining the relations of Missouri toward the Union, should be submitted to the people for their sanction, and thus passed. The timidity of some of the Southern party led them to shrink for the present from any overt act. They did not feel altogether secure, and, in hopes of maintaining a solid front, the more fiery and desperate finally yielded. The next scheme was to secure a secession organ in St. Louis, and for this purpose a bill was passed, forcing into the office of M. Neidner, the publisher of the State Journal, the advertising of every legal notice in St. Louis county. When a St. Louis member declared that this bill made loyal men pay money for the support of a disloyal paper, a secesh member cried out in reply, "Damn lucky if he gets off that cheap."
A bill was also introduced to deprive Carondelet of its city charter, and substitute therefor a "Board of Trustees," to be appointed by the Governor. This attempted outrage was so gross that the more reasonable and politic urged its withdrawal. These and other kindred measures were resorted to to force Missouri into line with the rebellion.
As in the above measures the majority exhibited their fears of St. Louis county, so in the following they exhibited their hate toward its people individually. By an arrangement with prominent St. Louis secessionists, twelve members of the House and six of the Senate were selected as a special sub-committee upon St. Louis matters. In affairs of any moment bills were always referred to a special committee, and it was noticeable that on such special committees only one certain man of the entire delegation from St. Louis county was ever placed. As that man had deserted the party which elected him, and was in full communion with the conspirators, this method of dealing with St. Louis measures awoke the suspicion of the writer (who was a member from St Louis), and caused him to ferret out the secret, which resulted in a discovery of the above. In a session of the House, on a motion to refer the Carondelet bill to a special committee, he exposed the trick, and a terrible excitement ensued. Several of the "sub-committee" denied any knowledge of, and all belief in, such a thing; but Vest, more truthful and with admirable candor, acknowledged the whole arrangement and his own membership on that committee, and earnestly expressed the hope it would continue until St. Louis was purged of Black Republicanism. Results very serious threatened to follow—a dozen seeking the floor at once—when Riley, of Wright county, being recognized by the Speaker, made a lengthy and exceedingly humorous speech, purposely void of any sense, which all enjoyed, and at its conclusion the Carondelet bill and "sub-committee" were willingly ignored.
THE CHIEF CONSPIRATOR.
The leading spirit of the secession cause in Missouri, in 1861, was the Lieut.-Governor, Thomas C. Reynolds , a short, chubby fellow of forty, with black hair and beard and eyes, and black moustache and dark skin. Gangrened with conceit, he seemed to take especial pleasure in boasting of South Carolina origin and the aristocracy of Palmettodom. He was a cultivated scholar and a fluent speaker, and had for years been Clerk of the United States Court at St. Louis. Reynolds had canvassed the whole question at issue between the traitors and the Government, and he was frank enough to confess that at one time, in the event of civil war, he had thought the odds were in favor of the North. But lo! presto! Searching through some old, worn-out tomes, he had reached the treaty of cession of the Louisiana Territory, and there, as he read it, the whole question lay in a nutshell. "The Louisiana Territory belonged to the United States only so long as the United States should continue to hold it (!); when the United States should part with it, the treaty became null and void. An act of secession by the people of Missouri would authorize France to step in and claim her own. France thus identified with the rebellion, the rebellion was sure of success."
Happy Reynolds! All of half an hour did be consume, on the afternoon of January 8, 1861, exclusively explaining this new feature of the secession case to his delighted and deluded followers. Visions of French knighthood, and himself gyrating as a French nobleman around Versailles or the Tuileries, must have been dazzling his imagination at the time. But Mr. Reynolds is no French nabob, probably because France did not interfere in his behalf.
Really, the energy of this man was wonderful. Under his inspiring counsel, the work of secesh organization was pushed rapidly forward. Committees were organized and kept constantly at work, carrying on extensive correspondence, selecting reliable agents in every county, devising expedients to advance his purposes, drafting bills subsidiary to his plans. By means of the Military bill, he anticipated such a complete organization of the State as would make it a powerful auxiliary to the Southern cause. He carried on a complete system of signals with the Southern leaders, and received with the most extreme pomposity the rebel emissaries whom the Gulf States forwarded to Missouri, to seduce her from her allegiance to the Union.
SECESSION IN THE INTERIOR.
Throughout the State everything encouraged the conspirators. The secessionists were everywhere noisy, intolerant, and undisturbed. In towns of any size, meetings favorable to the Union cause were disturbed, and in the country outrages, robberies, and murders were perpetrated with impunity, on political grounds, upon suspected or known Union men. The borders along the Kansas and Iowa lines were being daily crossed by Union refugees, fleeing to escape persecution. Rebel flags were thrown to the breeze in Rolla, St. Louis, Kansas City, Platte county, and elsewhere. So strong seemed the disloyal tide that Jackson, Reynolds, Parsons, Conrow, Peyton, Dougherty, Dorris, Freeman, Heyer, and others of the malcontents really thought they could safely trust their cause to the decision of the people, and the elections ordered for the 18th of February by the Convention bill were confidently looked to for secession vindication.
SECESSION IN ST. LOUIS.
The conspirators argued that in St. Louis they were sufficiently strong to maintain their power there against all local opposition. They based their reasoning upon the vote for Barrett and Blair for the short term, and asserted the Blair vote to be made up mostly of Germans. For this latter class they affected to entertain the most supreme contempt, and freely expressed their belief that the Ninth Ward alone could whip the balance of St. Louis. It is true that the conduct of people theretofore identified with each of the contending parties in the political struggles which had taken place was such as to encourage hopes of a secession majority, even in St. Louis itself. The Bell-Everetts seemed more with the Democracy than with the Republicans, and nothing but the finest management and the purest patriotism on the part of Republican leaders prevented the Bell-Everetts, en masse, from siding with the rebellion. There were a large number of the Democrats who were open and undisguised in their fidelity to the rebellion, and they were everywhere unreserved in their expressions, and declared for the South with perfect impunity. This element Reynolds determined to consolidate into an organization which was intended to be the nucleus of the military arm of the Missouri secessionists.
The only real friends—those who were known as unconditionally such—of the Union, in St. Louis, in January, 1861, were the Republicans. They were called Blair-men, and the party-hate of years was still cherished for their leader. It required the utmost prudence and skillful management on the part of Mr. Blair to break down this prejudice in the minds of many and induce them to co-operate with him in patriotic effort. This he succeeded in doing to quite an extent, and prepared the way for success at the February polls.
By the advice of the Jefferson City junta, the headquarters of the Democracy—the Berthold mansion, on the northwest corner of Fifth and Pine streets—was retained headquarters of a new organization, called "Minute Men," which was mustered under military law, and incorporated into the militia of the district. These minute-men entered into solemn engagements to stand by the South in the impending conflict, and they at once threw into public view the object of their devotion, the emblem of the "Southern Confederacy." The minute-men had this advantage over their opponents: they were the servants of the State authorities, acting under the sanction of State law, and backed by the "old pub. func." at Washington.
THE UNION GUARD.
Mr. Blair had counseled the reorganization of the Wide Awakes, and, in the latter part of December, calls were made, in the different wards, for meetings for that purpose. These calls were promptly and enthusiastically responded to; but, after an organization was perfected and matters put in working order, the developments of the conspirators at Jefferson City and in the Berthold mansion led to an abandonment of the Wide Awakes, and the organization of Union clubs in their stead. It was hoped by this means to bring in all who, though not Republicans, were yet sincere Union men. A meeting was accordingly held at Washington Hall on the night of January 11, of all those in favor of the Union under any and all circumstances, at which the Wide Awakes were formally disbanded, and a Union club organized, into which all Union men were invited. Outside of the Republican party, however, the movement did not generally obtain, very few but the Republicans seeming to take any interest in it.
It was very evident that, if the Republicans desired to retain a foothold as Union men in Missouri, there must be preparations made to meet force with force. It seemed very possible, and more than probable, that the great majority of the other parties would stand idly by in case of conflict, or, if lending any aid, furnish it to the Southern cause. A series of meetings was consequently held, for the purpose of consulting as to the best measures to adopt in the pending crisis. At these meetings, which were always held in secret, the men whose names have heretofore, or may hereafter appear as prominent Republicans in 1861 were generally in attendance. In nearly every instance, those who made up the Union Safety Committee were on hand at every consultation.
I have notes of one meeting in particular, which was held in a lawyer's office, and which was attended by O. D. Filley, Giles F. Filley, James O. Broadhead, F. A. Dick, Barton Able, Charles M. Elleard, William McKee, B. Gratz Brown, S. T. Glover, Ben. Farrar, Samuel Simmons, P. L. Foy, and F. P. Blair, as also by others whose names I cannot learn.
As I have said, the meeting was for the purpose of conversing upon public affairs. Mr. Glover sustained Mr. Blair in his view of the situation, and was the principal speaker of the evening. Absolutely prophetic in his anticipation of coming evils, he argued that the attitude of Southern politicians in Congress seemed to determine civil war as inevitable. He declared that talk was useless, that nothing could be done to avert war, and that, if the Union men were wise, they would not hesitate to follow Mr. Blair's advice and arm, that being their only recourse. There were some of those present who did not deem such a course expedient, for with many it was impossible to contemplate that there was any real danger of actual armed conflict. The meeting broke up without coming to any definite understanding.
APPOINTMENT OF THE UNION SAFETY COMMITTEE.
But the seed sown at that meeting was not without good fruit. Following it was a meeting which took place in Washington Hall, very near the first of February, a military organization was adopted, and a company of Union guards enrolled for secret drill. There should of necessity be some recognized head, and it was proposed to make Mr. Blair Colonel of the new military organization, and that gentleman, anticipating his own absence in Washington City, advised the appointment, also, of O. D. Filley, John How, Samuel T. Glover, James O. Broadhead, and J. J. Witzig, to be a Committee of Safety, to whom should be confided the interests of the Union men in St. Louis. The proposition was accepted, and throughout those trying days each member of that committee, in season and out of season, labored with energy and fidelity, and with fruitful results, in the fulfillment of their mission. The organization at Washington Hall, and the proposed arming and drilling of Union men, which grew out of the meeting previously mentioned, was necessarily prosecuted with the utmost secrecy. It was fully known that, if the conspirators should learn of the proposed movement, they would at once seize upon the arsenal, and call to their aid the Democracy of the State, by representing the "Black Republicans" as inaugurating revolution. Therefore, the plans of the Safety Committee were prosecuted with the utmost secrecy. Now came into use the splendid organization of the just disbanded Wide Awakes, the recent members of which were soon enrolled into military companies. These companies drilled at night in the foundry of Giles F. Filley; in a house on Seventh street, east side, near St. Charles, owned by the Farrars; in the brewery of Mr. Winkelmeyer, on Market street; in Washington Hall; in Lafayette Hall; in Yaeger's Garden; and elsewhere. These meeting-places were always approached with caution, and guards were stationed outside to prevent surprise.
Previous to the meeting at Washington Hall, there bad been held in the counting-room of O. D. Filley, on Main street, a meeting for the purpose of organizing a body of men who should serve in the work of mutual protection in case of rebel attack or proscription. Those present signed the roll, and others joined at subsequent meetings, which were held for some time in the third story of a house on Olive street, above Twelfth, and in a house owned by Ben. Farrar, on Seventh street near St. Charles. The floors of both these houses were thickly strewn with saw-dust to avoid noise in drilling.
From the roll of the parent company, of which F. P. Blair was Captain, Charles A. Anderson, First Lieutenant, and Fred. I. Dean, Second Lieutenant, there were formed, in less than a fortnight, several full companies, in different parts of the city, of reliable and earnest Unionists.
The following is the roster of the company thus formed:
F. P. Blair, Jr., Captain. F.H. Mauter,
Henry Hitchcock, John P. McGrath,
Silas Reed, William Cuddy,
Thomas Cuddy, E. M. Joel,
B. M. Joel, Charles W. Branscome,
William McKee, A. S. Thurneck,
Fred. I. Dean, 2d Lieutenant W.C. Smith,
J. H. Lightner, D. M. Houser,
William S. Hillyer, Jacob S. Merrill
Frank G. Porter, Mike Summers,
James Peckham, C. W. Anderson, 1st Lieutenant.
T. P. Loesch, William C. Mahew,
J. D. Leonard, Samuel Knox,
Joseph M. Hallenbeck, N. M. Christian,
H. L. Pinney, John E. Walker,
J. McCormack, L. Marsow,
Joseph R. Boggs, Henry McKee,
William P. Hollister, Charles Castello,
William Z. Clark, F. Van Braemer,
Lucien Eaton, Thomas Woody,
Jacob Buhr, Fred. Broomerfaf,
II. A. Conant, George Casper,
H. Sand, Charles Wappiel,
Henry Halterlien, D. Kerr,
John Service, C. H. Lippman,
John McFall, — Gordon,
Alexis Mudd, George Pope,
R. J. Healy, R. B. Beck,
W. D. Bowen, Thomas Mennott,
Henry Kuntz, Henry Gurth,
William H. Mills, N. B. McPherson,
John Popp, Patrick Costiggan,
William Gadmon, J. Peter Nee,
Theodore C. M. Tracie, John J. Russell,
James J. Wishart, James Oats,
— Ripply, S. T. Glover,
[For the other companies in full, see Appendix.]
For the following roster of officers of these companies I am indebted to E. M. Joel. There were an "inside organization" and an "outside organization;" the latter were the companies themselves, and the "inside," the power or authority which controlled them. Mr. Blair was President of the inside organization, and E. M. Joel, Secretary. All acted in harmony with the Safety Committee, of which O. D. Filley was President, and James O. Broadhead, Secretary. I now give the roster of the companies spoken of above:
Grand Drill Master, —Larned.
East Division, Union Club—President, Chester Harding, Jr.; two hundred men.
West Division, Union Club—President, Fecklenburg; two hundred men.
Fourth Ward, Union Black Rifles—Captain, George Dahmer ; First Lieutenant, Gus. Boernstein ; Second Lieutenant, A. Boernstein; eighty men.
Fifth Ward, Union Club—S. T. Glover, President; George A. Schaeffer, Secretary ; one hundred and five men.
Seventh Ward, Union Guard-Captain, Julius Wagner ; First Lieutenant, Frank Golde; Second Lieutenant, Charles Nager; fifty-eight men.
Tenth Ward, Union Guard—Captain, Linkerman; First Lieutenant, Wingar; Second Lieutenant, Siegermann; sixty-five men.
Second Ward, Black Rifles (Company A)—Captain, Chris. Goerisch ; First Lieutenant, George Geigler; Second Lieutenant, Philip Frank ; one hundred and thirty-six men.
Second Ward, Black Rifles (Company B)—Captain, Bernard Klein; First Lieutenant, Ferd. Schuddig; Second Lieutenant, John A. Lippard ; ninety-six men.
Company No. 5, Union Guard—Captain, Geo. Smith; First Lieutenant, Joe Gerwina; Second Lieutenant, John Nolte, fifty-three men.
Citizen Guard—Captain, C. E. Solomon; First Lieutenant, F. W. Noel; Second Lieutenant, A. Albert; eighty-three men.
Citizen Guard—Captain, C. D. Wolf; sixty men. Black Rifles-Captain, Ott ; First Lieutenant, Hrudicka ; Second Lieutenant, Nickerle; forty-six men.
Mounted Citizens' Guard—Captain, Henry Almstedt; forty men.
Black Rifles—Captain, Fred. Niegermann; First Lieutenant, Wm. Rotterman; Second Lieutenant, Gronemeier; one hundred and twenty men.
Third Ward, Union Guard—N. Schuttner, Major; forty men.
Black Yaegers—Captain, Michael Praester ; First Lieutenant, P. Muller ; Second Lieutenant, C. Weiss; sixty men.
ARMING OF THE UNION GUARD.
There were men enough, but no guns. It would have been folly to have applied to the authorities at the arsenal, or to even intimate to them that arms were wanted. What should be done must be done secretly, as there were secesh detectives following, like shadows, every movement of the leading Republicans. But Mr. Blair had no idea that his company should remain without arms a moment longer than was necessary, and proceeding to the store of E. A. & S. R. Filley, he made known to those gentlemen his determination. They fully agreed with him, and Mr. Samuel R. Filley engaged to raise the money. It was thought three hundred dollars would be sufficient to purchase what could be privately disposed of at once, and this amount was raised by Mr. Filley in a very few minutes--his own firm subscribing one hundred dollars, and O. D. Filley and Giles F. Filley each one hundred dollars. Mr. Blair then procured seventy muskets, as the following bill will show, himself adding twenty-five dollars to the amount handed him by the Filleys:
F. P. BLAIR, Jr.
St. Louis, Feb. 14, 1861.
To T. J. ALBRIGHT, Dr.
To 50 U. S. muskets, at $5.50 . . . . . $275.00
“ 20 “ “ “ 6.00 . . . . . 120.00
“ 3 boxes for same . . . . . . 4.50
“ 400 ball cartridges . . . . . . 8.00
“ caps . . . . . . . .40
Cr., by cash . . . . . . . . 325.00
Received due bill for balance . . . . . $82.90
(Signed) T. J. ALBRIGHT.
Governor Yates, of Illinois, also forwarded some two hundred muskets for the use of the St. Louis Union men. These guns were shipped to Mr. Giles F. Filley, to the care of Woodward & Co., hardware dealers, on Main street, St. Louis. They were immediately upon their arrival taken to Turner Hall in a beer wagon, under cover of a lot of beer barrels, and distributed to reliable men of the Union Guard. Woodward & Co. had also sixty Sharpe's rifles, which Mr. Giles F. Filley purchased to prevent them from falling into the hands of the secesh. He reserved these rifles for the company that drilled in his own foundry. About fifty other guns Mr. Woodward handed over to the Union Guard for safe keeping, the pay for which, I am told, he never claimed. In addition to all these I have enumerated, several Union citizens also procured weapons of some description, and thus silently and secretly there were enough muskets and rifles reported to Mr. Blair to arm a regiment.
It was very evident to the Messrs. Filley and Mr. Blair that necessity would speedily arise for the use of money. The Safety Committee could not carry on their plans efficiently and energetically without money, and each member of that committee was already employed night and day in discovering the designs of the secesh. After a full consultation in Mr. O. D. Filley's store, Mr. Samuel R. Filley and Mr. E. W. Fox undertook to act as a private committee for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions, in order to raise a fund for the support of the cause, as well as for the assistance of those guards upon whom the Union men relied for the defense of the arsenal. At first a thousand dollars was thought sufficient, but as time advanced, and the wants of the Unionists increased, this committee acted in conjunction with a regularly appointed committee of the Safety Committee, and the Colonels of the first four regiments of volunteers.
WHERE THE MONEY CAME FROM.
Messrs. Samuel R. Filley and E. W. Fox called first upon the following-named gentlemen, and each firm or individual subscribed one hundred dollars:
Henning & Woodruff, Giles F. Filley,
Child, Pratt & Fox, Oliver D. Filley,
Cash (H. Weil & Bro.), Greeley & Gale,
J. B. Sickles, Samuel C. Davis & Co.,
Wolfe & Hoppe, Pike & Kellogg,
Robert Holmes, Ben. Farrar,
Cash, Pomroy & Benton,
Lee Claflin, N. P. Coburn,
Thomas Mellen (Phila.), Goodrich, Willard & Co.,
E. A. & S. R. Filley, H. Crevelin,
Partridge & Co., Bridge, Beach & Co.,
Isaac V. Brown, Thomas T Gantt,
Ubsdell, Peirson & Co., Dr. M. L. Linton.
The committee called upon quite a number who refused to give, among whom were some unsuspected secessionists, and it may be imagined their replies were neither polite nor complimentary. But if it be true (and I do not doubt it) that "the Lord loveth the cheerful giver," each of the above-named have claims upon His special affections.
In continuing these collections, the following gentle men subscribed fifty dollars each: Christopher & Richards, Eben Richards, D. Durkee, Chauncey I. Filley, H. Ames & Co., H. J. Loring & Co., John Tilden, Archer, Whitesides & Co., A. S. Roberts, Jr., J. F. Comstock & Co., T. B. Edgar, Henry Whitmore, Morris Collins, James Brown, O. B. Filley, Cutter & Tirrill, Cash.
The following subscribed twenty-five dollars each: Sol. Smith, Plant & Bro., Cash, H. Whitmore, Morris Collins, Mr. Richardson, P. L. Foy, E. B. Hubbell, Jr., L. & C. Speck & Co., J. H. Lightner, Samuel G. Reed, R. J. Howard, H. C. Creveling, James Harkness, Claflin, Allen & Co.', Stranger from Western Missouri, Reed & Co.
Twenty dollar subscriptions: G. B. Smith, Captain J. B. Phillips, Henry Martin, J. H. Andrews.
Ten dollar subscriptions: J. M. Brown, L. W. Patchin & Co., Thomas Taylor, J. H. Simpson, C. F. Eggers, Henry Pettis, George D. English, Stephen Hoyt, H. Bakewell, W. H. Tasker, R. P. Studley, E. Greenleaf, S. Bonner, William Rumbold, Cash, Wood- + bury & Scott.
Five dollar subscriptions: E. Crawshaw, J. Crawshaw, Jr., J. Crawshaw, S. Gardner, M. J. Lippman, W. T. Dickson, Mr. Dodge, Cash, T. J. Albright, Cash, E. G. Brooks, J. J. Flippen.
Miscellaneous subscriptions: T. H. & St. Louis R. R., $3.95 ; Testimonial Fund, $48; John. Clark, 65 cents; Cash, $62; S. C. Mansur, $15.
MONEY SUBSCRIPTIONS FROM THE EAST.
Check on Barlow & Taylor . . . . . . $10.00
Gilmer, Dunlap & Co., Cin., O. . . . . . 449.00
Certificate of Deposit, Atlas Bank, Boston . . . . 50.00
Draft on Field & Co., Phila. . . . . . . 50.00
Received through George Partridge . . . . . . 1,140.00
“ “ F. P. Blair . . . . . . . 150.00
“ “ Governor Koerner, Ill. . . . . 215.00
“ “ F. P. Blair, draft on Boston
Bank . . . . 500.00
“ “ “ draft on Seventh
Ward Bank, N.Y . . . 50.00
“ “ “ currency . . . 115.00
“ “ Governor Koerner, Ill. . . . 240.70
“ “ Isaac Sherman, N. Y. . . . 2,000.00
“ “ J. W. Forney, Pa. . . . 100.00
“ “ Rindskoff Bros. & Co., Cin., O., . . . 150.00
“ “ Isaac Sherman, N. Y. . . . 3,000.00
“ “ John How from Cash, N. Y., . . . 100.00
“ “ George Partridge, collections, . . . 1,657.00
“ “ Governor Koerner, from
Roosevelt & Son and J. D.
Wolf, draft on Chemical
Bank, N. Y. . . . . . 200.00
Received through W. & S., St. Louis . . . . . 10.00
“ “ F. P. Blair, draft on Isaac Sherman, N.Y., . . 4,000.00
“ “ “ draft on Isaac Sherman, N.Y., . . . 4,000.00
“ “ “ from Isaac Sherman, N. Y. . . . 20.00
Besides the above, there were vast quantities of goods received from the East, which were fairly distributed, as the books of the Safety Committee will show.
PLANS OF THE SECESSIONISTS--THE ST. LOUIS ARSENAL.
The minute-men under the lead of McLaren, James George, Thornton Grimsley, Wm. Wade, and others, were depending upon Claib Jackson for orders to take the arsenal. Grimsley wrote a letter to Jackson, which was afterward captured among Jackson's papers at Jeffferson City, in which he urged Claib Jackson to allow him (Grimsley) to attempt the capture of the arsenal, which he said he could safely do, as he had over one thousand men, drilled, armed, and ready for any work. Besides, he claimed the co-operation of General D. M. Frost, in command of the State militia, a graduate of West Point, an officer thoroughly in the interest of the rebellion, and reputed a brave and skillful tactician. Frost knew the value of prompt and decisive action, and had Jackson been as bold St. Louis streets would have run with blood as early as January. To obtain possession of St. Louis in advance of any Federal attempts to re-enforce it; to call upon the people of the State to rush to the defense of State rights and of their own elect; to fortify and garrison the prominent points on the river to some place south of Cairo; to seduce Southern Illinois into the scheme of the rebellion; to disarm every doubtful man, and enforce a vigorous conscription--such was the outline of the St. Louis-Jefferson City juntas; but Jackson wanted backbone to take this initiative, and preferred to follow in the wake of the Southern States.
There was no place in possession of the national authorities in 1861, which the conspirators so much desired, as the arsenal at St. Louis. It is situated in the southern part of the city, and covers an area of fifty-six acres of ground, bordering the Mississippi river. It is located on rather low ground, and is hemmed in by a high stone wall on all sides except the water front. Within these walls, independent of the workshops, there are four very large stone buildings, forming a rectangle. The main arsenal is one of these, flanked on either side by buildings of equally solid masonry. The fourth building is larger than the main arsenal, and was used in January, 1861, for the several offices then established in the arsenal. Within these buildings there were stored, at the time last mentioned, 60,000 stand of arms (mostly Enfield and Springfield), 1,500,000 ball cartridges, several field pieces and siege guns, together with a large amount of machinery in the several shops, and munitions of war in abundance. In the main magazine there were 90,000 pounds of powder.
In early January, 1861, the only protection afforded this invaluable property was a force consisting of a few staff officers, three or four men detailed from Jefferson Barracks to serve them, and the mechanics (unarmed) in the workshops. There were no precautions adopted to prevent mischievous persons from entering the place, and a half-dozen John Browns could have taken the arsenal.
This property, in the hands of the national Government, was cause of much grief to the conspirators, and there is no doubt that, had they realized the fact of a probable change in the commandancy of the arsenal, they would have attempted its seizure early in the month of January; but Major Bell, the officer in charge, was in alliance with the conspirators, and the plan was adopted to leave the arsenal in his hands until such time as it was necessary to take it, and then, by means of some excitement studiously to be caused in the city, the Governor, under the plea of "protecting Government property," would march his minute-men to the "assistance of Major Bell." The following letter, captured in 1864, explains the complicity of Major Bell and General Frost in this design:
St. Louis, Mo., January 24, 1861.
His Excellency C. F. Jackson, Governor of Missouri
DEAR SIR--I have just returned from the arsenal, where I have had an interview with Major Bell, the commanding officer of that place. I found the Major everything that you or I could desire. He assured me that he considered that Missouri had, whenever the time came, a right to claim it as being on her soil. He asserted his determination to defend it against any and all irresponsible mobs, come from whence they might, but at the same time gave me to understand that he would not attempt any defense against the proper State authorities.
He promised me, upon the honor of an officer and a gentleman, that he would not suffer any arms to be removed from the place without first giving me timely information, and I, in return, promised him that I would use all the force at my command to prevent him being annoyed by irresponsible persons.
I at the same time gave him notice that if affairs assumed so threatening a character as to render it unsafe to leave the place in its comparatively unprotected condition, that I might come down and quarter a proper force there to protect it from the assaults of any persons whatsoever, to which he assented. In a word, the Major is with us, where he ought to be, for all his worldly wealth lies here in St. Louis (and it is very large); and then, again, his sympathies are with us.
I shall therefore rest perfectly easy, and use all my influence to stop the sensationists from attracting the particular attention of the Government to this particular spot. The telegrams you received were the sheerest "canards" of persons who, without discretion, are extremely anxious to show their zeal. I shall be thoroughly prepared with the proper force to act as emergency may require. The use of force will only be resorted to when nothing else will avail to prevent the shipment or removal of the arms.
The Major informed me that he had arms for forty thousand men, with all the appliances to manufacture munitions of almost every kind.
This arsenal, if properly looked after, will be everything to our State, and I intend to look after it; very quietly, however. I have every confidence in the word of honor pledged to me by the Major, and would as soon think of doubting the oath of the best man in the community.
His idea is that it would be disgraceful to him as a military man to surrender to a mob, whilst he could do so, without compromising his dignity, to the State authorities. Of course I did not show him your order, but I informed him that you had authorized me to act as I might think proper to protect the public property.
He desired that I would not divulge his peculiar views, which I promised not to do, except to yourself. I beg, therefore, that you will say nothing that might compromise him eventually with the General Government, for thereby I would be placed in an awkward position, whilst he probably would be removed, which would be unpleasant to our interests.
Grimsley, as you doubtless know, is an unconscionable jackass, and only desires to make himself notorious. It was through him that McLaren and George made the mistake of telegraphing a falsehood to you.
I should be pleased to hear whether you approve of the course I have adopted, and if not, I am ready to take any other that you, as my commander, may suggest.
I am, sir, most truly,
Your obedient servant,
D. M. FROST.
©2002 G. E. Rule
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