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CHAP. XLVII.] MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
500 regulars. That officer, while the gov ernor was maturing his plans, had the arms secretly transferred to Springfield, in the adjoining Free State Illinois. Meantime permission had been received from Washington to raise troops, and, notwithstanding the refusal of the governor to comply with the President's requisition, several regiments had been raised by Colonel F. P. Blair.
The arms at St.
Captain Lyon, finding that the state troops encamped in the vicinity of St. Louis were receiving cannon, shot, and shell taken from the national arsenal at Baton Rouge, in Louisiana, and sent up the Mississippi in boxes marked "marble," resolved not to wait for their assault on the arsenal in his charge. With 6000 troops, he suddenly surrounded their camp and compelled them to surrender. He took from them 20 cannon, 1200 new rifles, several chests
of small-arms, and large quantities of ammu nition. As the last of the prisoners were leaving their camp, some persons from the city fired on his German Combats between regiments, who, returning the fire, killed and the opponents. wounded more than twenty of their assailants. As might have been expected, the city was a scene of conflict between the two parties for several days subsequently.
Lyon surprises the secession camp.
and captures many munitions.
General Harney, now arriving in St. Louis, took command of the national forces, and entered into a compact with the governor, agreeing that no military movements should be made so long as the state authorities would preserve order. The national government, however, disapproved of this comLyon assigned to pact, relieved Harney of his command, and the command. conferred it on Captain Lyon, who was com missioned a brigadier general.
But the governor did not desist from his attempt to
Harney makes a compact with the governor.
POLITICAL MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
force the state into the Confederacy. The Legislature had placed the whole military power in his hands; it had made every able. bodied man subject to military duty, and had provided money for war purposes. He demanded of General Lyon, as a preliminary to pacification, that no national troops should be permitted to remain in Missouri, and that his volunteers should be disbanded. This being refused, he issued a proclamation calling into service 50,000 militia for the purpose of repelling invasion, declaring to the people that their first allegiance was due to their own state; that they were under no ob ligation whatever to obey the unconstitutional edicts of the military despotism that had enthroned itself at Washington, nor to submit to the infamous and degrading sway of its minions. He had railroad bridges burned and telegraph wires cut, and commenced a civil strife for the purpose of forcing Missouri into the Confederacy, though so large a majority of the people were avowedly averse to that
The governor demands the remov
al of the national
He issues a proclamation,
and commences warlike operations.
By the Kansas conflicts (vol. i., p. 416), Missouri had been prepared for fierce civil dissensions.
The Legislature places funds at his disposal.
As not a single secessionist had been elected to the Convention, the governor gave up all hope of attaching the state to the Confederacy through an action, real or ostensible, of the people, and, thoroughly committed to the slave interest, he carried on his operations through the Legislature. This body had placed at his disposal more than $3,000,000, derived from funds intended for purposes altogether different, such as the school fund, the interest on the state debt, etc. With these means he proceeded to attempt the military organization of the state, and concentrated his militia at Booneville and Lexington.
CHAP. XLVII.] POLITICAL MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
Lyon attacks him at
He endeavored at first to renew the agreement previously made with General Harney, and to secure the removal of the national troops. In whatever promises he gave of neutrality, he was, however, insincere, for he knew that a body of Texan troops were coming across the Southern frontier to his aid. General Lyon at once determined to attack the troops at Booneville before they were re-enforced. He moved with such celerity that he came upon them (June 17th) unprepared. In an affair of twenty minutes he totally routed them. The governor fled to the Southwest, to meet re-enforcements which were hurrying to him from other parts of the state, and the expected Texan troops. To prevent this junction, Colonel Sigel had been sent with a national force from St. Louis. He advanced from Rolla to beyond Carthage, but was too late to accomplish his purpose. After some severe fighting he was forced back to Springfield, where he was joined by Lyon.
He expects troops from the South.
The Convention ap
While things were in this condition the State Convention reassembled at Jefferson City (July points new state of 20th). It declared the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, etc., vacant, and pronounced all the anti-national legislation that had taken place null and void. It appointed a new governor until, on a subsequent day of election, the people should express their choice.
The governor de
On his part, the governor, in retaliation, issued a declaration that, by the act of the people and clares that the state government of the Northern States of the late Union, the political connection of Missouri with the United States was dissolved. In conformi ty with the plan elsewhere followed, he proceeded to contract an alliance with the Confederacy, turning over to it the military means of the state. The formal secession of
MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
Missouri was thus the act of one man, and herein is seen the wisdom of the original movers of secession, in hav ing persons who could be relied upon for their purposes as governors in all the Border States.
K A N
MISSOURI AND ARKANSAS.
Fremont takes com
The month of August came, and found General Lyon at Springfield, hoping to receive re-enforcements; but the battle of Bull Run had occurred, and rendered it impossible to send him aid. Major General Fremand of the district. mont had been appointed to the command of the Western Department, and had reached St. Louis (July 25). Meantime Confederate troops were pouring over the southern frontier of Missouri, and Lyon, finding that they were advancing upon him in two columns, determined to strike before he should be overwhelmed by the combined Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas troops. His force did not exceed 5500, his antagonist had Lyon's skirmish at more than 12,000. A skirmish occurred at Dug Spring (August 1st), in which he had
CHAP. XLVII.] BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK.
the advantage; but he could not prevent the junction of the two columns. Hereupon he fell back to Springfield. His position had now become one of great difficulty. Political as well as military considerations rendered it almost impossible for him to retreat farther. He therefore determined to resume the offensive, and compensate for his weakness by audacity. Moving out of Springfield on a very dark night (August 9, 10), and having ordered Sigel, with 1200 men and six guns, to gain the enemy's rear by their right, he was ready, as soon as day broke, to make an attack on their front.
But the disparity of force was too great. Sigel was overwhelmed. He lost five out of his six guns, and more than half his men. The attack in front was conducted by Lyon in person with very great energy. His horse was shot under him; he was twice wounded, the second time in the head. In a final charge he called to the Second Kansas Regiment, whose colonel was at that moment severely wound
Battle of Wilson's
Death of Lyon. ed, "Come on, I will lead you," and in so doing was shot through the heart.
After the death of Lyon the battle was still continued, their artillery preserving the national troops from total defeat. News then coming of Sigel's disaster, a retreat to Springfield, distant about nine miles, was resolved on. It was executed without difficulty.
In this battle of Wilson's Creek there were 223 killed, Results of the bat- 721 wounded, 292 missing, on the national side; and, as may be inferred from the determined character of the assault, the loss of the Confederates was very great. They had been so severely handled that they made no attempt at pursuit, and the retreat was continued by the national troops, who, on the 19th, had fallen back to Rolla.
After this action, the Confederate commanders McCul