« PreviousContinue »
TRANSACTIONS CIVIL AND MILITARY IN MISSOURI.
In Missouri the governor and Legislature were in favor of secession; the State Convention averse to it.
The governor inaugurated hostilities by seizing a national arsenal. In his subsequent movements he was defeated at the battle of Booneville. He then proclaimed the secession of the state.
Battle of Wilson's Creek, and death of General Lyon.
General Fremont assigned to the command of the district. Causes of his sudden removal.
Battle of Pea Ridge, and march of General Curtis to Helena.
IN MISSOURI the separation of the people into two par Internal dissensions ties at once occurred. The slaveholders were numerically in the minority, but their inferiority in that respect was compensated for by their social influence and wealth. They were mostly settled in the rich river valleys, and had no intention of yielding to the New Englanders and German immigrants with whom the chief towns were thronged. The governor was a supporter of the secession party, and the Legislature had similar inclinations.
A State Convention was called by the Legislature. It The State Conven- met February 28th. A commissioner from Georgia was permitted to address it. He was, however, respectfully dismissed with the informa tion that his views were not considered acceptable, and that it was to be regretted that he had no plan of reconciliation to offer. The Committee of the Convention on Federal Relations presented its report on March 9th. It offered resolutions declaring that there was no adequate cause for Missouri to leave the Union; that she would
It desires an ami- labor for its perpetuation; that the people cable adjustment. of that state earnestly desired an amicable adjustment of all difficulties; it suggested the Crittenden Compromise as a satisfactory basis, and a Convention of the states for the purpose of suitably amending the Constitution; it equally denounced coercion of the seceding states by the government, and assaults by those states on the government, and entreated both not to bring on the nation the horrors of civil war. An amendment was added to this report, before its adoption by the Convention, recommending the national government to withdraw its troops from the forts in the seceded states, where there might be danger of a collision with state troops. The Convention then adjourned to the following December. Though the Convention had thus determined against secession, the governor at once proceeded to render its action abortive. To President Lincoln's requisition for troops he returned a refusal, and called an extra session of the Legislature (May 2d) to authorize the military organization of the state. In his message on that occasion, he declared that the sympathies of Missouri were with the Slave States, and that it was necessary for her interests to unite her destiny with theirs. In his views the Legislature con curred.
POLITICAL MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
The governor desires to turn the state over to the Confederacy.
The governor had already (April 20th) seized the United States Arsenal at Liberty, and had distributed among his friends the arms it contained; he had attempted to obtain control of the city of St. Louis by establishing in it an armed force under the guise of a metropolitan police; he had ordered the mili tia to go into encampment under pretense of drilling, but, in reality, to be ready to secure the state. His intention was to seize the national arsenal at St. Louis, at that time in charge of Captain Lyon, who had a garrison of about
He seizes the arsenal at Liberty.
CHAP. XLVII.] MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
500 regulars. That officer, while the 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 ammunition. 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 commissioned a brigadier general.
But the governor did not desist from his attempt to
Harney makes a compact with the governor.
force the state into the Confederacy. The Legislature had placed the whole military power in his hands; it had made every ablebodied 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
al of the national
He issues a proclamation,
and commences warlike operations.
POLITICAL MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
The Legislature places funds at his disposal.
By the Kansas conflicts (vol. i., p. 416), Missouri had been prepared for fierce civil dissensions. 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 organi zation of the state, and concentrated his militia at Booneville and Lexington.
CHAP. XLVII.] POLITICAL MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI.
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.
He expects troops from the South.
General Lyon at once determined to attack the troops Lyon attacks him at 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.
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 dec laration 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