we have seen Conventions of the people of several States coolly assume the power, asserted or reserved in no one of their respective Constitutions, to take those States out of the Union
, and absolve their people from all obligation to uphold or obey its Government, in flagrant defiance of that Federal charter, framed for and adopted by the people of the United States
, and by them recognized and accepted as the supreme law of the
land, anything in the Constitution
and laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
We have seen one of these Conventions assume and exercise the right of revoking a fundamental compact between the State
and the Union
, which is, by its express terms, irrevocable.
We have seen State Legislatures, in default of Conventions, usurp, practically, this tremendous power of secession; and have heard a now loyal Governor proclaim that a popular majority for Secessionists, in an election of members
of Congress, might serve to nullify the obligation of the citizens of that State to the Federal
Constitution and Union.
We are now to contemplate more directly the spectacle of a State plunged into secession and civil war, not in obedience to, but in defiance of; the action of her Convention and the express will of her people — not, even, by any direct act of her Legislature, but by the will of her Executive alone.1 Gov. Jackson
as we have seen, having found the Convention
, which his Legislature had called, utterly and emphatically intractable to the uses of treason, had reconvened his docile Legislature.2
But even this body could not be induced to vote the State
out of the Union
Below that point, however, it stood ready enough to aid the bolder conspirators; and its pliancy was taxed to the utmost.
The State School Fund, the money provided to pay the July interest on the heavy State Debt, and all other available means, amounting in the aggregate to over three millions of dollars, were appropriated to military uses, and placed at the disposal of Jackson
, under the pretense of arming the State
against any emergency.
By another act, the Governor
was invested with despotic power — even verbal opposition to his assumptions of authority being constituted treason; while every citizen liable to military duty was declared subject to draft into active service at Jackson
's will, and an oath of obedience to the State Executive
Under these acts, Jackson
appointed ex-Gov. Sterling Price Major-General
of the State
forces, with nine Brigadiers — Parsons
, M. L. Clark
, John B. Clark
, and Jeff. Thompson
, commanding in so many districts into which the State
These Brigadiers were ordered by Maj. Gen. Price
to muster and organize the militia of their several districts so fast as possible, and send it with all dispatch to Booneville
, two thriving young cities on the Missouri
, respcectively some forty and one hundred miles west of Jefferson
, and in the heart of the slaveholding region.
This call having been made, Jackson
, fearing an attack from the Federal
forces gathering at St. Louis
, started westward with their followers, reaching Booneville
on the 18th of June.
, being sick, kept on by steamboat to Lexington
They had not moved too soon.
and his army left St. Louis
by steamboats on tile 13th, and reached Jefferson City
on the morning of the 15th, only to find that the Confederate
chiefs had started when he did, with a good hundred miles advantage in the race.
Reembarking on the 16th, he reached Rockport
, nearly opposite Booneville
, next morning, and espied the Rebel
encampment just across the river.
In it were collected some two or three thousand men, only half armed, and not at all drilled, under the immediate command of Col. Marmaduke
, utterly disconcerted by Lyon
's unexpected rapidity of movement, had ordered his “State Guard” to be disbanded, and no resistance to be offered.
determined to fight, and started for the landing, where he hoped to surprise and cut up the Unionists while debarking.
He met Lyon
advancing in good order, and was easily routed by him, losing two guns, with much camp-equipage, clothing, etc. His raw infantry were dispersed.
but his strength in cavalry saved him from utter destruction.
fled to Warsaw
, on the Osage
, some eighty miles south-west.
Fifteen miles north of that place, at Camp Cole, a half-organized regiment of Unionists
, under Capt. Cook
, was asleep in two barns, with no pickets out save northward, when, during the night of the 18th, they were surprised by a Rebel force from the southward, under Col. O'Kane
, and utterly routed — being unable to offer any serious resistance.
and a portion of his followers barely escaped with their lives3 Jackson
, reenforced by O'Kane
, halted two days at Warsaw
, then continued his retreat some fifty miles to Montevallo, in Vernon County
, near the west line of the State
, and was here joined on the 3d of July by Price
, with such aid as he had been able to gather at Lexington
and on his way. Their united force is stated by Pollard
Being pursued by Lyon
, they continued their retreat next day, halting at 9 P. M., in Jasper County
, twenty-three miles distant. Ten miles hence, at 10 A. M., next morning, they were confronted by a Union force 1,500 strong, under Col. Franz Sigel
, who had been dispatched from St. Louis
by the South-western Pacific
road, to Rolla
, had marched thence to Springfield
, and had pushed on to Mount Vernon, Lawrence County
, hoping to prevent a junction between Jackson
and some forces which his Brigadiers were hurrying to his support.
Each army appears to have started that morning with intent to find and fight the other; and such mutual intentions are seldom frustrated.
found the Rebels
, halted after their morning march, well posted, vastly superior in numbers and in cavalry, but inferior in artillery, which he accordingly resolved should play a principal part in the battle.
In the cannonade which ensued, he inflicted great damage on the Rebels
and received very little, until, after a desultory combat of three or four hours, the enemy resolved to profit by their vast superiority in cavalry by outflanking him, both right and left.