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[261] them by the military power he possessed as the Major-General in command of the militia of the State. He only requested of me that, in case I should hear of any threatened disturbance, I would give him notice of it, and allow him an opportunity of trying his ability to put it down, before using the military force of the United States for that purpose — putting this on the ground of mere policy, but without attempting to put me under any obligations in the premises; leaving me perfectly free in the exercise of whatever power the Government might confer upon me as the military commander of the department.

After we had thus come to an understanding, General Price expressed the opinion that it might tend to quiet the public mind if it were made Known that our meeting had taken place; that it was perfectly amicable, and that we had but one common purpose; to which I assented, and General Hitchcock and Major Turner were then requested by General Price to prepare a paper for us to sign. They retired a few moments and submitted to us a paper, which we mutually signed, expressing in concise but very precise terms the circumstances of our meeting and agreement.

This paper was immediately sent to the press, and I received many evidences of its having given almost universal satisfaction throughout the State.

It is important to mention here that the Governor of the State had assembled at the capital a considerable body of militia, ostensibly for its defence; but these militia were under the immediate command of General Price, and as soon as he and myself had come to the understanding just stated, General Price, of his own accord, and without any suggestion from me, declared that immediately on his return to Jefferson City he would order the militia to their homes, which he did, and now, for some weeks there was perfect quiet throughout the State, and there were no signs of a purpose to disturb the arrangement which General Price and myself had agreed upon, and which, as I believed at the time, and still believe, might easily have been maintained by ordinary prudence in the military authorities then exercising control in the State.

In the midst of this quiescent state of things, what can express my astonishment when Colonel Blair determined to make use of the order to supersede me, which accordingly was laid upon me, and I was deprived of the command.

Immediately upon this, a military expedition was started from St. Louis with the avowed purpose of seizing Governor Jackson at Jefferson City.

I omitted to mention at the proper time, that in my interview with General Price, he stated that he would not agree to come down to St. Louis for the interview with me, until he had first obtained the sanction of Governor Jackson; and further, that he had obtained from Governor Jackson his personal pledge that he, Governor Jackson, would give no order to the militia, and would make no attempt at a movement in the State, without his approbation. General Price even stated that he had obtained this pledge in writing, giving as a reason — not particularly respectful to Governor Jackson--that he had held his character for fidelity in suspicion; and as this was generally known at the time, Governor Jackson's acquiescence in General Price's demands was attributed to his having come under a wholesome apprehension for his own personal safety, in view of the fact that the State, through its convention, had given its voice decisively against him; this also having its weight with me in the reliance I placed upon General Price as a co-worker with me for the peaceful preservation of the State.

As might have been anticipated, the Governor of the State, immediately upon hearing of the military expedition for his arrest, took care to secure himself by withdrawing from Jefferson City beyond reach. And if the effects of this military expedition had stopped with this fact alone, it would have been fortunate for the State; but, unfortunately, General Price, having no knowledge of the particular circumstances connected with it, looked upon it as a breach of faith against himself, who had, of his own accord, removed the militia on which the Governor might have relied, and it appeared to him as if his meeting me at St. Louis had been designed expressly to induce such an action on his part as might lay the Governor open to seizure. This was undoubtedly his view of the proceeding, upon which he decided to take part with the Governor against what he regarded as a treacherous act of military despotism. Accordingly, he fled with the Governor, and has since been numbered among the enemies of the Federal Government.

The subsequent proceedings in the State of Missouri have, in my opinion, fully justified the view I took of the state of public feeling when I resumed the command of the Western department, and I have never doubted that if the measures I adopted had not been violently interfered with, the State might have been spared a vast amount of suffering from military movements, into which she was precipitated by the single act, which, on its face, must necessarily have been futile, by which an attempt was made to seize the Governor, whose influence in the State had wholly departed, and who was, in fact, powerless for evil until driven into rebellion by what seemed to be an act of treachery to General Price.

Since the events above recited, I have not been called to take a public part in the war, though holding myself constantly in readiness to obey any order which the Government might think proper to give in relation to me; being now, as I ever have been, devotedly attached to the Union.

William S. Harney, Brigadier-General U. S. A.

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