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[49] passed the sentinels at the basement door. Ascending two flights of stairs, we found the commanding general with a single secretary or clerk occupying the suite of rooms extending from front to rear of the building. The general received me cordially, but, to my great surprise, no questions were asked, nor any mention made, of the bloody field from which I had just come, where Lyon had been killed, and his army, after a desperate battle, compelled to retreat. I was led at once to a large table on which maps were spread out, from which the general proceeded to explain at length the plans of the great campaign for which he was then preparing. Colonel Blair had, I believe, already been initiated, but I listened attentively for a long time, certainly more than an hour, to the elucidation of the project. In general outline the plan proposed a march of the main Army of the West through southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas to the valley of the Arkansas River, and thence down that river to the Mississippi, thus turning all the Confederate defenses of the Mississippi River down to and below Memphis. As soon as the explanation was ended Colonel Blair and I took our leave, making our exit through the same basement door by which we had entered. We walked down the street for some time in silence. Then Blair turned to me and said: ‘Well, what do you think of him?’ I replied, in words rather too strong to repeat in print, to the effect that my opinion as to his wisdom was the same as it always had been. Blair said: ‘I have been suspecting that for some time.’

It was a severe blow to the whole Blair family—the breaking, by the rude shock of war, of that idol they had so much helped to set up and make the commander of a great army. From that day forward there was no concealment of the opposition of the Blairs to Fremont.

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