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Everything has been in a state of excitement here, and about ten days ago was drifting toward thorough anarchy. I think the operations in St. Louis did no particular harm, and Harney's proclamation does a wondrous deal of good. He is a citizen of Missouri, and has the power to do what he says he will; and it is well known here that when he undertakes to do a thing he is apt to do it very roughly. Everybody knows him to be a pro-slavery man, and this takes, to a certain extent, the sting away from any exercise of authority he may make. Altogether an excellent appointment.

Of course all business is dead. If I can get into the Regular service, in a high position, I shall join the army. I cannot yet tell whether I can muster influence enough to command a majority or a captaincy, but shall probably try and see what can be done.

We apprehend, at present, no difficulty; and if we have one, it will not, I think, be lasting. I trust not.

There is little to write about, except politics. The real issue in this State is between our damnable secession State government and old Harney; and as the Union men and Disunion men are each afraid of the other, and our State government is powerless, both from lack of money and of arms, I think that Missouri will be apt to be quiet, Harney's sword being thrown into that scale.

I shall look to you presently, perhaps, to help me in my military views.

The following letter shows his first summons to military service. The volunteer corps here indicated was subsequently organized, and he was appointed its Major. It became the nucleus of the Thirteenth Missouri, and he was commissioned as its Colonel, to rank as such from September 1, 1861. After the capture of the regiment at Lexington, its number was given to another corps, and it was ultimately reorganized as the Twenty-fifth Missouri.

Headquarters, Department West, St. Louis Arsenal, May 31, 1861.

Sir,—I am directed by Brigadier-General Lyon, commanding, to request you to repair at once to Fort Leavenworth, to confer with the commanding officer there in regard to the organization and equipment of a reserve corps in your city.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Chester Harding, Jr., A. A. G., 1st Brig. Mo. Vols. To E. Peabody, Esq., St. Joseph, Missouri.

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