should pursue in the crisis which was at hand.
The substance of it was that the State
should adopt decisive measures at once.
As a consequence, bills were immediately introduced to call a State convention, to organize, arm and equip the militia, and to take from the Republican
mayor of St. Louis
the power to call out the Wide-awakes—a Republican semi-military organization—in case of political disturbances in the city.
In the state of feeling that existed, all of these bills could have been passed at once if they had been pushed with vigor and determination.
The senate acted promptly, but the house, which was larger and more unwieldy, was disposed to discuss at length everything that came before it, thus causing delay in the first place, and producing division and antagonism among those who should have acted together, in the next place.
The bill to provide for calling a State convention was passed, and also the bill for curtailing the power of the Republican
mayor of St. Louis
, but the bill for organizing, arming and equipping the militia—which was by far the most important of the three—met with opposition and was not passed until the State
was plunged into war.
In the meantime, the Southern
and least exposed States were going out of the Union
and taking possession of the forts and arsenals within their limits as they went—some of them, indeed, before they had formally withdrawn from the Union
, of Georgia
, set the example in prompt action by seizing Fort pulaski and garrisoning it with State troops before his State had adopted an ordinance of secession.
, of Alabama
, seized the arsenal at Mount Vernon
, and Forts Morgan
, which commanded the approach to Mobile
The governor of Florida
seized the arsenal at Apalachicola
, and Fort Marion
at St. Augustine
The governor of Louisiana
took possession of Fort St. Philip
and Fort Jackson
, which commanded the entrance to the Mississippi river
, and seized the arsenal at Baton Rouge