officially informed Congress of these things, and declared that the country was in the midst of a great revolution.
there were two arsenals—one at Liberty, in Clay county
, on the western border of the State
, and the other in the southern suburb of St. Louis
The first was a small affair, of no great importance under any circumstances.
The second contained about 60,000 stand of arms, cannon of every size, and a large supply of the munitions of war. It could have been taken at any time for months, with the tacit consent of its commandant, if the State
authorities had possessed the courage to take it. But they not only would not authorize its seizure, but would not consent that unauthorized parties—volunteers who were ready to act on an hour's notice—should take possession of it. In fact, the State
authorities practically stood guard over it and protected it for the benefit of the Federal
authorities until they were ready to guard it themselves and use the material it contained for the overthrow of the State
government and the subjugation of the people of the State
But interest centered on the general assembly rather than the arsenal.
When it met it was strongly Southern in its sentiment, as has been said, if it were not in favor of the immediate secession of the State
But it was slow in getting to work, and in a short time there were signs of disaffection in the house.
It was composed of Douglas Democrats, Breckinridge Democrats, Bell
men and Republicans.
The Republicans, an insignificant minority, stood alone and were content to pursue an aggravating policy of obstruction.
The other elements did not work together in harmony.
Out of the exigencies of the times new party alignments arose.
They took the form of Secessionists, Conditional Union men, and Unconditional Union men. The positions and purposes of the Secessionists and Unconditional Union men were clear and distinct.
All men knew what they meant and what