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[24] Home Guard company organized was composed mostly of Germans, but had a few Americans in it. Blair never shrank from responsibility, and he became captain of the company. In a short time eleven companies, composed almost entirely of Germans, aggregating about 750 officers and men, were organized. This was before the inauguration of Lincoln, and they were armed in part by the governor of Illinois and equipped by private contributions.

Governor Jackson was powerless to do anything to offset these preparations on the part of Blair and the Union men, owing to the refusal of the legislature to pass the military bill. The State government was effectually blocked by the inaction of the lower house. But in the Southern element in St. Louis were a number of young men, active and enthusiastic in the cause of the South, who had previously been held in check by their elders, but now determined to act on their own account. Chief among them was Basil W. Duke, a young lawyer from Kentucky and a born soldier, who understood the situation intuitively and chafed at the delay and lack of preparation of the authorities. Besides Duke there were Colton Greene, Overton W. Barrett, James R. Shaler and Rock Champion, all as brave and eager as he was.

These young men organized themselves, strictly in accordance with law, as Minute Men. They did it openly, beginning their organization the day Blair began to organize his Home Guards. They formed five companies which, commanded respectively by Duke, Greene, Barrett, Shaler and Hubbard, were formed into a battalion, of which Shaler was elected major, and it was assigned to Frost's brigade, which had seen some service on the southwestern border. The brigade aggregated 580 officers and men.

The Minute Men established their headquarters in the heart of the city, but formed and drilled companies in other parts. They were not more than 300 strong, but

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