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.
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.
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
, 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