me timely information; and I promised him, in return, that I would use all the force at my command to prevent him being annoyed by irresponsible persons.
I, at the same time, gave him notice that if affairs assumed so threatening a character as to render it unsafe to leave the place in its comparatively unprotected condition, I might come down and quarter a proper force there to protect it from the assaults of any persons whatsoever, to which he assented.’
It is not to be supposed that as sagacious a man as Frank Blair
did not understand the importance of the arsenal, and that as bold a man intended to allow the enemies of the Federal
government to get possession of it without a desperate struggle.
But Mr. Buchanan
, and was not readily influenced by a man of Blair
's revolutionary temper and methods.
worked might and main, determined if he could not get control of the arsenal and arm his Home Guards from its abundant material, to have Major Bell
removed and some one appointed in his place with whom he would have more influence.
He, therefore, prevailed on Isaac H. Sturgeon
, assistant treasurer
at St. Louis
, an appointee of the President
, to write to him, assuring him of the danger of the capture of the arsenal and urging that a force sufficient for its defense be quartered in it at once.
was a Southern born man who was playing a double game.
He was in the confidence of the Southern Rights
men and was regarded by them as one of their number.
At the same time he was working secretly under instructions of Blair
He wrote to General Scott
to the same effect.
The result was that a short time afterward Major Bell
was relieved of the command at the arsenal by Maj. Peter V. Hagner
, and a detachment of forty soldiers was ordered there to guard it. Major Bell
was a North Carolinian and Southern man in his principles and associations.
was born in Washington
and his associations were generally with