Though he was not as compliant as his predecessor had been, he was not disposed to be controlled by Blair
In this crisis fortune favored Blair
Capt. Nathaniel Lyon
, of the regular army, was ordered to St. Louis
with his company.
was a coarse man, without even the external polish that usually characterized old army officers.
He was a bitter fanatic, and longed, as he said, to get at the throats of the Southern
He was contentious, aggressive and dictatorial—greedy of power and reckless in the use of it—but withal a trained soldier and a man of great energy of character.
His arbitrary temper, his sectional fanaticism and his disregard of the forms of law when they stood in his way, made him just the man Blair
needed in carrying out his plans for subverting the government of the State
and making Missouri
a Federal province, while Lyon
needed the finesse and political influence of Blair
to put him in a position to execute his ruthless purposes.
The two men seemed to have instinctively recognized their affinity and to have formed an alliance offensive and defensive.
did the fine work—the planning and political management, while Lyon
undertook the work of completing what Blair
had begun in organizing, drilling and arming troops in violation of the laws of the State
A short time before Lyon
reached St. Louis
, he wrote a letter to a friend in that city full of wrath and radical sentiments.
It is probable Blair
saw the letter and knew in advance the kind of man he had to deal with.
could have had no better introduction to him.
But the removal of Major Bell
and the appointment of Major Hagner
to the command of the arsenal did not enable Blair
to accomplish what they wanted, which was to get the arms in it to outfit the regiments they were raising, and to garrison it with a force that would end the question of its possession.
was a conservative man, and refused to permit them to