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[28] have anything to do with the arsenal or the arms in it. Lyon made a bold claim to the command as Hagner's ranking officer. But first General Harney, commander of the district, and later the President, decided against him, and Hagner became more fixed than ever in his determination not to distribute arms to the Home Guards. Blair and Lyon appealed again to the President but could not move him. Then Blair got Sturgeon to write General Scott, begging him to reinforce the garrison with the troops at Jefferson Barracks, in all 203 officers and men. This Scott did, and a few days later further increased the force, making it about 500 strong. Still Blair and Lyon were not satisfied, and Blair went to Washington and besought the President to assign Lyon to the command of the arsenal. But the President refused to make a change, as he had only a few days to serve. Lyon lost all patience, and said in a letter to Blair that Hagner's course was the result ‘either of imbecility or damned villainy,’ and declared if it became necessary he would ‘pitch him into the river.’ But directly after Lincoln's inauguration and the appointment of Montgomery Blair a member of his cabinet, Lyon was assigned to the coveted command. He at once began to put the arsenal in a state of defense by occupying, without warrant of law, the surrounding heights, and planting artillery upon them to command the city and the approaches to it.

During these events, General Frost was getting ready to take the arsenal, but never quite succeeded in completing his preparations. He did not think it expedient to accept Major Bell's offer to permit him to quarter troops in it to protect it from the assaults of irresponsible parties, nor did he think it prudent to act while the contest was going on between Major Hagner and Captain Lyon in regard to their respective rights to the command. But after Lyon had obtained the command, and had occupied the surrounding heights and fortified them, he

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