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[30] joined different commands temporarily to get an idea of the duties of a soldier. Blair and Lyon knew what the Southern men were doing about as well as they knew themselves, and at once made preparations to anticipate them at all points. Lyon got authority from the war department to take 5,000 stand of arms from the arsenal to arm loyal citizens—that is to say, the Home Guards—and he pushed with great vigor the recruiting of new regiments.

Gen. William S. Harney, who was in command of the district, was Southern born and Southern in all his associations, and entirely too conservative to suit Blair and Lyon, and they had been unceasing in their efforts to get him removed. They had not succeeded, but Lyon got his authority to act directly from the war department. He had now five regiments. Blair was colonel of the first regiment, and John M. Schofield was major. Lyon was given command of the brigade and made brigadier-general. He had under his command more than 7,000 men, while near him lay encamped the only organized military force of the State—less than 700 men. He and Blair were now ready to strike—to commit the overt act for which the Southern leaders had been so long waiting.

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Nathaniel Lyon (5)
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