Among the killed were three of the prisoners and a child in the arms of its mother.
's force was outnumbered ten to one, and he, no doubt, thought a refusal to surrender would result in an unavailing loss of life.
But why did he put himself in a position to provoke an attack, if he did not intend to fight?
Why did he ask for siege guns to reduce the arsenal, if he could not keep them when he got them?
If he could not defend himself, why did he not retreat?
He knew for two days that he was liable to be attacked, and for several hours that he certainly would be. He had two safe lines of retreat open to him. A march of 15 miles over a macadamized road would have put him behind the Meramac river; or of 20 miles, over an equally good road, across the Missouri river
at St. Charles
; and in either case reinforcements would have come to him every hour of the day and night.
In fact, why did he not take the arsenal long before?
He had the authority to do it, and could have done it at any time for months.
The partisans of the South
throughout the State
were disheartened because those in authority did not do anything themselves and would not allow others to do anything.
They knew the possession of the arsenal was essential to their cause.
The possession of it would have been followed by the enrollment of an army of 50,000 men at any time.
Yet when it was offered to him Frost
declined to accept it—and when it was lost beyond hope he asked for siege guns to reduce it.
At the time of the capture of Camp Jackson, the legislature was in session, it having met on the call of the governor on May 2d.
The governor had appealed to it in vain to put the State
in a condition to defend itself.
When the news of Frost
's surrender, his men held prisoners of war by the Home Guards, and the wanton killing of women and children, reached the capital, the military bill was under discussion, with but little prospect of its passage.
But instantly the opposition to it vanished,