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[38]

Both sides saw that war was inevitable and were making active preparations for it. But a considerable number of conservative citizens, who deprecated war and its attendant ravages, made an effort to avert it by trying to bring about an agreement between General Harney and General Price. They were both citizens of the State and conservative in their feelings. At last they succeeded in inducing General Harney to invite General Price to hold a conference with him in St. Louis. Accordingly terms were arranged, and on the 21st of May they met and made what was known as the Price-Harney agreement. After stating that the object of each was ‘to restore peace and good order to the people of the State in subordination to the laws of the general and State governments,’ General Price undertook, with the sanction of the governor, to maintain order in the State; and General Harney agreed, if this were done, he would make no military movements within the State. General Harney also intimated to General Price, unofficially, that, as the State Guard might come within the meaning of the President's proclamation requiring officers of the United States army to disperse all armed bodies hostile to the laws of the land, he hoped he would find some way to suspend the organization of the State Guard. General Price said that was beyond his power—that he had no right to disobey or nullify a law of the State. But when he returned to Jefferson City, he ordered all troops, which had come there from other military districts, to return to their homes, and there be organized into companies and regiments as provided by law.

This agreement gave great offense to Blair and Lyon. They had objected vehemently to Harney's action forbidding them to advance into the interior of the State, and had begun to work for his removal. They now redoubled their efforts and sent special representatives, well provided with letters and testimonials from influential Union men, to Washington, to persuade the President

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