Congress, colonel in the Mexican
war, and governor of Missouri
, and was a firm supporter of the cause of the Union
His earnest wishes and efforts were to have his State kept in a condition of neutrality, which should spare it from the devastations of war. But in the absence of General Harney
from the department, a camp of State militia, under Gen. G. M. D. Frost
, unarmed, and near the city of St. Louis
, May 10th, was enjoying a holiday with a great many visitors from St. Louis
looking on, when it was suddenly surrounded by a force of United States regulars and some German city companies under command of Capt. Nathaniel Lyon
, commandant of the United States
post at St. Louis
The non-resisting militia were taken prisoners.
, a New Englander and a fanatical abolitionist, was wrought up to believe that these militia exercises meant ‘treason’ to the government.
Disregarding General Harney
's compact, or believing it violated, he had determined to break up the militia camp.
By some misunderstanding, while a large number of citizens were witnessing the marching off of their fellow citizens as prisoners of war, under Lyon
's guard, one of the German military companies fired into these citizens, killing about 20, among whom were women and children.
's action met the approbation of Lincoln
He was promoted and placed in command of the department of the West, vice General Harney
, transferred to another field.
was an aggressive, enthusiastic supporter of the administration, and an unrelenting foe to its opponents.
He scouted the idea of neutrality for Missouri
, and scorned the proposition of Governor Jackson
to disarm the militia and bind himself, as governor of the State
, to call on the President
in case of disturbance, because Governor Jackson
had indignantly refused ‘to furnish troops for the subjection of the South
were in earnest; but ‘neutrality’ was impracticable, and the proposition to maintain it subjected Missouri
to four years of bloodshed