to the governor was impracticable under the circumstances.
He would telegraph the citizens of Helena
to that effect, since the governor had given him the dispatch to answer.
was brother-in-law of Governor Rector
, and brother of the Burgevine of whom Gen. Edward Forrester
wrote in his reminiscences of the great Tai-Ping rebellion in China
, describing the battle of Fung-Wah: ‘This was the last battle fought by the “ever victorious army” under my command.
My broken health compelled me to retire, and General Burgevine
was appointed my successor.’
‘But, General,’ it was suggested, ‘suppose you frame a dispatch as follows: “The governor has no authority to summon you to take possession of a Federal post, whether threatened to be reinforced or not. Should the people assemble in their defense, the governor will interpose his official position in their behalf.”
’ The adjutant-general resolved to send a dispatch in something like these words, and did so, with the immediate effect of arousing, not only the citizens of Helena
and vicinity, but all the planting region which received the news, and the movement to take the arsenal was immediately set on foot.
The Yell Rifles, of which that most distinguished officer, Patrick R. Cleburne
, was a member, and a company of cavalry under Captain Gist
, brother of Governor Gist
of South Carolina
, came overland, mounted and armed; the Phillips Guards
, an infantry company commanded by Captain Otey
, came by steamer up the Arkansas river
Several impromptu organizations came by steamer from Pine Bluff
, and others by land on horseback.
Soon there were several thousand men in Little Rock
, assembled for the purpose of demanding the surrender of the arsenal and taking possession of the arms and munitions there stored.
The inhabitants of the little city were in a state of most intense excitement.
The arsenal was situated in a grove of twenty acres, and