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[9] consisted of a large two-story brick building, with octagonal tower, in which were stores of arms and munitions of war; a handsome brick residence; and in the background a row of barracks, two stories high, with double verandas; besides several office buildings and guardhouses, situated about the lawn. Captain Totten's was no enviable position. He had 75 men, a strong position in the storehouse, several pieces of light artillery, plenty of cartridges and caps for a month's siege. He had disposed his men and artillery in convenient positions, in case of the attack of a mob upon him; but the arsenal, partly within the city, was so near the principal residences that he could not fire without endangering non-combatants and the helpless, who were his friends and relatives. It was never in his thought, perhaps, to fire upon the city, except in an emergency he could not foresee. The armed citizens with whom he had to deal knew and respected the proprieties. They asked for a consultation with Captain Totten, through the governor, as mediator. Captain Totten replied courteously, saying that he did not have any knowledge as to whether the arsenal would be reinforced, or what might be the action of the government; but he would do all he could in his position to prevent bloodshed and promote peace.

On the 6th of February, Governor Rector suggested to the Federal commander that he had now had sufficient time to communicate with the government; that the situation was fraught with peril to the people of the city, and if Captain Totten would evacuate, the State would agree to hold the arsenal and the arms and munitions until the 4th of March, pending the meeting of the convention, should one be called. Additions to the camps of the volunteers grew daily, and the impossibility of avoiding a bloody conflict was manifest to all. Captain Totten may have received advice, as the communications by mail and telegraph had not been interfered with. At any rate, he announced that upon condition that he and his officers and

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William E. Totten (5)
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