Doc. 174.-the Missouri treason. Letter from Gen. D. M. Frost to Gov. Jackson.
President, by calling seventy-five thousand of the militia of the different States into the service of his Government, proposes to inaugurate civil war on a comprehensive plan. Under the circumstances, I have thought it not inappropriate that I should offer some suggestions to your Excellency, in my capacity of commanding officer of the first military district. Presuming that Mr. Lincoln will be advised by good military talent, he will doubtless regard this place as next in importance, in a strategic point of view, to Charleston and Pensacola. He will therefore retain at the arsenal all of the troops now there, and augment it as soon as possible. The commanding officer of that place, as you are perhaps aware, has strengthened his position by the erection of numerous batteries and earthworks. You are not, however, aware that he has recently put in position guns of large calibre, to command the approaches to the city by the river, as well as heavy ten-inch mortars, with which he could, at any moment, bombard our town. If, therefore, he is permitted to go on strengthening his position, whilst the Government increases his force, it will be but a short time before he will have this town and the commerce of the Mississippi at his mercy. You will readily see how this complete possession and control of our commercial metropolis might, and in all probability would, affect any future action that the State might otherwise feel disposed to take. I fully appreciate the very delicate position occupied by your Excellency, and do not expect you to take any action, or do any thing not legal or proper to be done under the circumstances; but, nevertheless, would respectfully suggest the following as both legal and proper, viz.:
P. S. I highly approve of the suggestions of Gen. Frost, and await your commands.1. To call the Legislature together at once, for the purpose of placing the State in a condition to enable you to suppress insurrection or repel invasion. 2. To send an agent to the Governor of Louisiana, (or further, if necessary,) to ascertain if mortars and siege guns could be obtained from Baton Rouge, or other points. 3. To send an agent to Liberty, to see what is there, and to put the people of that vicinity on their guard, to prevent its being garrisoned, as several United States troops will be at Fort Leavenworth, from Kearney, in ten or fifteen days from this time. 4. Publish a proclamation to the people of the State, warning them that the President has acted illegally in calling out troops, thus arrogating to himself the war-making power; that he has illegally ordered the secret issue of the public arms (to the number of 5,000) to societies in the State, who have declared their intention to resist the constituted authorities, whenever these authorities may adopt a course distasteful to them; and that they are, therefore, by no means bound to give him aid or comfort in his attempts to subjugate, by force of arms, a people who are still free; but, on the contrary, that they should prepare themselves to maintain all their rights as citizens of Missouri. 5. Authorize, or order the commanding officer of the present military district to form a military camp of instruction at or near the city of St. Louis, to muster military companies into the service of the State, to erect batteries, and do all things necessary and proper to be done to maintain the peace, dignity, and sovereignty of the State. 6. Order Col. Bowen's whole command to proceed at once to the said camp and report to the commanding officer for duty. Doubtless, many things which ought to be done, will occur to your Excellency which have not to me, and your Excellency may deem what I have suggested as improper or unnecessary. If so, I can only say, that I have been actuated solely by a sense of official duty in saying what I have, and will most cheerfully acquiesce in whatever course your Excellency may lay down for my government. I would not have presumed to have advised your Excellency, but for the fact that you were kind enough to express a desire to consult with me upon these subjects on your recent visit to this city. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,D. M. Frost, Brig.-Gen. Com. First Mil. Dist. of Mo.