Chapter 19: events in the Mississippi Valley.--the Indians.
- Ohio prepares for War, 454.
-- Indiana makes ready for the conflict, 455.
-- Illinois vigilant and active, 456.
-- last public services of Senator Douglas, 457.
-- Michigan ready
-- position of the Kentuckians, 458.
-- Buckner and the State Guard
-- his treason, 459.
-- effects of Conditional Unionism, 460.
-- Missouri State Convention, 461.
-- the Convention and the Legislature, 463.
-- treason of military and civil officers, 464.
-- Union organizations in St. Louis, 466.
-- an insurgent Camp at St. Louis, 467.
-- capture of Camp Jackson, 468.
-- General Harney, 469.
-- an armistice agreed upon
-- Generals Lyon and Price, 470.
-- the militia of Missouri called out, 471.
-- Cairo fortified and garrisoned
-- its importance, 472.
-- Secession Convention in Arkansas, 473.
-- fraud and violence, 474.
-- rebel emissaries among the Indians, 475.
-- John Ross
-- Indian loyalists overpowered, 476.
-- Ross and the secessionists, 477.
While thousands of the loyal people of New England
and of the other Free-labor States eastward of the Alleghanies
were hurrying to the field, and pouring out their wealth like water in support of the Government
, those of the region westward of these lofty hills and northward of the Ohio River
were equally patriotic and demonstrative.
They had watched with the deepest interest the development of the conspiracy for the overthrow of the, Republic, and when the President
's call for the militia of the country to arrest the treasonable movements reached them, they responded to it with alacrity by thousands and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands.
The Legislature of Ohio
, as we have observed, had spoken out early,1
and pledged the. resources of the State
to the maintenance of the authority of the National Government
This pledge was reiterated, in substance, on the 14th of March, when that body, by vote, declared its high approval of President Lincoln
's Inaugural Address.
On the day when Fort Sumter
an act of the Legislature, providing for the enrollment of the militia of the State
, became a law; likewise another, for the regulation of troops to be mustered into the National
Provision was also made for the defense of the State
, whose peace was liable to disturbance by parties from the Slave-labor States of Virginia
, between whom and Ohio
was only the dividing line of a narrow river.
Appropriations for war purposes were made on a liberal scale; and when the twenty days, allowed by the President
in his proclamation for the insurgents to lay down their arms,2
had expired, a stirring order went out from the Adjutant-General
of the State
(H. B. Carrington
), for the organization of one hundred thousand men as a reserved force; for sagacious observers of the signs of the times, like Governor Dennison
, plainly perceived that a great war was impending.
The people contributed freely of their means, for fitting out troops and providing for their families.
George B. McClellan
, who had held the commission of captain by brevet after meritorious services in Mexico
, but was now in civil service as superintendent of the Ohio and Mississippi Railway, was commissioned a major-general by the Governor
, and appointed commander of all the forces of the State
Camps for rendezvous and instruction were speedily formed, one of the most important of which was Camp Dennison
, on the line of the Cincinnati
and Columbus Railway, and occupying a position on the pleasant slopes of the hills that skirt
the Miami Valley
, about eighteen miles from Cincinnati
began to prepare for the struggle.
The people of Indiana
moved as promptly and vigorously as those of Ohio
In March, the vigilant Governor Morton
, seeing the storm gathering,
went to Washington
and procured about five thousand second-class muskets.
These and a few others formed all the means at his command for arming the State
, when the President
's call reached him on Monday, the 15th of April.
The militia of the State
were unorganized, and there was no Adjutant-General
to whom he might turn for aid, for the incumbent of that office refused to act. At that time there was an energetic young lawyer residing at Crawfordsville
, who had served in Mexico
at the age of nineteen years, and was well versed in military affairs.
In the State Senate, of which he had been a member, he had vainly urged the adoption of measures for organizing the militia of the State
Fond of military maneuvers, he had formed a company and drilled them in the tactics of the Zouaves, several weeks before the famous corps of “Ellsworth
's Zouaves” was organized.
This lawyer was Lewis Wallace
, who became a Major-General
of Volunteers at an early period of the war that ensued.
to his aid. A dispatch summoning him to Indianapolis
reached him on Monday evening,
while he was trying a cause in Clinton County
He reported to the Governor
the next morning.
“The President has called on Indiana
for six regiments to put down a rising rebellion,” said Morton
“I have sent for you to assist me in the business.
I want to appoint
.” --“Where is the Adjutant-General
.--“There is none,” responded the Governor
.--“Where are the books?” --“There are none.” --“How many independent companies are there in the State
?” --“I know of but three--two
here in Indianapolis
, and your own.” --“Where is the law defining the duties of the Adjutant-General
?” --“There is no law on the subject — nothing pertaining to military organization.” --“Well, then,” said Wallace
, “your immediate business is the raising of six regiments.” --“That is it,” said the Governor
.--“Have you objections to giving me one of them after they are raised?”
.--“None at all; you shall have one of them,” was the answer.
This brief conversation gives an idea of the absolute want of preparation for war on the part of Indiana
when the rebellion broke out — a State that afterward sent about two hundred thousand troops to the field.
It occurred on Tuesday morning succeeding the attack on Fort Sumter
, and on the following Friday night Wallace
reported to the Governor
the sixty companies for the six regiments, complete, and in “Camp Morton,” adjoining Indianapolis
He reported, in addition, more than eighty surplus companies, organized and ready to move.
With the report he sent in his resignation, and a request for permission to go out and organize his own regiment.
It was given, and within the next twenty-four hours he reported the “Eleventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers” (Zouaves), which did admirable service in Western Virginia
a few weeks later, as organized, armed, and ready for marching orders.3
Within four days after the President
's call was promulgated from Washington
, more than ten thousand Indianians were in camp.
, one of the younger States of the Union
, also prepared for the struggle.
, under the vigorous leadership of Governor Yates
, was early upon the war-path.
At the beginning of April, Yates
saw the clouds of most alarming difficulty surely gathering, while many others perceived nothing but a serene sky. On the 12th he issued a call for an extraordinary session of the Legislature on the 23d.
On receiving the President
's call for troops on the 15th, he issued a stirring appeal to the people, and in less than twenty-four hours afterward, four thousand men reported themselves ready and anxious for service.
The quota of the. State (six thousand) was more than filled by the 20th; and, pursuant to the request of the General Government
sent two thousand of these State troops to possess and hold Cairo
, at the confluence of the Ohio
and Mississippi Rivers
, a point of great strategic importance at that time, as we shall observe presently.
The Legislature of Illinois
met at Springfield
on the 23d, and two days afterward it was addressed by the distinguished United States Senator, Stephen A. Douglas
, the rival of Mr. Lincoln
for the Presidency of the Republic
When Treason lifted its arm to strike, Mr. Douglas
instantly offered himself as a shield for his country.
He abandoned all party allegiance,
put away all political and personal prejudices, and, with the spirit and power of a sincere patriot, became the champion of the integrity of the Union
As soon as he was relieved from his senatorial duties at Washington
, he hastened to Illinois
and began battle manfully.
His speeches and conversation on the way had foreshadowed his course.
To the Legislature of his State he addressed arguments and exhortations, powerful and persuasive.
he did likewise.
Alas! his warfare was brief.
He arrived at his home in Chicago
on the 1st of May, suffering from inflammatory rheumatism.
Disease assumed various and malignant forms in his system, and on the 3d of June he died.5
His loss seemed to be peculiarly inauspicious at that time, when such men were so few and so much needed.
But his words were living and of electric power.
They were oracles for thousands, whose faith, and hope, and patriotism were strengthened thereby.6
His last coherent utterances were exhortations to his children and his countrymen to stand by the Constitution
and the Government
The Legislature of Illinois
appropriated three millions of dollars for war purposes, and authorized the immediate
organization of the entire militia force of the State
, consisting of all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years. Michigan
was equally aroused by the call of the President
He asked of her one regiment only.
Ten days afterward she
had five regiments ready for the field, and nine more were forming.
called the Legislature together on the 7th of May, when that body made liberal appropriations for war purposes.
The Legislature of Wisconsin
, under the lead of Governor Randall
, was equally liberal.
That of Iowa
followed the patriotic example.
The enthusiasm of the people everywhere was wonderful.
Before the close of the year (1861), Minnesota
sent more men to the field than its entire population numbered in 1850.7
The position of the inhabitants of Kentucky
, as a professedly loyal State, was peculiar and painful at this time.
We have observed with what insulting words her Governor (Magoffin
) responded to the President
's call for troops,8
and the fierce denunciations of that call by the Louisville Journal
These demonstrations in high places against the war policy of the President
, were followed by a great Union meeting in Louisville
on the evening of the 18th of April,
over which James Guthrie10
and other leading politicians of the State
held controlling influence.
At that meeting it was resolved that Kentucky
reserved to herself “the right to choose her own position; and that, while her natural sympathies are with those who have a common interest in the protection of Slavery, she still acknowledges her loyalty and fealty to the Government
of the United States
, which she will cheerfully render until that Government becomes aggressive, tyrannical, and regardless of our rights in Slave property
They declared that the States were the peers of the National Government
; and gave the world to understand that the latter should not be allowed to use “sanguinary or coercive” measures to “bring back the seceded States.”
They also resolved that they looked to the young men of the “Kentucky State Guard” as the “bulwark of the safety of the Commonwealth
,” and begged those who composed that Guard to remember that they were “pledged equally to fidelity to the United States
and to Kentucky
This meeting delighted the conspirators, for conditional
Unionism was the best auxiliary they could have in loyal States, in their schemes for destroying the nationality of the Republic
If it could prevail — if it could be made the settled policy of a commonwealth — if it could stifle the enthusiasm of the people, and circumscribe their aspirations and their action within the limits of their own State, and the service of the single dominating class and interest for whose benefit and conservation the conspirators were making war, it would go far toward keeping the sword of the Republic
in its scabbard, and to invite its enemies to plunder and destroy without stint.
The indorsement of the State Guard as the “bulwark of the Commonwealth
,” was a particularly hopeful sign of success for Governor Magoffin
and his friends.
That Guard had been formed under his auspices, for the ostensible purpose of defending the State
It was hard to answer.
Simon B. Buckner
, a captain in the National Service
, and a traitor without excuse, and then, evidently, in the secret service of the conspirators at Montgomery
, was placed at the head of the Guard, and used his position effectively in seducing large numbers of the members from their allegiance to the old flag, and sending them as recruits to the armies of Jefferson Davis
In this work the Governor
gave him all the aid in his power.
tried to induce the Legislature to appropriate three millions of dollars to be used by himself and Buckner
in “arming the State
” --in other words, as the sequel shows, for corrupting the young men of the Commonwealth
, and preparing the State
for an armed alliance with the conspirators.
Sustained by the declarations of the Conditional Unionists
, and by resolutions of the lower house of the Legislature, which approved of the Governor
's refusal to furnish troops to the National Government
, and declared that the State
should remain neutral during the impending contest,11 Magoffin
issued a proclamation of neutrality, in which he denounced the war as “a horrid, unnatural, and lamentable strife,” and notified “all other States, separate or united, especially the United States
and Confederate States
,” that he not only forbade either of them invading the soil of Kentucky
, but also forbade its own citizens making “any hostile demonstrations against any of the aforesaid sovereignties.”
Notwithstanding the position taken by the Legislature, that body, unwilling to assume so high a stand as the Governor
, refused to indorse his proclamation, or to make the required appropriation of three millions of dollars.
On the contrary, they so amended the militia law as to require the State Guard to swear allegiance to the National Government
as well as to Kentucky
; and Senator Rousseau
(afterward a Major-General
in the National Army
) and others denounced the disunionists and their schemes in unmeasured terms.12
could not conscientiously allow his guard to take the new oath, it was not long before he led a large portion of them into the camp of the rebellion, and became a major-general in the “Confederate” army.
Then the Louisville Journal
, the organ of the “Conservatives,” as the Conditional Unionists
were called, indignantly cursed him,
saying :--“Away with your pledges and assurances — with your protestations, apologies, and proclamations, at once and altogether!
Away, and do
penance forever!--be shriven or be slain — away!
You have less palliation than Attila-less boldness, magnanimity, and nobleness than Coriolanus
You are the Benedict Arnold
of the day!
You are the Catiline
Go, thou miscreant!”
And when, in
February, 1862, Buckner
and many of the Kentucky
“State Guard” were captured at Fort Donelson
, and he was sent a prisoner to Fort Warren
, many of those who were deceived by the belief that the Guard was “the bulwark of the Commonwealth
,” demanded his delivery to the civil authorities of Kentucky
, to be tried for treason against the State
It has been claimed that the position taken by the Conditional Unionists
at that time, saved the State
from “drifting into secession.”
The President, estimating the importance of preserving the attachment of the Border Slave-labor States to the Union
, at that crisis, and especially the populous and powerful Commonwealth of Kentucky
, accepted the plea of expediency as sufficient, and acted accordingly for a long time.
It was alleged and believed that a more decided and radical course would alienate the sympathies of the predominating slaveholding class in particular from the Union
, and possibly drive them into alliance with their political and social affinities, the insurgents of the Cotton-growing States; and that only by assuming the attitude of neutrality, in deference to the slaveholders, could the State
be kept out of the vortex of revolution.
On the other hand, it is argued that such a course was not only not necessary; but unwise and mischievous.
That the Unconditional Unionists
and throughout the Slave-labor States were disheartened by that neutrality of leading politicians, cannot be denied; and that it amazed, disappointed, and perplexed the loyalists of the Free-labor States, is well known.
It is alleged that it hurtfully restrained the patriotism of the great mass of the people of Kentucky
, at the outset of the struggle, who showed their loyalty to the Union
by giving a majority of fifty thousand votes in its favor at an election, in May, for delegates to a Border State Convention.13
It is alleged that the Unconditional Unionists
had the pledges of the Governors
, and Illinois
, to give them all needful military aid to keep their State out of the hands of its enemies; and that had the patriotic instincts of the people been allowed full play, regiment after regiment of loyal troops would have sprung into existence at the President
's call, shortened the period of the war, and spared the State
the sacrifice of millions of treasure and the more precious lives of thousands of her sons — the flower of her youth.
It is declared that
the Conditional Unionists
bound the stalwart limbs of her Samson-her National allegiance — while it was reposing its head trustfully in the lap of Delilah — the Slave power; and that they came near being instrumental (though not intentionally) in putting out its eyes, and making it grind ignobly in the prison-house of the “Confederate” Philistines.
Perhaps the records of the war in Kentucky
, that may be found in future pages of this work, may aid us in forming a correct judgment in the matter.
It is certain that the record contains some very instructive lessons concerning the danger to a free people of class legislation and class domination.
Whenever a single interest overshadows all others, and is permitted to shape the public policy of a subordinate commonwealth, or a great nation, the liberties of the people are in danger.
While the zealous loyalists of Kentucky
were restrained and made comparatively inactive by what they deemed an unwise and mischievous policy, those of Missouri
were struggling manfully to keep the State
from revolution and ruin.
We have observed how strongly the people declared for the Union
in their election of delegates to the State Convention, which assembled at Jefferson City
on the 28th of February.
In that Convention there was
not a single openly avowed disunionist, but there were a few secret ones and many Conditional Unionists
Notwithstanding the slaves in Missouri
were less than one-tenth of the population, and the real and best interests of the State
were in close affinity with free labor, the Slave power, which embraced a large number of active politicians, was potential.
These politicians were mostly of the Virginia
and South Carolina
school, and through their exertions the disloyal Claiborne F. Jackson
was elected Governor of the State
On the second day of its session the Missouri Convention adjourned to St. Louis
, where it reassembled on the 4th of March,
in the Mercantile Library Hall
, with Sterling Price
, and Samuel A. Lowe
, who had been Governor
, and who afterward became one of the most active generals in the “Confederate” service in the Southwest
, had obtained his election to the Convention
under the false pretense of being a Unionist, and hoped, no doubt, to find a sufficient number of disloyal men in that body to enable him and his political friends to precipitate Missouri
He was mistaken, and was
made conscious of the fact at the beginning of the session, not only from conversation with the members, but from the reception given to a communication, written and verbal, from Luther J. Glenn
, an accredited “Commissioner
” from Georgia
, and who was allowed to address the Convention
on the subject of his mission on the first day of its session in St. Louis
In his written communication and in his speech he strongly urged Missouri
to join the “Southern Confederacy.”
The atmosphere of St. Louis
, in and out of the Convention
, was not congenial to such seditious sentiments.
The population of that city was made up largely of New Englanders and Germans, who were loyal, while immigrants from the Slave-labor States, and especially from Virginia
, composed the great body of the secessionists.
The spectators in the Convention
's remarks with hisses and hootings; and subsequently the Convention
itself, through a committee to which the “Commissioner
's” communication was referred, assured him that his views were not acceptable to that body, whose proceedings throughout were characterized by great dignity, and acts and expressions that gave-cheerfulness to the loyal men of the country.
The Committee of the Convention on Federal Relations, through its chairman, H. R. Gamble
, reported at length, on the 9th of March, in a manner to assure the country of the loyalty of the Convention
In that report the great topics of the hour were temperately discussed.
It was declared that “the people of the Southern States
” had a right to complain “of the incessant abuse poured upon their institutions by the press, the pulpit, and many of the people of the North
;” and then enumerated some of the alleged “.aggressions on the rights of the South
,” so commonly found at that time in the newspapers of the Slave-labor States, and the speeches of politicians.
Yet it was declared truly, that “heretofore there has been no complaint against the action of the Federal Government
in any of its departments, as designed to violate the rights of the Southern States
The Slavery question was reviewed, and the possession of the Government
by “a sectional party, avowing opposition to the admission of Slavery into the Territories
of the United States
,” was “deeply regretted,” because it threatened dangerous sectional strife; but, after all, the Committee
thought that the history of the country taught that there was not much to be feared from political parties in power.
The value of the Union
was pointed out, with forcible illustrations; and the report closed with seven resolutions, which declared that there was then no adequate cause to impel Missouri
to leave the Union
, and that she would labor for its security; that
the people of Missouri
were devotedly attached to the institutions of the country, and earnestly desired a fair and amicable adjustment of all difficulties; that the Crittenden Compromise
was a proper basis for such adjustment; that a convention of the States, to propose amendments to the Constitution
, would be useful in restoring peace and quiet to the country; that an attempt to “coerce the submission of the seceding States, or the employment of military force by the seceding States to assail the Government
of the United States
,” would inevitably lead to civil war; and earnestly entreated the Government
and the conspirators to “withhold and stay the arm of military power,” and on no pretense whatever bring upon the nation the horrors of such war.
On the 19th of March the report of the Committee
was considered, and substantially adopted.
An amendment was agreed to, recommending the withdrawal of the National
troops “from the forts within the borders of the seceded States, where there is danger of collision between the State
and Federal troops.”
So the Convention
declared that the State of Missouri
would stand by the Government
on certain conditions; and after appointing delegates to the Border State Convention,17
and giving power
to a committee to call another session whenever it might seem necessary,18
adjourned to the third Monday in December.
The Legislature of Missouri was in session simultaneously with the Convention
could not mold the action of the latter to his views, so he labored assiduously to that end with the former.
He determined to give to the secessionists control of the city of St. Louis
, the focus of the Union
power of the State
, and the chief place of the depository of the National
arms within its borders.
He succeeded in procuring an Act for the establishment of a metropolitan police in that city, under five commissioners to be appointed by the Governor
This was an important step in the way of his intended usurpation; and he had such assurances from leading politicians throughout the State
of their power to suppress the patriotic action of the people, that when the President
's call for troops reached him he gave the insolent answer already recorded.20
The Missouri Republicans
a newspaper in St. Louis
, which was regarded as the exponent of the disloyal sentiments of the State
, raised the standard of revolt on the following day
by saying, editorially, “Nobody expected any other response from him. They may not approve of the early course of the Southern States
, but they denounce and defy the action of Mr. Lincoln
in proposing to call out seventy-five thousand men for the purpose of coercing the seceded States of the Union
Whatever else may happen, he gets no men from the Border States
to carry on such a war.”
followed up this revolutionary movement by calling
the Legislature to assemble in extraordinary session at Jefferson City
on the 2d day of May, “for the purpose,” he said, “of enacting such laws and adopting such measures as may be deemed necessary and proper for the more perfect organization and equipment of the militia of this State, and to raise the money and such other means as may be required to place the State
in a proper attitude for defense.”
The Governor was acting under.
the inspiration of a disloyal graduate of the Military Academy at West Point
, named Daniel M. Frost
, a native of New York, who was then bearing the commission of a brigadier-general of the Missouri
militia, and was commander of the St. Louis District.
So early as the 24th of January preceding, we find Frost
giving the Governor
assurances, in writing, of his treasonable purposes, and of the complicity with him of Major William Henry Bell
, a native of North Carolina
, who was then commander of the United States
military post at St. Louis
, and having in charge the Arsenal there.21
On the day when the President
for troops, Frost
hastened to remind the Governor
that it was time to take active measures for securing the co-operation of Missouri
in the disunion scheme.
He suggested that the holding of St. Louis
by the National Government
would restrain the secession movement in the
State; and he recommended the calling of the Legislature together; the sending of an agent to Baton Rouge
to obtain mortars and siege-guns; to see that the Arsenal at Liberty should not be held by Government troops; to
publish a proclamation to the people, warning them that the President
's call for troops was illegal, and that they should prepare to defend their rights as citizens of Missouri
, and to form a military camp at or near St. Louis
, whereat the commander might be authorized to “muster military companies into the service of the State
, erect batteries,” et coetera
In accordance with General Frost
's advice, the Governor
, on the day when he issued his call for the meeting of the Legislature, caused his Adjutant-General
) to send orders to the militia officers of the State
to assemble their respective commands on the 3d of May, and go into encampment for a week, the avowed object being for the militia “to attain a greater degree of efficiency and perfection in organization and discipline.”
In all this the treasonable designs of the Governor
were so thinly covered by false pretense that few were deceived by them.
The intention clearly was to give to the Governor
and his friends military control and occupation of the State
, that they might, in spite of the solemn injunctions of the people, expressed in their Convention, annex Missouri
to the “Southern Confederacy.”
Had evidence of his treasonable designs been wanting, the Governor
's Message to the Legislature on the 2d of May would have supplied it. “Our interests and our sympathies,” he said, “are identical with those of the Slaveholding States
, and necessarily unite our destiny with theirs.
The similarity of our social and political institutions, our industrial interests, our sympathies, habits, and tastes, our common origin and territorial contiguity, all concur in pointing out our duty in regard to the separation which is now taking place between the States of the old Federal Union.”
He denounced the President
's call for troops as “unconstitutional and illegal, tending toward a consolidated despotism.”
He said all that he dared, short of calling the people to arms in set terms, to over-throw the Republic
The Legislature obsequiously acquiesced in
the demands of the Governor
, and he began at once to work the machinery of revolution vigorously.
The capture of the United States Arsenal at St. Louis
, with its large supply of munitions of war, and the holding of that chief city of the State
and of the Mississippi Valley
, formed a capital feature in the plan of the conspirators.
Already an unguarded Arsenal at Liberty, in Clay County
, had been seized
and garrisoned by the secessionists, under the direction of the Governor
, and its contents distributed
among the disloyal inhabitants of that region capable of bearing arms.
The Arsenal at St. Louis
could not be so easily taken.
It was guarded by a garrison of between four and five hundred regular troops, under Captain Nathaniel Lyon
, one of the bravest and best men in the Army, who had lately been appointed commandant of the post, in place of Major Bell
caused earthworks to be thrown up for the protection of this important depository of arms.
For weeks before the President
's call for troops, the secessionists of St. Louis
held secret meetings in the Bethold Mansion
, belonging to one of the oldest French families in the State
, where they were drilled in the use of fire-arms, and were so bold as to fling out a secession flag during a portion of the sittings of the State Convention.
They were furnished with State arms; and many of them there received commissions from the Governor
, and were secretly sworn into the military service of the State
They were closely watched from the beginning by a few vigilant Unionists
, who met in secret in the law office of Franklin A. Dick
There Captain Lyon
frequently met them in consultation; and when it was evident that the secessionists were preparing to seize the Arsenal and the city, they made first Washington Hall
and then Turners' Hall (both belonging to the Germans) places for rendezvous for the Unionists of St. Louis
These (who were mostly Germans) were formed into military companies, drilled in the use of fire-arms, and thus were fully prepared to resist the traitors.
Finally, when the President
's call for troops came, they drilled openly, made their hall a citadel with barricaded entrance, established a perpetual guard, and kept up continual communication with the Arsenal.
They were denounced by the secessionists as outlaws, incendiaries, and miscreants, preparing to make war on Missouri
; and it was with the greatest difficulty that they were recognized by the Government
They were finally relieved of much anxiety and embarrassment by an order issued by the President
, on the 30th of April, for Captain Lyon
to enroll in the military service of the United States
the loyal citizens of St. Louis
, in number not exceeding ten thousand.
This order was procured chiefly through the instrumentality of Colonel
) Frank P. Blair
, who, within ten days after the call of the President
for troops was received, had raised and organized a regiment of Missourians, and assisted in the primary formation of four others.
On him Captain Lyon
leaned much in this emergency.
In the mean time General Wool
's timely order to Governor Yates
, to send a force from Illinois
to hold the St. Louis Arsenal,25
had been acted upon.
sent Captain Stokes
, of Chicago
, on that delicate mission.
He found St. Louis
alive with excitement, and, after consultation with Captain Lyon
and Colonel Blair
, it was thought best to remove a large portion of the arms secretly to Illinois
This was done between midnight and daylight on the morning of the 26th of April.
They were taken to Alton
in a steamboat, and from thence to Springfield
The Governor and the secessionists of St. Louis
were unsuspicious, or at least uninformed, of the removal of so many arms from the Arsenal, and, under orders for the establishment of camps of instruction, they prepared to seize it with its valuable contents.
The Governor's zealous adviser, General Frost
, formed a camp in Lindell's Grove,26
in the suburbs of St. Louis
, on the designated day,
and there was collected a considerable force of State troops.
He called the place of rendezvous “Camp Jackson,” in honor of the Governor
; and in compliment to the chief civil and military leader of the rebellion, he named two of the principal avenues formed by tents, “Davis
” and “Beauregard
To deceive the people, he kept the National
flag waving over this camp of disloyalists.
, in the mean time, had been very watchful.
Under the orders of the President
, of the 30th of April, he enrolled a large number of volunteers.
These occupied the Arsenal grounds
, and some of them, for want of room thereon, were quartered outside of them.
The latter movement brought the metropolitan police into action, and they demanded the return of the troops to the Government grounds
, because they were “Federal soldiers violating the rights of the Sovereign State of Missouri
,” which had “exclusive jurisdiction over her whole territory.”
saw no force in their argument, and paid little attention to their folly, but continued his preparations to defend and hold the Arsenal.
To make his little force appear stronger than it really was, he sent out squads of soldiers in disguise during the hours of night, while the secessionists slept, with orders to rendezvous at a distant point, and march back to the Arsenal the next morning in uniform, with drums beating and flags flying.27
On the morning of the 19th, word came to Captain Lyon
that heavy cannon and mortars in boxes, marked “Marble,” 28
and shot and shell in barrels, had been landed at St. Louis
from the steamer J. C. Swan
, and taken to Camp Jackson on drays.
Reports concerning the matter were contradictory, and the commander resolved to make a personal reconnoissance of the secession camp.
Disguised as a woman closely veiled, he rode in a carriage up to and around the camp unsuspected,29
and was convinced that the time for vigorous action had arrived.
had become uneasy, and on the morning of the 10th he wrote to Lyon
, saying that he was constantly in receipt of information that an attack on his camp was contemplated, because of the impression that had gone abroad that he was about to attack the Arsenal.
Then, with the most adroit hypocrisy, he solemnly declared that he had no hostile designs against the property of the United States
or its representatives, and that the idea of such hostility had never been entertained by him nor by any one else in the State
He was acting, he said, only in accordance with his constitutional duties.
In support of his assertion he pointed to the fact, that he had offered the services of the troops under his command for
the protection of the public property.
He desired to know “personally” from Captain Lyon
whether the rumor of his intended attack on Camp Jackson was true.
refused to receive Frost
's note, but the traitor was answered by the vigilant commander “personally” that day, in a way to silence all further inquiries.
Early in the afternoon, Lyon
, by a quick movement, surrounded Camp Jackson with about six thousand troops and heavy cannon, so placed as to command the entire grove.30
Guards were placed so as to prevent any communication between the town and the camp.
sent a note to General Frost
, demanding an immediate surrender of the men and munitions of war under his command, and giving him only thirty minutes for deliberation.
In the mean time, information of this movement had spread over the town.
Rumors of an attack on Camp Jackson had been exciting the people for two days, and now a portion of the population, who sympathized with the rebellion, were in a state of frenzy, and, armed with whatever weapon they could find — rifles, pistols, knives, clubs — they hurried toward Lindell's Grove to assist the State
They found the south side of the camp open, and many of them forced their way into it and joined their friends.
They were too late.
perceived by the array of armed men around his camp that resistance with his twelve hundred militia would be useless, and he surrendered before the half hour allowed him for deliberation had expired.
With his men Frost
surrendered twenty cannon, twelve hundred new rifles, several chests of muskets, and large quantities of ammunition.
The most of these materials of war had been stolen from the Arsenal at Baton Rouge
offered to release the State
troops, who were now prisoners, on condition of their taking an oath of allegiance to the National Government
, and promising not to take up arms against it. Nearly all of them declined the offer, and toward sunset they were marched out of the camp between two regiments (Blair
's and Boernstein
's), followed by the excited crowd, who yelled and cursed like madmen, as they were.
They huzzaed for Jefferson Davis
and the Southern Confederacy.
Women waved their handkerchiefs in token of friendship for the prisoners; and upon the German Unionists
in the ranks the most insulting epithets were poured out. At length, just as the last of the prisoners and guard were leaving the camp, some of the rabble in the grove fired upon some of Boernstein
returned the attack in kind.
More than twenty of the crowd were wounded, including some women and children, some of them mortally.
ordered the firing to cease, and at twilight the.prisoners in hand were conveyed to the Arsenal.
Many had escaped.
The night of the 10th
was a fearful one in St. Louis
The secessionists were determined on revenge.
They gathered in excited throngs in the streets, and were alternately inflamed by incendiary speeches, and quieted by judicious harangues by distinguished citizens.
They marched in procession with significant banners; broke open a gun-store, and seized some of the arms in it; and all night long the air was resonant with the shouts of an excited multitude.
Toward dawn, through the exertion of the Mayor
and police, the populace dispersed to their homes, with hearts filled with deep-seated hatred of the Union
troops, especially of the Germans, who formed a greater portion of the “Home-Guard.”
This hatred was violently exhibited toward the evening of the 11th, when some of these troops were entering the town from the Arsenal.
A great crowd had gathered on Fifth Street and showered insults upon them; and at the corner of Fifth and Walnut Streets, a boy in the crowd fired a pistol at the soldiers.
Their rear line turned and fired, and immediately the whole column was broken, and bullets from their guns flew thick among the people on the sidewalk and in the streets.
Several were killed and wounded, and a number of the soldiers themselves suffered from the wild firing of their exasperated comrades.
and a heavy police force soon appeared, and quiet was restored.
General William S. Harney
, of the National Army
, had arrived at St. Louis
from the East
during the excitement, and on the 12th, he resumed the command of the Department of the West, of which he was the head.
The hot indignation of the populace was smothered, and, with one or two exceptions,32
the city of St. Louis
(which remained under Union control) was spared from other scenes of bloodshed during the war.33
When all the facts became known, the conduct of Captain Lyon
was approved by his Government, and by the loyal people of the country.
By his promptness and skill, and with the assistance of hosts of loyal and zealous men, he
saved the Arsenal and the city of St. Louis
from the grasp of the conspirators, and so consolidated and encouraged the Union
sentiment of the Commonwealth
, that Missouri
was saved from the disgrace of being rightfully called a “seceded State.”
The capture of Camp Jackson produced great consternation among the secessionists at Jefferson City
, the capital of the State
, where the Legislature was in session.
A military bill was immediately passed, by which a fund for war purposes was decreed.
The Governor was authorized to receive a loan of five hundred thousand dollars from the banks, and to issue State bonds to the amount of one million dollars. He was also authorized to purchase arms; and the whole military power of the State
was placed under his absolute control, while every able-bodied man was made subject to military duty.
A heavy extraordinary tax was ordered; and nothing was left undone in preparations for actual war.
Soon after General Harney
returned to his command, he issued a proclamation,
in which he characterized this military bill as an indirect secession ordinance, even ignoring the forms resorted to by the politicians of other States, and he told the people of Missouri
that it was a nullity, and should be regarded as such by them.
Yet he was anxious to pursue a conciliatory policy, to prevent war. He entered into a compact
with Sterling Price
of the late Convention, and then a General of the State
militia), which had for its object the neutrality of Missouri
in the impending conflict.
, in the name of the Governor
, pledged the power of the State
to the maintenance of order; and Harney
, in the name of his Government, agreed to make no military movement, so long as that order was preserved.
The loyal people were alarmed, for they well knew the faithlessness to pledges of the Governor
and his associates, and they justly regarded the whole matter as a trick of Jackson
and other conspirators to deceive the people, and to gain time to get arms, and prepare for war. Fortunately for the State
and the good cause, the National Government
did not sanction this compact.
had been commissioned a brigadier-general
in the mean time, by an order dated the 16th of May, several days before this treaty with Price
was relieved of command, and on the 29th he was succeeded by Lyon
, who bore the title of Commander
of the Department of Missouri.
Most of the prisoners taken at Camp Jackson had concluded to accept the parole first offered them, and they were released.
paid no attention to the refusal of the National Government
to sanction the compact between Harney
, but proceeded as if it were in full force.
The purse and the sword of Missouri
had been placed in his hands by the Legislature, and he determined to wield both for the benefit of the “Southern Confederacy.”
He issued a proclamation, in which he declared that “the people of Missouri
should be permitted, in peace and security, to decide upon their future course,” and that “they could not be subjugated” Finally, on the 11th of June, General Lyon
, Colonel Blair
and Major H. A. Conant
held a four hours interview with Governor Jackson
, General Price
, and Thomas L. Smead
, the latter being the Governor
's private secretary.
demanded, as a vital condition of pacification, that throughout the State
the Home-Guards, composed of loyal citizens, should be disbanded, and that no National troops should be allowed to tread the soil of Missouri
peremptorily refused compliance, and Jackson
and his associates returned to Jefferson City
On the following day
issued a proclamation, calling into active service fifty thousand of the State
militia, “for the purpose of repelling invasion, and for the
protection of the lives, liberty, and property of the citizens.”
In this proclamation he told the people, that while it was their duty to “obey all of the constitutional requirements of the Federal Government
,” it was equally his duty to advise them, that their “first allegiance was due to their own State, and that they were under no obligations whatever to obey the unconstitutional edicts of the military despotism which had enthroned itself at Washington
, nor to submit to the infamous and degrading sway of its minions in this State.”
At the same time two important railway bridges between St. Louis
and Jefferson City
were burnt, and the telegraph wires were cut, under the direction of a son of the Governor
So the disloyal Chief Magistrate
inaugurated civil war in that State; and those movements of troops within its borders immediately began, which continued during almost the entire period of the conflict, with the most disastrous results to the peace and prosperity of the Commonwealth
While the loyalists and disloyalists of Missouri
were grappling in their first struggles for supremacy, the National Government
was busy on the Southeastern
borders of that Commonwealth, in making preparations for securing its capital city, St. Louis
, from the armed occupation of the insurgents, and also from invasion of southern Illinois
, by the banded enemies of the Republic
The possession of the mouth of the Ohio River
, where it pours its tribute into the Mississippi
, was of importance, as that point was the key to a vast extent of navigable waters, whose control would give great advantage to the party who should be allowed to exercise it. Both Governor Yates
and the Government
had been early informed of a conspiracy to seize Cairo
, a small village in Illinois
, on the low marshy point at the confluence of those two great rivers, and the lower portion of the Illinois Central Railway, that terminated there.
By this means they hoped to control the navigation of the Mississippi
to St. Louis
, and of the Ohio
and beyond; and also to cut off all communication with the interior of Illinois
They further hoped that their permanent possession of that point, which gave them absolute control of the navigation of the Mississippi
below, whose stream traversed a Slave-labor territory
exclusively, would cause the Northwestern States
of the Union
to join hands with the insurgents, rather than lose the immense commercial advantages which the free navigation of that great stream afforded.
The scheme was foiled by the vigilance of the Government
and the patriotism of the people in the Northwest
; and, as we have observed, Governor Yates
, under directions from the Secretary of War
, sent Illinois
troops, at an early day, to take possession of and occupy Cairo
The secessionists, especially of Kentucky
, were alarmed and chagrined by this important movement, and never ceased to lament it.
By the middle of May there were not less than five thousand Union volunteers at Cairo
, under the command of the experienced B. M. Prentiss
, who had just been commissioned a brigadier-general.
They occupied the extreme point of land within the levee
or dike that keeps out the rivers at high water, at the confluence of the Ohio
There they cast up fortifications, and significantly called the post, Camp Defiance.
A smaller one, called Camp Smith
, was established in the rear of it; and troops occupied other points near, on the banks o f the two rivers.
Heavy ordnance was forwarded from Pittsburg
, and 42-pounder cannon commanded the two streams, and bade every steamer and other craft to round to and report to the military authorities there.
Before the close of May,
Military position at Cairo. |
the post at Cairo
was considered impregnable against any force the Confederates
were likely to bring.
It soon became a post of immense importance to the Union
cause, as a point where some of those land and naval expeditions which performed signal service in the Valley of the Mississippi
were fitted out, as we shall observe hereafter.
on the South
was the Slave-labor State of Arkansas
, in which, as we have seen attachment to the Union
was a prevailing sentiment of the people at the beginning of the year.
Unfortunately for them, the Governor
and most of the leading politicians of the State
were disloyal, and no effort was spared by them to obtain the passage of an ordinance of secession by a Convention of delegates who met on the 4th of March.
That Convention was composed of
seventy-five members, forty of whom were regarded as Unionists
These were so decided and firm, that no ordinance of secession could be passed.
The conspirators were disheartened, and, for a while, despaired of success.
At length they accomplished by a trick, what they could not gain by fair means.
A self-constituted Committee, composed of “Secessionists” and “Co-operationists,” reported an ordinance providing for an election, to be held on the 17th of August following, at which the legal voters of the State
should decide by ballot for “Secession” or “Co-operation.”
If a majority of the votes then cast should be for “Secession,” that fact was to be considered in the light of instruction to the Convention
to pass an ordinance to that effect; if for “Co-operation,” then measures were to be used, in conjunction with the Border Slave-labor States “yet in the Union
,” for the settlement of existing difficulties.
To this fair proposition the Unionists in the Convention
agreed, and the vote on the question was unanimous.
Taking advantage of the excitement caused by the attack on Fort Sumter
, the President
's call for troops, and the events at Baltimore
, Governor Rector
(whose election had been gained by the influence of the “Knights of the Golden Circle
) and his disloyal associates adopted measures immediately for arraying Arkansas
on the side of the conspirators without consulting the people.
We have already observed the insulting response of the Governor
to the President
This was followed by a high-handed measure on the part of the President
of the Convention
, who professed to be a loyal man. In violation of the pledge of that body, that the whole matter should be submitted to the people in August, he issued a call for the Convention
to reassemble on the 6th of May.
It met on that day. The number of delegates present was seventy.
An Ordinance of Secession, previously prepared,
was presented to it at three o'clock in the afternoon, when the hall in which the delegates met was densely crowded by an excited populace.
It was moved that the “yeas” and “nays” on the question should be taken without debate.
The motion was rejected by a considerable majority, but the President
declared it to be carried.
Then a vote on the Ordinance was taken, and a majority appeared against it. The conspirators were determined not to be foiled.
The President, who seems to have been a plastic instrument in their hands, immediately arose, and in the midst of the cheers of the people, vehemently urged the Unionists to change their votes to “ay” immediately.
It was evident that a large number of that crowd were prepared to compel them to do so, and the terrified Unionists
complied, with only one exception, and that was Isaac Murphy
, who was compelled to fly for his life.
He was rewarded for his fidelity by the Unionists, who elected him Governor
of the State
Thus, by fraud and violence, Arkansas
was placed in the position of a rebellious State.
The Convention then authorized the Governor
to call out sixty thousand men, if necessary, for military duty.
The State was divided into two military divisions, eastern and western.
was appointed to the command of the Eastern Division
, and General Pearce
, late of the National Army
, was made commander of the Western Division.
An ordinance was also passed confiscating all debts due from citizens of Arkansas
to persons residing in the Free-labor States, and all the personal property belonging to such persons in Arkansas
at the time of the passage of the Ordinance.
A system of terrorism was at once commenced.
were everywhere shamefully persecuted.
They were exiled, imprisoned, and murdered.
Confederate troops from Texas
were brought into the State
to occupy it and overawe the loyalists; and Arkansas
troops, raised chiefly by fraud and violence, were sent out of the State
, for the conspirators would not trust them.
Not content with this usurpation at home, Governor Rector
and his associates, acting under the directions of the arch-conspirators at Montgomery
, took measures to attach to their cause, by persuasion or coercion, the powerful civilized Indians residing in the Territory
adjoining the western boundaries of Arkansas
and northern Texas
These were the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, numbering at that time about forty thousand souls.37
There were also in that region a remnant of the Creek
Nation who formerly inhabited Alabama
, and some Senecas and Shawnoese from the North
, who had lately gone there on a visit.
It was believed that a band of efficient warriors might be drawn from these nations, whose very name would be terrible; and through the resident agents, who were secessionists, and by other means, the work of corruption and coercion was vigorously commenced among them.
A brother of Governor Rector
was then Government agent among the Cherokees, and used all his influence to seduce them from their allegiance.
When, in May, Jefferson Davis
ordered three regiments
of these Indians to be formed, he commissioned Albert Pike,38
a poet of some pretensions, who was a native of New England
, but had long resided in Arkansas
, to make a treaty with them to that effect.
Pike went into the Indian
country, where he met them in council.
He succeeded with the less civilized Choctaws and Chickasaws, and by virtue of a treaty made with them, they were entitled to the privilege of having two of their number occupy seats as delegates in the “Congress” of the conspirators at Montgomery
Two regiments of these Indians were raised, and, under Pike, who was commissioned a brigadier-general, they joined
Albert Pike. |
the army of the conspirators.
A third regiment was organized before the close of 1861.
We shall meet Pike and his dusky followers hereafter, among the Ozark Mountains
were not so easily moved.
The venerable John Ross
, who for almost forty years had been the principal Chief of the Cherokees, took a decided stand against the secessionists, and resisted them so long as he had the power.
On the 17th of May
he issued a proclamation, in which he reminded his people of their treaty obligations to the United States
, and urged them to be faithful in the observance of them.
He exhorted them to take no part in the exciting
events of the day, but to attend to their ordinary avocations; and not to be alarmed by false reports circulated among them by designing men, but to cultivate peace and friendship with the inhabitants of all the States.
earnestly urged them to observe a strict neutrality, and to maintain a trust that God would not only keep from their borders the desolation of war, but stay its “ravages among the brotherhood of States.”
and his loyal adherents among the Cherokees and Creeks were overborne by the tide of rebellion, and were swept on, powerless, by its tremendous current.
The forts on the frontier of Texas
, and Washita
), used for their defense, had, as we have observed, been abandoned by United States troops, in consequence of the treason of Twiggs
, and the Indians were threatened by an invasion from that State.
, on the boundary-line, between Arkansas
and the Indian Territory
had also been evacuated, and was now in possession of the insurgents.
Their immediate neighbors, the Choctaws and Chickasaws, with wild tribes westward
of them, were rallying to the standard of the conspirators; and the National
troops in Missouri
were unable to check the rising rebellion there.
Isolated and weak, and perceiving no hope for relief by their Government, the chief men of the Cherokees held a mass meeting at Tahlequah
and with great unanimity declared their allegiance to the “Confederate States
still held out, but, finally yielding to the force of circumstances and the teachings of expediency, he called on the Council, of the Cherokee Nation
to assemble at Tahlequah
on the 20th of the same month, when he sent in a message, recommending the severance of their connection with the National Government
, and an alliance with the “Confederates.”
Four days afterward,
he sent a note40
to an officer of the insurgent forces, covering dispatches to Ben McCulloch
, under whom the Indians and some Texan troops were to act, informing him that the Cherokee Nation
had espoused the cause of the conspirators.
The wife of Ross
, a young and well-educated woman, still held out; and when an attempt was made to raise a “Confederate” flag over the Council
House, she opposed the act with so much spirit, that the insurgents desisted.
Equally spirited was the head Chief
of the Creeks
After fighting the insurgents in the field, he was driven into Kansas
, where he died in 1864.
During the civil war, the Cherokees suffered terribly, at times, from the depredations of guerrilla bands of rebels, who infested the western borders of Missouri
and Upper Texas
, roaming through the Indian
country, and committing violence and robberies everywhere.
Three of the most noted of the leaders of these robber bands were named, respectively, Taylor
, and Tod
, who gave to the bravest of their followers a silver badge, star-shaped, and bearing their names.
The secessionists would not trust Chief Ross
, Indeed, his loyalty to his country was so obvious that they were about to arrest him, when he fled to the North
with some National troops who penetrated the Cherokee
country in 1862.
About fifty of his relations escaped with him. During the remainder of the war he and his family resided in Philadelphia
, where the writer had a long and interesting interview with him early in 1865. Mr. Ross
had in his possession one of the guerrilla badges just mentioned, of which an engraving, the size of the original, is given below.
He was then seventy-four years of age. He was of medium hight, compactly built, with abundant white hair, and having only one-eighth of Indian blood in his veins, he had every appearance of a purely white man. His life, as principal Chief of the Cherokees during their emergence from Paganism, their persecutions and sufferings while eastward of the Mississippi
, and their settlement and advancement in their new homes westward of the Father
of Waters, had been an exceedingly interesting one.
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