General Francis P Blair

The War Clouds Gather

The Harney Mansion

General Claiborne Jackson

General Lyon

General John C. Fremont

The Scott-harney Agreement

General Sterling Price

General Franz Sigel

General David Hunter

The St Louis Levee

The Storm Gathers

Sigel Crossing the Osage

General Henry W. Halleck

Battlefield of Wilson's Creek

Table of Union Casualties

Table of Confederate Casualties


General Samuel R. J. Curtis

General Albert Pike

Battle of Pea Ridge



Whatever else may be said of Southern statesmen, of the elder school, they certainly had an imperial breadth of view. They took in the whole continent in a way that their Northern colleagues were slow in doing. It cannot be said just when they began to plan for a separate Government which would have Slavery as its cornerstone, would dominate the Continent and ultimately absorb Cuba, Mexico and Central America as far as the Isthmus of Panama.

Undoubtedly it was in the minds of a large number of them from the organization of the Government, which they regarded as merely a temporary expedient—an alliance with the Northern States until the South was strong enough to "assume among the Powers of the Earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them."


They achieved a great strategic victory when in 1818 they drew the boundaries of the State of Missouri.

The Ordinance of 1787 dedicated to Freedom all of the immense territory which became the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The wonderful growth of these in population, wealth and political influence alarmed the Slave Power—keenly sensitive, as bad causes always are, to anything which may possibly threaten,—and it proceeded to erect in the State of Missouri a strong barrier to the forward march of the Free Soil idea.

When the time for the separation came, the Northern fragment of the Republic would find itself almost cut in two by the northward projection of Virginia to within 100 miles of Lake Erie. It would be again nearly cut in two by the projection of the northeast corner of Missouri to within 200 miles of Lake Michigan.

In those days substantially all travel and commerce was along the lines of the rivers. For the country between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi the Ohio River was the great artery. Into it empty the Alleghany, Monongahela, Muskingum, the Kanawhas, Big Sandy, Scioto, the Miamis, Licking, Kentucky, Green, Wabash, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, each draining great valleys, and bringing with its volume of waters a proportionate quota of travel and commerce. The Illinois River also entered the Mississippi from the east with the commerce of a great and fruitful region.


West of the Mississippi the mighty Missouri was the almost sole highway for thousands of miles.

The State was made unusually large—68,735 square miles, where the previous rule for States had been about 40,000 square miles—stretching it so as to cover the mouths of the Ohio and the Illinois, and to lie on both sides of the great Missouri for 200 miles. A glance at the map will show how complete this maneuver seemed to be. Iowa and Minnesota were then unbroken and unvisited stretches of prairie and forest, railroads were only dreamed of by mechanical visionaries, and no man in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky or Tennessee could send a load of produce to market without Missouri's permission; he could make no considerable journey without traversing her highways, while all of the imperial area west of the Mississippi was made, it seemed, forever distinctly tributary to her.

New Orleans was then the sole mart of the West, for the Erie Canal had not been dug to convert the Great, Lakes into a colossal commercial highway.

Out of a country possessing the unusual combination of surpassing agricultural fertility with the most extraordinary mineral wealth they carved a State larger in area than England and Wales and more than one-fourth the size of France or Germany.

All ordinary calculations as to the development of such a favored region would make of it a barrier which would effectively stay the propulsive waves of Free Soilism.


So far as man's schemes could go there would never be an acre of free soil west of Illinois.

The Anti-Slavery men were keenly alive to this strategic advantage of their opponents. Though the opposition to Slavery might be said to be yet in the gristle, the men hostile to the institution were found in all parties, and were beginning to divide from its more ardent supporters.

Under the ban of public opinion Slavery was either dead or legally dying in all the older States north of Mason and Dixon's line. In the kingly stretch of territory lying north of the Ohio and between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi there was no taint of the foot of a slave, and the settlers there wanted to "set the bounds of Freedom wider yet."

The Anti-Slavery men everywhere, and at that time there were very many in the Southern States, protested vigorously against the admission of Missouri into the Union as a Slave State, and the controversy soon became so violent as to convulse the Nation. In 1818, when the bill for the admission of Missouri was being considered by the House of Representatives, Gen. James Tallmadge, of New York, introduced the following amendment:

And provided, That the introduction of slavery, or involuntary servitude, be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party has been duly convicted; and that all children born within the said State, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be declared free at the age of 25 years.


This was adopted by practically all the votes from the Free States, with a few from the Border States, which constituted a majority in the House. But the Senate, in which the Slave States had a majority, rejected the amendment, and the struggle began which was only ended two years later by the adoption of the famous Missouri Compromise of 1820, which admitted Missouri as a Slave State, but prohibited for the future any "Slavery or involuntary servitude" outside the limits of that State north of 36 degrees 30 minutes.

As in all compromises, this was unsatisfactory to the earnest men on both sides of the dispute.

The Anti-Slavery men, who claimed that Freedom was National and Slavery local, were incensed that such an enormous area as that south of 36 degrees 30 minutes had been taken from Freedom by the implication that it was reserved for Slavery.

The Pro-Slavery men, on the other hand, who had shrewdly made Slavery extension appear one of the fundamental and cherished rights of the South, set up the clamorous protest, which never ceased till Appomattox, that the denial of the privilege of taking property in Slaves to any part of the National domain won by the arms or purchased by the money of the whole country, was a violation of the compact entered into at the formation of the Government, guaranteeing to the citizens of all the States the same rights and privileges.

They also complained that under this arrangement the Free-Soilers gained control of 1,238,025 square miles of the Nation's territory, while Slavery only had 609,023 square miles, or less than half so much. This complaint, which seemed so forceful to the Pro-Slaveryites, appeared as rank impudence to their opponents, since it placed Slavery on the same plane with Freedom.


The great State, however, did not flourish in accordance with the expectations based upon its climate, natural resources and central position. The tide of immigration paused before her borders, or swept around under colder skies to Iowa and Minnesota, or to the remote prairies of Kansas and Nebraska. Careless as the average home-seeker might seem as to moral and social questions so long as he found fertile land at cheap prices, yet he appeared reluctant to raise his humble cabin on soil that had the least taint of Slavery. In spite of her long frontage on the two greatest rivers of the continent, and which were its main highways; in spite of skies and soils and rippling streams unsurpassed on earth; in spite of having within her borders the great and growing city of St. Louis, the Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley, Missouri in 1860, after 40 years of Statehood, had only 1,182,012 people, against 1,711,951 in Illinois, 1,350,428 in Indiana, 674,913 in Iowa, 172,023 in Minnesota, 2,329,511 in Ohio, 749,113 in Michigan, 775,881 in Wisconsin, with nearly 150,000 in Kansas and Nebraska.

More than a million settlers who had crossed the Mississippi within a few years had shunned her contaminated borders for the free air of otherwise less attractive localities.

Nor had the Slaveholders gone into the country in the numbers that were expected. Less than 20,000 had settled there, which was a small showing against nearly 40,000 in Kentucky and 55,000 in Virginia. All these had conspicuously small holdings. Nearly one-third of them owned but one slave, and considerably more than one-half had less than five. Only one man had taken as many as 200 slaves into the State.


The Census of 1860 showed Missouri to rank eleventh among the Slave States, according to the following table of the number of slaves in each:

1. Virginia.........490,865 10. Texas..........182,566

2. Georgia.........462,198 11. Missouri.......114,931

3. Mississippi.....436,631 12. Arkansas.......111,114

4. Alabama.........435,080 13. Maryland....... 87,189

5. South Carolina..402,406 14. Florida.........61,745

6. Louisiana.......331,726 15. Delaware....... 1,798

7. North Carolina...331,059 16. New Jersey...... 18

8. Tennessee.......275,719 17. Nebraska....... 15

9. Kentucky........225,483 18. Kansas......... 2

There were 3,185 slaves in the District of Columbia and 29 in the Territory of Utah, with all the rest of the country absolutely free.

The immigrant Slaveowners promptly planted themselves where they could command the great highway of the Missouri River, taking up broad tracts of the fertile lands on both sides of the stream. The Census of 1860 showed that of the 114,965 slaves held in the State, 50,280 were in the 12 Counties along the Missouri:

Boone........... ....5,034 Jackson..............3,944

Calloway.............4,257 Lafayette............6,357

Chariton.............2,837 Pike.................4,056

Clay.................3,456 Platte...............3,313

Cooper...............3,800 St. Charles..........2,181

Howard...............5,889 Saline...............4,876

Two-thirds of all the slaves in the State were held within 20 miles of the Missouri River.

As everywhere, the Slaveowners exerted an influence immeasurably disproportionate to their numbers, intelligence and wealth.


A very large proportion of the immigration had not been of a character to give much promise as to the future.

The new State had been the Adullam's Cave for the South, where "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt and every one that was discontented gathered themselves." Next to Slavery, the South had been cursed by the importation of paupers and criminals who had been transported from England for England's good, in the early history of the Colonies, to work the new lands. The negro proving the better worker in servitude than this class, they had been driven off the plantations to squat on unoccupied lands, where they bred like the beasts of the field, getting a precarious living from hunting the forest, and the bolder eking out this by depredations upon their thriftier neighbors. Their forebears had been paupers and criminals when sent from England, and the descendants continued to be paupers and criminals in the new country, forming a clearly marked social class, so distinct as to warrant the surmise that they belonged to a different race. As the eastern part of the South and the administration of the laws improved, this element was to some extent forced out, and spread in a noisome trail over Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri. While other immigrants went into the unbroken forest with a few rude tools and in the course of several years built up comfortable homes, their's never rose above abject squalor. The crudest of cabins sufficed them for shelter, beds of beech leaves were all the couches they required; they had more guns in their huts than agricultural or mechanical implements; they scarcely pretended to raise anything more than a scanty patch of corn; and when they could not put on their tables the flesh of the almost wild razor-back hog which roamed the woods, they made meat of woodchucks, raccoons, opossums or any other "varmint" their guns could bring down. They did not scorn hawks or owls if hunger demanded and no better meat could be found.


It was this "White Trash" which added so much to the horrors of the war, especially in Missouri, and so little to its real prosecution. Wolf-like in ferocity, when the advantages were on their side, they were wolf-like in cowardice when the terms were at all equal. They were the Croats, Cossacks, Tolpatches, Pandours of the Confederacy—of little value in battle, but terrible as guerrillas and bushwhackers. From this "White Trash" came the gangs of murderers and robbers, like those led by the Youngers, Jameses, Quantrils and scores of other names of criminal memory.

As has been the case in all times and countries, these dregs of society became the willing tools of the Slaveholding aristocrats. With dog-like fidelity they followed and served the class which despised and overrode them. Somehow, by inherited habits likely, they seemed to avoid the more fertile parts of the State. They thus became "Bald Knobbers" and "Ozarkers" in Missouri, as they had been "Clay Eaters" in South Carolina, or "Sang Diggers" in Virginia.

With these immigrants from the South came also large numbers of a far better element even than the arrogant Slaveowners or the abject "White Trash."


The Middle Class in the South was made up of much the same stock as the bulk of the Northerners—that is of Scotch, Scotch-Irish and North English—Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Baptists and Dissenters generally—who had been forced out of Great Britain by the intolerant Episcopalians when the latter gained complete power after the suppression of the Rebellion of 1745. With these were also the descendants of the sturdy German Protestants who had been driven from Europe during the religious wars when the Catholics gained the ascendency in their particular country. These were the backbone of the South, and had largely settled along the foothills of the Alleghanies and in the fruitful valleys between the mountains, while the "White Trash" lived either on the barren parts of the lowlands or the bare and untillable highlands.


It is a grave mistake to confound these two classes of Non-Slaveholding whites in the South. They were as absolutely unlike as two distinct races, and an illustration of the habits of the two in migrating will suffice to show this. It was the custom in the Middle Classes when a boy attained majority that he chose for his wife a girl of the same class who was just ripening into vigorous womanhood. Both boy and girl had been brought up to labor with their own hands and to work constantly toward a definite purpose. They had been given a little rudimentary education, could read their Bibles and almanacs, "cipher" a little, write their names and a letter which could be read. When quite a lad the boy's father had given him a colt, which he took care of until it became a horse. To this, his first property, was added a suit of stout homespun cloth, which, with a rifle, an ax and some few other necessary tools, constituted his sole equipment for married life. The girl had been given a calf, which she had raised to a heifer; she had also a feather bed and some blankets of her own making and a little stock of the most obvious housekeeping utensils. With this simple outfit the young couple were married, and either went in debt for a little spot of land near home or pushed out into the new country. There they built a rude log cabin to shelter them from the storm, and by the time their children had reached the age they were when they married they had built up an unpretentious but very comfortable home, with their land well cleared and fenced, and stocked with cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry sufficient to maintain them in comfort. From this class came always the best and strongest men in the South. Comparatively few of them became Slaveowners, and then but rarely owned more than one or two negroes. A very large proportion found homes in the great free States north of the Ohio River.


On the other hand, none of this accession to comparative wealth seemed possible to the "White Trash." The boys and girls mated, squatted on any ground they could find unoccupied, raised there the merest shelter, which never by any chance improved, no matter how long they lived there, and proceeded to breed with amazing prolificacy others like themselves, destined for the same lives of ignorance and squalor. The hut of the "Clay Eater" in South Carolina, the "Sand Hiller" in Georgia, the "Sang Digger" in Virginia was the same as that his grandfather had lived in. It was the same that his sons and grandsons to the third and fourth generations built on the bleak knobs of the Ozarks or the malarious banks of the Mississippi. The Census of 1850 showed that about 70,000 of the population of Missouri had come from Kentucky, 45,000 from Tennessee, 41,000 from Virginia, 17,000 from North Carolina and 15,000 from the other Southern States. Nearly 40,000 had gone from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, but a very large proportion of this number was the same element which had streamed across the southern parts of those States on its way to Missouri. Only 13,000 had entered from the great States of New York and Pennsylvania, and but 1,100 from New England. Nearly 15,000 Irishmen, mostly employed along the rivers, had settled in the State.

While the Slaveowners and their "White Trash" myrmidons were Pro-Slavery Democrats, the Middle Class were inclined to be Whigs, or if Democrats, belonging to that wing of the party less subservient to Slavery which in later years was led by Stephen A. Douglas.


Upon these three distinct strata in society, which little mingled but were all native Americans, was projected an element of startling differences in birth, thought, speech and manners. The so-called Revolution of 1848 in Germany was a movement by the educated, enthusiastic, idealistic youth of the Fatherland to sweep away the horde of petty despots, and unite their pigmy Principalities and Duchies into a glorious and wide-ruling Germany. They were a generation too soon, however, and when the movement was crushed under the heavy hand of military power, hundreds of thousands of these energetic young men thought it safest and best to make new homes in the young Republic beyond the seas. The United States therefore received a migration of the highest character and of inestimable benefit to the country.

Somewhere near 150,000 of these went to Missouri. They had none of the antipathy of Northern Americans to a Slave State. They were like their Gothic forebears, to whom it was sufficient to know that the land was good. Other matters could be settled by their strong right arms. The climate and fertility of Missouri pleased them; they saw the State's possibilities and flocked thither. Possibly one-half settled in the pleasant valleys and on the sunny prairies, following the trail of good land in the Southwest clear down to the Arkansas line. The other half settled mostly in St. Louis, and through them the city experienced another of its wonderful transformations. Beginning as a trading post of the French with the Indians, it had only as residents merchant adventurers from sunny France, officers and soldiers of the royal army and the half-breed voyageurs and trappers who served the fur companies. Next the Americans had swarmed in, and made the trading post a great market for the exchange of the grain and meat of the North, for the cotton and sugar of the South. Its merchants and people took their tone and complexion from the plantations of the Mississippi Valley.


Now came these Germans, intent upon reproducing there the characteristics of the old world cities beyond the Rhine. They brought with them lager beer, to which the Americans took very readily, and a decided taste for music, painting and literature, to which the Americans were not so much inclined. German signs, with their quaint Gothic lettering and grotesque names, blossomed out on the buildings, military bands in German uniforms paraded the streets, especially on Sundays. German theaters also open on Sunday represented by astonishingly good companies the popular plays of the Fatherland, and newsboys cried the German newspapers on the streets. Those who went into the country were excellent farmers, shrewd in buying and selling, and industrious workers. They dreamed of covering the low hills of the western part of the State with the vineyards that were so profitable on the Rhine and of rivaling the products of Johannesburg and the Moselle on the banks of the Gasconade and the Maramec.


The newcomers were skilled men in their departments of civilized activities—far above the average of the Americans. They were good physicians, fine musicians, finished painters, excellent actors and skillful mechanics, and each began the intelligent exercise of his vocation, to the great advantage of the community, which was, however, shocked at many of the ways of the newcomers, particularly their devoting Sunday to all manner of merrymaking. Still more shocking was their attitude toward the Slavery question. Even those Americans who were opposed to Slavery had a respect approaching awe of the "Sacred Institution." It had always been in the country; it was protected by a network of laws, and so feared that it could only be discussed with the greatest formality and circumspection. The radical Germans had absolutely none of this feeling. In their scheme of humanity all Slavery was so horrible that there could be no reason for its longer continuance, and it ought to be put to an end in the most summary manner. The epithet "Abolitionists," from which most Americans shrank as from an insult, had no terrors for them. It frankly described their mental attitude, and they gloried in it as they did in being Free Thinkers. They had not rebelled against timeworn traditions and superstitions in Germany to become slaves to something worse in this.

Vigorous growths as they were, they readily took root in the new soil, became naturalized as fast as they could, and entered into the life of the country which they had elected for their homes. They joined the Republican Party from admiration of its Free Soil principles, and in the election of 1860 cast 17,028 votes for Abraham Lincoln.


Such were the strangely differing elements which were fermenting together in the formation of the great Commonwealth during those turbulent days from 1850 to 1860, and which were to be fused into unexpected combinations in the fierce heat of civil war. The same fermentation—minus the modifying influences of the radical Germans—was going on in all the States of the South except South Carolina, where the Middle Class hardly existed. Everywhere the Middle Class was strongly attached to the Union, and averse to Secession. Everywhere the Slaveowners, a small minority, but of extraordinary ability and influence, were actively preaching dissatisfaction with the Union, bitterly complaining of wrongs suffered at the hands of the North, and untiring in their machinations to win over or crush the leaders of those favorable to the Union. Everywhere they had the "White Trash" solidly behind them to vote as they wished, and to harry and persecute the Union men. As machinery for malevolence the "White Trash" myrmidons could not be surpassed. Criminal instincts inherited from their villain forefathers made them ready and capable of anything from maiming a Union man's stock and burning his stacks to shooting him down from ambush. They had personal feeling to animate them in this, for their depredations upon the hogs and crops of their thriftier neighbors had brought them into lifelong collisions with the Middle Class, while they had but little opportunity for resentment against the owners of the large plantations. In every State in the South the story was the same, of the Middle Class Union men being harassed at the command of the Slaveowners by the "White Trash" hounds. They had been sent into Kansas to drive out the Free State immigrants there and secure the territory for Slavery, but though backed up by the power of the Administration, they had been signally defeated by the numerically inferior but bolder and hardier immigrants from the North.


Force rules this world; it always has; it always will. Not merely physical force, but that incomparably higher type—intellectual force—Power of Will. It seemed that in nearly all the States of the South the Slaveowners by sheer audacity and force of will succeeded in dominating the great majority which favored the Union, and by one device or another committing them hopelessly to the rebellion. This was notably the case in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, where the majority repeatedly expressed itself in favor of the Union, but was dragooned into Secession.

In Missouri, however, the Secessionists encountered leaders with will and courage superior to their own. Many of these were Slaveowners themselves, and nearly all of them were of Southern birth. Head and shoulders above these, standing up among them like Saul among the Sons of Israel, was Frank P. Blair, then in the full powers of perfect manhood. He was 42 years old, tall and sinewy in body, blue-eyed and sandy-haired. He came of the best Virginia and Kentucky stock, and had long been a resident and slaveowner in Missouri. As a boy he had served in the ranks in the Mexican War, had an adventurous career on the Pacific Coast, had gone back to Missouri to achieve prominence at the bar, and as early as 1848 had come to the front as the unflinching advocate of Emancipation and the conversion of Missouri into a Free State. Against his perfect panoply of courage and resource all the lances of the Slaveowners were hurled in vain. Their violence recoiled before him, their orators were no match for him upon the stump, and their leaders not his equal in party management. In 1852 he was elected to the Missouri Legislature as a Free Soiler, was re-elected in 1854, and in 1856 to Congress. His value to the Union was immeasurable, for he was a leader around whom the Union men could rally with the utmost confidence that he would never weaken, never resort to devious ways, and never blunder. As a Southerner of the best ancestry, he was not open to the charge of being a "Yankee Abolitionist," which had so much effect upon the Southern people of his State.

056-general Francis P Blair


A very dangerous element was composed of a number of leaders who belonged to the Pro-Slavery wing, but desiring to be elected to offices, masked their designs under the cover of the Douglas Democracy. The most important of these was Claiborne F. Jackson, a politician of moderate abilities and only tolerable courage, but of great partisan activity. He professed to be a Douglas Democrat, and as such was elected Governor at the State election. Born in Kentucky 54 years before, he had resided in Missouri since 1822. A Captain in the Black Hawk War, his service had been as uneventful and brief as that of Abraham Lincoln, who was two years his junior, and he was one of the Pro-Slavery clique who had hounded the great Thomas H. Benton out of politics on account of his mild Free Soilism. In person he was tall, erect, with something of dignity in his bearing. He essayed to be an orator, had much reputation as such, but his speeches developed little depth of thought or anything beyond the customary phrases which were the stock in trade of all the orators of his class south of Mason and Dixon's line.


The fermentation period culminated in the Presidential campaign of 1860, the hottest political battle this country had ever known.

The intensity of the interest felt in Missouri was shown by the bigness of the vote, which aggregated 165,618. As the population was but 1,182,012, of which 114,965 were slaves, it will be seen that substantially every white man went to the polls.

The newly-formed Republican Party, mostly confined to the radical Germans of St. Louis, cast 17,028 votes for Abraham Lincoln.

The Slaveowners and their henchmen—"Southern Rights Democrats"—cast 31,317 votes for John C. Breckinridge.

The "Regular Democrats" polled 58,801 votes for Stephen A. Douglas and "Squatter Sovereignty."

The remains of the "Old Line Whigs," and a host of other men who did not want to be Democrats and would not be Republicans, cast 58,372 votes for John Bell, the "Constitutional Union" candidate.

Thus it will be seen that out of every 165 men who went to the polls 17 were quite positive that the extension of Slavery must cease; 31 were equally positive that Slavery should be extended or the Union dissolved; 59 favored "Squatter Sovereignty," or local option in the Territories in regard to Slavery; 58 thought that "all this fuss about the nigger was absurd, criminal, and dangerous. It ought to be stopped at once by suppressing, if necessary, by hanging, the extremists on both sides, and letting things go on just as they have been."


Thus so great a proportion as 117 out of the total of 165—nearly five-sevenths of the whole—professed strong hostility to the views of the "extremists, both North and South."

The time was at hand, however, when they must make their election as to which of these opposite poles of thought and action they would drift. They could no longer hold aloof, suggesting mild political placeboes, lamenting alike the wickedness of the Northern Abolitionists and the madness of the Southern Nullifiers, and expressing a patriotic desire to hang selected crowds of each on the same trees.

South Carolina had promptly responded to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States by passing an Ordinance of Secession, and seizing all the United States forts, arsenals and other places, except Fort Sumter, within her limits.

The rest of the Cotton States were hastening to follow her example.

To the 117 "Middle-of-the-Road" voters out of every total of 165 it was therefore necessary to choose whether they would approve of the withdrawal of States and seizures of forts, and become Secessionists, or whether they would disapprove of this and ally themselves with the much-contemned Black Republicans.

It was the old, old vital question, asked so many times of neutrals with the sword at their throats:

"Under which King, Bezonian? Speak, or die."



The storm-clouds gathered with cyclonic swiftness. South Carolina seceded Dec. 20, 1860, and sent a Commission to Washington to negotiate for the delivery of all the forts, arsenals, magazines, lighthouses, and other National property within her boundaries, organizing in the meanwhile to seize them. Her Senators and Representatives formally withdrew from Congress; the Judges and other Federal officials solemnly resigned their places; and Maj. Robert Anderson, recognizing the impossibility of defending the decrepit Fort Moultrie against assault, transferred his garrison to Fort Sumter.

President Buchanan announced the fatal doctrine that while no State had the right to secede, the Constitution gave no power to coerce a State which had withdrawn, or was attempting to withdraw from the Union.

Mississippi seceded Jan. 9, 1861; Florida, Jan. 10; Alabama, Jan. 11; Georgia, Jan. 19; Louisiana, Jan. 26; and Texas, Feb. 1;—all the Cotton States precipitately following South Carolina's example.


Each made haste—before or after Secession—to seize all the United States forts and property within her borders.

In the midst of this political cataclysm the Legislature of Missouri met on the last day of 1860.

The Senate consisted of 25 Democrats, seven Unionists, and one Republican; the House of 85 Democrats, 35 Unionists, and 12 Republicans.

The retiring Governor—Robert M. Stewart—sent in his final message Jan. 3, and the same day his successor—Claiborne F. Jackson—was inaugurated, and delivered his address. Gov. Stewart was a typical Northern Democrat, born in New York, but long a resident of Missouri. He was a strong Douglas man, and believed that the Southern people had the Constitutional right to take their slaves into the Territories and hold them there, and that this right ought to be assured them. He had never pretended to be in love with Slavery, but he believed that the Constitution and laws granted full protection to the Institution. He denied the right of Secession, particularly as to Missouri, which had been bought with the money of the whole country. In his final message he did not hesitate to clearly set this forth, and to denounce South Carolina as having acted with consummate folly. He recognized the Union as the source of innumerable blessings, and would preserve it to the last. He said:

As matters are at present Missouri will stand by her lot, and hold to the Union as long as it is worth an effort to preserve it. So long as there is hope of success she will seek for justice within the Union. She cannot be frightened from her propriety by the past unfriendly legislation of the North, nor be dragooned into secession by the extreme South. If those who should be our friends and allies undertake to render our property worthless by a system of prohibitory laws, or by reopening the slave trade in opposition to the moral sense of the civilized world, and at the same time reduce us to the position of an humble sentinel to watch over and protect their interests, receiving all the blows and none of the benefits, Missouri will hesitate long before sanctioning such an arrangement She will rather take the high position of armed neutrality. She is able to take care of herself, and will be neither forced nor flattered, driven nor coaxed, into a course of action that must end in her own destruction.


The inaugural address of the new Governor was, under a thin vail of professed love for the Union, a bitter Secession appeal. He said that the destiny of the Slaveholding States was one and the same; that what injured one necessarily hurt all; that separate action meant certain defeat by the insolent North, which was alone and wholly responsible for the present deplorable conditions. He applauded the "gallantry" of South Carolina, urged that she be not condemned for "precipitancy," and said significantly: "If South Carolina has acted hastily, let not her error lead to the more fatal one—an attempt at coercion."

With reference to the Republican Party and the future policy of Missouri, he said:

The prominent characteristic of this party * * * is that it is purely sectional in its locality and its principles. The only principle inscribed upon its banner is Hostility to Slavery;—its object not merely to confine Slavery within its present limits; not merely to exclude it from the Territories, and prevent the formation and admission of any Slaveholding States; not merely to abolish it in the District of Columbia, and interdict its passage from one State to another; but to strike down its existence everywhere; to sap its foundation in public sentiment; to annoy and harass, and gradually destroy its vitality, by every means, direct or indirect, physical and moral, which human ingenuity can devise. The triumph of such an organization is not the victory of a political party, but the domination of a Section. It proclaims in significant tones the destruction of that equality among the States which is the vital cement for our Federal Union. It places 15 of the 33 States in the position of humble recipients of the bounty, or sullen submissionists to the power of a Government which they had no voice in creating, and in whose councils they do not participate.


It cannot, then, be a matter of surprise to any—victors or vanquished—that these 16 States, with a pecuniary interest at stake reaching the enormous sum of $3,600,000,000 should be aroused and excited at the advent of such a party to power.

Would it not rather be an instance of unprecedented blindness and fatuity, if the people and Governments of these 16 Slaveholding States were, under such circumstances, to manifest quiet indifference, and to make no effort to avoid the destruction which awaited them?

The meeting of the Legislature naturally brought to the State Capital at Jefferson City all of the powerful coterie which was self-charged with the work of taking Missouri into the road whither South Carolina was leading the Cotton States. This coterie included the Judges of the Supreme Court and all the State officials, and the United States Senators and Representatives. Ever since the Anti-Benton faction had accomplished the great Senator's defeat, the shibboleth for admission into the higher circles of Missouri Democracy had been "Southern Rights." As the mass of the Middle Class Democrats favored Senator Douglas's plan of letting the settlers in each Territory decide for themselves whether they would have Slavery, it was highly politic for every candidate to claim that he was a Douglas Democrat. It must be known to the inner ring, however, that he was at heart fully in accord with the views of the extreme Pro-Slavery men, and ready at the word to join the Secessionists. So thorough was this preliminary organization, that while in Missouri tens of thousands of professed Union men went over to Secession when the stress came, there was no instance of an avowed Pro-Slavery man cleaving to the side of the Union.


Next to Gov. Jackson,—surpassing him in intellectual acuteness and fertile energy,—was Lieut.-Gov. Thos. C. Reynolds, then in his 40th year, a short, full-bodied man, with jet-black hair and eyes shaded by gold-rimmed glasses. He boasted of being born of Virginia parents in South Carolina, but some of the Germans claimed to know that his right name was Reinhold, and that he was a Jew born in Prague, the Capital of Bohemia, and brought to this country when a child. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, and had accomplishments quite unusual in that day.

He spoke French, German and Spanish fluently, wrote profusely and with considerable force, and prided himself on being a diplomat. He had seen some service as Secretary of Legation and Charge d' Affaires at Madrid. He had been elected as a Douglas Democrat, but was an outspoken Secessionist, and as he was ex-officio President of the Senate, he had much power in forming committees and shaping legislation. He clung to the wrecked rebel ship of state to the last, went with Gov. Jackson and the rest when they were driven out of the State, assumed the Governorship when Jackson—worn out by the terrible strains and vicissitudes—died at Little Rock, Ark., in December, 1862—and was last heard from near the end of the war, with the shattered and melancholy remnants of the Missouri State Government and troops, on the banks of the Rio Grande, writing furious diatribes against Gen. Sterling Price, the admired leader of the Missouri Confederates.


Another man of great influence in the State was United States Senator James S. Green, a Virginian by birth, but who had been a resident of Missouri for about a quarter of a century. He was a lawyer of fine talents, and in the Senate ranked as a debater with Douglas, Seward, Chase, Toombs, Wigfall, Fessenden, Wade, and others of that class. In Missouri he was one of the leaders of the Ultra-Slavery "Softs" against Thos. H. Benton; had been Minister to New Granada, and Representative in Congress, and in the Senate belonged to the Jefferson Davis-Toombs-Wigfall cabal, which was planning the disruption of the Union. His term expiring March 3, 1861, he was now in Jefferson City for the rather irreconcilable purposes of securing his re-election to the United States Senate and of fulfilling his pledge to his Secessionist colleagues to carry Missouri out of the Union.

His colleague—Senator Trusten Polk—a strong, kindly, graceful man—was there to assist him in both purposes. Born in Delaware, he had been a resident of Missouri since 1835, elected Governor of the State in 1856, resigned to accept Benton's seat in the Senate, from which he was to be expelled in 1862 for disloyalty, and to follow the failing fortunes of the Missouri Confederates to the banks of the Rio Grande.

The problem of absorbing intensity for the Secession leaders—Messrs. Jackson, Reynolds, Green, Polk and others—was to win over, entrap or constrain a sufficient number of the 117 "Doubtful" voters out of every 165, to give them a working majority in the State. There was fiery zeal enough and to spare on the Secession side; what was needed was skillful management to convince the Union-loving peace-loving majority that the Northern "Abolitionists," flushed with victory, meant unheard-of wrongs and insults to the South; that Missouri must put herself in shape to protect her borders, call a halt on the insolent North, and in connection with the other Border States be the arbiter between the contending sections, and in the last resort ally herself with the other Slave States for mutual protection.


A man to be reckoned with in those days was the Commander of the Department of the West, which included all that immense territory stretching from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, except Texas, New Mexico, and Utah. This man was the embodiment of the Regular Army as it was developed after the War of 1812. At this time that Army was a very small one—two regiments of dragoons, two of cavalry, one of mounted riflemen, four of artillery, and 10 of infantry, making, with engineers, ordnance and staff, a total of only 12,698 officers and men—but its personnel and discipline were unsurpassed in the world. Among its 1,040 commissioned officers there was no finer soldier than William Selby Harney. A better Colonel no army ever had. A Colonel, mind you—not a General; there is a wide difference between the two, as we found out during the war. There are very many Americans—every little community has at least one—who, given a regiment, where every man is within reach of his eye and voice, will discipline it, provide for it, rule it, and fight it in the very best fashion. Give him some piece of work to do, of which he can see the beginning and the end, and he will make the regiment do every pound of which it is capable. But put in command of a brigade, anything beyond voice and eye, set to a task outreaching his visual horizon, he becomes obviously unequal to the higher range of duty.

029-the Harney Mansion


A form of commanding hight (sp.), physique equal to any test of activity or endurance, a natural leader of men through superiority of courage and ability, William Selby Harney had for 43 years made an unsurpassed record as a commander of soldiers. He had served in the everglades of Florida, on the boundless plains west of the Mississippi, and in Mexico, during the brilliantly spectacular war which ended with our "reveling in the Halls of the Montezumas." He it was, who, eager for his country's honor and advancement, had, while the diplomats were disputing with Great Britain, pounced down upon and seized the debatable island of San Juan in Vancouver waters. For this he was recalled, but the island remained American territory. He was soon assigned to the Department of the West, with headquarters at St. Louis.


He had been for 12 years the Colonel of the crack 2d U. S. Dragoons, and for three years one of the three Brigadier-Generals in the Regular Army, his only seniors being Maj.-Gen. and Brevet Lieut.-Gen. Winfield Scott, the General-in-Chief; Brig.-Gen. John E. Wool, commanding the Department of the East; and Brig.-Gen. David E. Twiggs, commanding the Department of Texas.

Gen. Harney's assignment, while a recognition of his eminent fitness for ruling the territory over which he had campaigned for more than a quarter of a century, was highly gratifying to him inasmuch as he was married to a wealthy St. Louis woman, and in that city he had an abundance of the luxurious social enjoyment so dear to the heart of the old warrior. A Southerner by birth and education, a large Slave-owner, with all his interests in the South, and at all times seemingly in full sympathy with the Southern spirit that dominated the Army, the Secessionists sanguinely expected that he would prove as pliant to their proposals as had Gen. Twiggs, the Commander of the Department of Texas. We shall see how soldierly instincts and training measurably disappointed them.


To return to the Missouri Legislature: Lieut.-Gov. Reynolds could, as a lieutenant always can, be more outspoken and radical than his chief, who labored under responsibility. On the day the Legislature met he published an important letter which thoroughly indicates the feeling of the Secessionists at that period. He urged the General Assembly to promptly express the determination of Missouri to resist every attempt by the Federal Government to coerce any State to remain in the Union, or to use force in any way to collect revenues or execute the laws in any seceding State. He denounced President Buchanan's distinction between "coercing a State" and "compelling the citizens of the State to obey the laws of the United States" as a "transparent sophistry." "To levy tribute, molest commerce, or hold fortresses, are as much acts of war as to bombard a city." He also urged immediate and thorough organization of the militia and other preparations for "putting the State in complete condition for defense." If the present controversy could not be adjusted before March 4, the State of Missouri "should not permit Mr. Lincoln to exercise any act of Government" within her borders.

This was certainly distinctly defiant, and shrewdly calculated to gather about the new administration all the wavering men who could be attracted by inflammatory appeals to their prejudices against the North, to their State pride, and to their hopes of making Missouri the arbiter in the dispute. Lieut.—Gov. Reynolds followed up his pronunciamento by carefully organizing the Senate committees with radical Secessionists at the head, and the immediate introduction of bills ably contrived to put the control of the State in the hands of those who favored Secession. These committees promptly reported several bills.


One provided for calling a State Convention, an effective device by which the other Southern States had been dragged into Secession. Another provided for the organization of the Militia of the State, which would be done by officers reliable for Secession, and the third was intended to extinguish resistance by taking away much of the police power of the Republican Mayor of St. Louis, who had at his back the radical Germans, organized into semi-military Wide-Awake Clubs. All these bills seemed to be heartily approved all over the State, and the Southern Rights leaders were exultant at their success. Apparently the 117 "Doubtfuls" were flocking over to them.

It seemed for a few momentous days in the opening of 1861 that Missouri would be inevitably swept into the tide of Secession, and even in St. Louis, the stronghold of Republicanism, a monster mass meeting, called and controlled by such afterwards—strong loyalists as Hamilton R. Gamble, later the Union Governor of the State, Nathaniel Paschall, James E. Yeatman, and Robert Campbell, unanimously passed resolutions declaring slave property to be held as a Constitutional right which the Government should secure, and if it did not, Missouri "would join with her sister States and share their duties and dangers," and that the Government should not attempt to coerce the seceding States. This word "coerce" had an extraordinarily ugly sound to all ears, and was a potent enchantment in taking many of the professedly Union men into the ranks of the rebellion. Even Horace Greeley recoiled from "a Union held together by bayonets."


The bill "to call a Convention to consider the relations of the State of Missouri to the United States, and to adopt measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the State, and the protection of her institutions," was promptly reported back to both Houses on the 9th of January, and as promptly passed by them, with only two adverse votes in the Senate and 18 in the House. Of the latter 11 were from St. Louis.