War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0638 OPERATIONS IN ARK., IND. T., AND MO. Chapter VIII.

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Numbers 1. Reports of Captain James Totten, Second U. S. Artillery, of the seizure of the U. S. Arsenal at Little Rock, Ark.


Little Rock, Ark., January 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose a copy of a communication received this day from his Excellency Henry M. Rector, governor of the State of Arkansas, and also a copy of my reply to his excellency's communications.

Please submit both these communications to the Secretary of War for the decision of the President of the United States, with the request that instructions be sent me as to my future action in the premises. I also request that means and money may be sent me to carry out the orders I may receive.

I forward, in the same mail with this, copies of the communications, herein mentioned, to the general commanding the Department of the West. I deem it necessary in this connection respectfully to inform the authorities concerned that, in my opinion, most positive and unequivocal instructions are called for, in order that I may not mistake the intentions of the administration regarding the matter at issue. I believe there is trouble ahead for this command, and that by the 4th day of March coming decided action will be absolutely imperative in the officer who may than command this arsenal, and, if left to his own discretion, he may not in everything correspond with the wishes of the Federal authorities.

Whatever orders may be given, I respectfully ask that they may be sent by a reliable agent, and not by mails, as there appears to be some reason in believing that they are net entirely trustworthy at present. I would not myself, in the present instance, trust to this doubtful medium of communication if I had means at my disposal of sending an officer to Washington, and, indeed, if I can procure the necessary funds, I may yet forward copies of the various communications now inclosed by such an agent as indicated.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Second Artillery, Commanding Post.

Colonel S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington City, D. C.

[Inclosure A.]


Executive Department, Little Rock, January 28, 1861.

CAPTAIN: The public exigencies require me to make known to you that the U. S. Arsenal at this place will be permitted to remain in the possession of the Federal officers until the State, by authority of the people, shall have determined to sever their connection with the General Government, unless, however, wit should be thought proper to order additional forces to this point; or, on the other hand, an attempt should be made to remove or destroy the munitions of war deposited ins aid arsenal.

Any assurances that you may be able to give touching the observance of these two latter conditions will greatly tend to quiet the public mind,