HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, February 13, 1861.
Brigadier General WILLIAM S. HARNEY,
Commanding Department of the West, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: The General-in-Chief directs that you give orders for the immediate abandonment of Fort Smith by calling the garrison to Fort Leavenworth. The troops will bring with them as much of the public property as the means of transportation will permit, excepting any surplus subsistence stores, which will be sent to the nearest post in the Indiana country west of Arkansas.
As the authorities of the State of Arkansas have seized the public property, to will not be safe to send supplied of any description up the Arkansas River, and all the posts in the southern part of your department must therefore be supplied via Fort Scott from Saint Lois or fort Leavenworth.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST,
Saint Louis, Mo., February 19, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS, Assist. Adj. General,
Headquarters of the Army, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from the headquarters of the Army by Lieutenant Colonel Lay, aide-de-camp, dated the 13th instant, in which my attention is called to the subject of the defense of the Saint Louis Arsenal.
The considerations presented in that communication have not been overlook by me, but believing from all the information I have been able to gather (and I have been favored with the advice of persons whose judgment I have considered of a demonstration against the Saint Louis Arsenal have not been well founded, and that such an attempt has not been at any time seriously contemplated, it has not appeared to me that the safety of the arsenal required that I should call up any considerable portion of the troops from Jefferson Barracks. Moreover, the secession party is in a decided minority in Saint Louis, and there is every reason to suppose that in the event of a movement from any quarter upon the arsenal its garrison would be promptly succored by an overwhelming force from the city. At any rate such is the prevailing opinion in the community, and in the existence of the sentiment may, it is through, be found a sufficient warrant for the belief that the arsenal is not at this time in danger.
The Saint Louis Arsenal is, however, being put in as complete a defensive condition as possible. Major Hagner, in whose judgment I have the most entire confidence, advised me, even before the arrival of Captain Lyon's company, of the Second Infantry, that he considered himself strong enough to defend his position successfully. He has recently, in obedience to the orders of the General-in-Chief, been re-enforced by some three hundred recites from Jefferson Barracks, and his command now numbers nine officers and four hundred and eighty-four men.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. HARNEY,