SAINT LOUIS ARSENAL, February 21, 1861.
Colonel H. K. CRAIG, Chief of Ordnance, Washington:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report for your information that since my report of the 7th instant the following additional troops have been joined to my command:
February 16, three offices and two hundred men; February 19, one officer and one hundred and one men. Our aggregate this morning is four hundred and eighty eight.
I have thrown up field works on all sides of our main cluster of buildings, and provided them with guns commanding the interior faces of out inclosing wall and all approaches to the main square. We are perfectly secure, therefore, against any infantry attack and watchful against surprise.
I am sorry to say that the small-pox and measles have appeared within the last forty-eight hours, and a few cases have developed; but I have opened a separate hospital in the laboratory buildings for such cases, and have authority from the general commanding the department to send patients to Jefferson Barracks as often as may be necessary. The cases were brought here.
Notwithstanding the large force and the few conveniences for them upon their arrival, I think they are well cared for, and all essentials for health and comfort provided. The arrangements made still permit all the arsenal duties to proceed regularly without inconvenience to the shop work in hand.*
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
P. V. HAGNER,
Brevet Major, Commanding.
[FEBRUARY 22, 1861]
To the SECRETARY OF WAR, City of Washington, D. C.:
We, the undersigned, citizens of Arkansas, learn with deep regret that the post of Fort Smith is to be abandoned by the General Government. It is fair to suppose that this order has been determined upon in consequence of the action of a mob in Little Rock and the unfortunate course of the governor in demanding from the United States officer the arsenal.
The late decision of the people at the ballot-box has proved beyond question the almost unanimous voice in the counties adjoining Fort Smith for Union as against violence, mob law, and secession. We, therefore, in the name of the people, the whole people, ask a suspension of this movement until the decision of the State by its convention is known.
GEO. RUDDY et al.
At a mass meeting held in the city of Fort Smith, county of Sebastain, State of Arkansas 7 p. m. on the 22nd day of February, A. D. 1861, Francis H. wolf was called to the chair, and James M. ward nominated and elected as secretary of said meeting. On motion, it was resolved that the above heading be adopted as the since of this meeting. On motion, it was resolved that the secretary of this meeting be requested to forward this petition to the Secretary of War at Washington, D. C.
FRANCIS H. WOLF, Chairman.
JAMES M. WARD, Secretary.
*Some matter of detail here omitted.