Major Sacket and Captain Prince both made earnest appeals not to abandon Arbuckle. I have forwarded those appeals and dissented from them. The reasons for this dissent will, I hope, satisfy the General in-Chief that no change should be made in his instructions. They are, in my opinion, precisely those best calculated to fend off impending troubles, and, if those troubles should occur, to "preserve the safety of the troops." Without reference to the course the Indian nations will adopt, I wish to call attention to what will be the position of the troops amongst them in regard to supplies if Arkansas goes out. They have heretofore been supplied from Texas, but principally by transportation through Arkansas. In the event contemplated, those lines would be closed, and the only one left would be the old military road from Kansas City via Forts Scott and Gibson. This road runs parallel and near to the Arkansas boundary, and supplies over it would be constantly exposed to seizure.
Having stated all I know affecting the honor and safety of the troops and the interests of the United States, and what has been done in the execution of the orders of the General-in-Chief, I now come to the object of my letter. Owing to the turn affairs have recently taken, the position of an officer from a Southern State out here on duty has become extremely embarrassing; so much so as to impair his efficiency. Therefore, I urgently request I may be allowed to turn over this command, with my instructions, to Major Saket, or such other officer as may be selected, and that I may be permitted to return to Washington City, where I can explain my reasons for the step. If those reasons should prove unsatisfactory, I am prepared to resign my commission.
I respectfully suggest it has never been the policy of any government to employ officer to operate against their own section of country.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. H. EMORY,
Lieutenant-Colonel First Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST,
Saint Louis, Mo., April 16, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, April Adjt. General,
Headquarters of the Army, City of New York:
SIR: In the present state of affairs in this quarters, I deem it to be my duty to make a special report with reference to the Saint Louis Arsenal. The arsenal buildings and ground are completely commanded by hills immediately in their rear and within easy range. I learn from sources which I consider reliable that it is to intention of the executive of this State to cause batteries to be erected on these hills and also upon the island opposite to the arsenal. I am further informed that, hold such batteries be erected, it is contemplated by the State authorities, in the event of the secession of the State from the Union, to demand the surrender of the arsenal.
The command at the arsenal at the present consists of nine officers and about four hundred and thirty enlisted men, made up of a detachment of ordnance, Captain Totten's company of the Second Artillery, Captain Lyon's company of the Second Infantry, and Fourth Artillery, and general-service recruits. While this force would probably be able to resist successfully an assaulting party greatly superior to itself in numbers it could not withstand the fire of the batteries situated as above indicated.