War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0678 OPERATIONS IN ARK., IND. T., AND MO. Chapter VIII.

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serve its Western Territories and military posts, for the danger to which they would be exposed would indeed be serious, and they could only be supported at immense expense and loss both of time and of means.

4th. Quincy, in Illinois, which from the course of the Mississippi River projects into the Missouri at a distance of sixty-five miles west of Saint Louis, presents immense advantages as a military post, an as such should be occupied by the Government. By merely looking at the map you can see what an important position is Quincy. It is the key to Northern Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Nebraks, California, and Oregon. Missouri once against the Federal Government, the only present feasible and expeditious road by which troops, munitions, provisions, transportation,and general travel can pass is the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad, over Northern Missouri, between those Western sections and the country east of the Missouri, between those Western sections and the country east of the Mississippi River. The forces to be placed at Quincy should be placed there at once, to keep open the communication by way of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad.

5th. To further strengthen the Government position at quincy as a key to the Western section, I should strongly urge the removal of the arsenal now at Saint Louis to Quincy. The disadvantages of the present locality are manifest. Situated in what may soon be a disaffected country, it is at any moment liable to attack, and even at the present moment had been threatened. Saint Louis in itself commands nothing-is in reality a key to nothing. The site of the arsenal is disadvantageous, as it can readily be commanded from adjacent heights, and its original location was probably on account of its vicinity to a large city, whence supplies could easily be obtained. The present difficulties show that such a vicinity for Federal property only renders more liable to attack. As o the supplies, they are in a great degree derived from Illinois, and not a small part of them from that part of Illinois which finds its outlets at Quincy.

At Quincy, with this eighteen thousand inhabitants, and to which one of the finest sections of the Western country is tributary, an arsenal could be furnished in all abundance, and cheaper than at Saint Louis. But the great public commendation for the establishment of an arsenal there is that it could and should be made an all important auxiliary in securing the command of this very much needed and useful key to our Western communication. The facilities possessed by the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad for the transportation of munitions of war, troops, &c., are very great, and the speed and easiness of communication by that route with the Western posts cannot be took much valued. I would strongly urge upon you the necessity of your immediate attention to this matter, as I deem the change of the arsenal from Saint Louis to Quincy and the protection and preservation of the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad as of immense importance to the country.

I remain, yours, very truly,

ERASMUS CORNING.

WASHINGTON, May 2, 1861.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: Mr. J. L. Bittinger, recently appointed postmaster at Saint Joseph, Mo., arrived here yesterday, and gave me information in regard to secession movements in that State, which I take the liberty of conveying to you.

He states that while descending the Missouri River he met with a Mr. Jeff. Thompson, who informed him, not supposing that he was in favor