SAINT LOUIS, MO., May 14, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Army, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of the General-in-Chief, a copy of a proclamation I deemed it necessary, in view of the existing condition of affairs in this quarter, to address to the people of Missouri.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. HARNEY,
MILITARY DEPARTMENT OF THE WEST,
Saint Louis, May 14, 1861.
To the People of the State of Missouri:
On my return to the duties of the command of this department I find, greatly to my astonishment and mortification, a most extraordinary state of things existing in this State, deeply affecting the stability of the Government of the United States as well as the governmental and other interests of Missouri itself.
As a citizen of Missouri, owing allegiance to the United States, and having interests in common with you, I feel it my duty as well as privilege to extend a warning voice to my fellow-citizens against the common dangers that threaten us, and to appeal to your patriotism and sense of justice to exert all your moral power to avert them.
It is with regret that I feel it my duty to call your attention to the recent act of the general assembly of Missouri known as the "military bill," which is the result, no doubt, of the temporary excitement that now pervades the public mind. This bill cannot be regarded in any other light than an indirect secession ordinance, ignoring even the forms resorted to by other States. Manifestly, its most material provisions are in conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States. To this extent it is a nullity, and cannot and ought not to be upheld or regarded by the good citizens of Missouri. There are obligations and duties resting upon the people of Missouri under the Constitution and laws of the United States which are paramount, and which I trust you will carefully consider and weigh well before you will allow yourselves to be carried out of the Union under the form of yielding obedience to this military bill, which is clearly in violation of your duties as citizens of the United States.
It must be apparent to every one who has taken a proper and unbiased view of the subject that, whatever may be the termination of the unfortunate condition of things in respect to the so-called Cotton States, Missouri must share the destiny of the Union. Her geographical position, her soil, productions, and, in short, all her material interests, point to this result. We cannot shut our eyes against this controlling fact. It is seen and its force is felt throughout the nation. So important is this regarded to the great interests of the country, that I venture to express the opinion that the whole power of the Government of the United States, if necessary, will be exerted to maintain Missouri in her present position in the Union. I express to you, in all frankness and sincerity, my own deliberate convictions, without assuming to speak for the Government of the United States, whose authority here and elsewhere I shall at all times and under all circumstances endeavor faithfully to uphold. I desire above all things most earnestly to invite