War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0837 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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the command of this department. When it was known that the order required the assent and approval of the President before becoming final, one and all seemed anxious to take some step to have the commander retained. Toward dusk a notice was given that a public meeting, to express the sentiments of the citizens, would be held at the State house. The meeting was well attended and we saw old citizens, who had not attended a political meeting for twenty years, present to testify in some manner the strong desire to retain General Steele among us. This feeling is shared by all, high and low, in office or out of office. Governor Murphy makes no secret of his chagrin at the issuance of the order, and regrets it deeply. the presiding officer at the meeting last night was the secretary of State, and the State treasurer was secretary. We know whereof we affirm when we say that there are not a dozen citizens of Arkansas who would not be sorry to lose our gallant commander, and this dozen dare not omit it. They made a very lame attempt to stem the tide by getting a poor, deranged tool of theirs to offer some milk-and-water resolutions, but the citizens amended these so as to be plain, explicit, and to ask for the retention of General Steele. These were voted for with only one dissenting voice, and that negative was additional strength. Heartfelt and truly eloquent speeches were made by Doctor Fryrear, Speaker Crossen, and Judge Warner. The manner in which they were uttered and receive, and the deep feeling exhibited, prove how deep a hold General Steele has upon the feelings of the loyal people, how they have learned to love him, to feel security in his bravery, and to confide in his patriotism. Another reason for the feeling exhibited is the fact, so deeply felt, that with the removal of General Steele the State government, nurtured by him and now almost able to stand alone, will fall. He was identified with it in such a way that it was upheld by love and respect. The people felt that all the pains, cost, and labor spent in this project would be lost if the commander was removed. We publish the proceedings of the meeting and call attention to them. Other expressions of public sentiment will be made, for this is a matter in which the people are moving and in which they are unanimous.


At a meeting at the capital in Little Rock, Ark., December 8, 1864, Robert J. T. White was elected chairman and E. D. Ayres secretary. Mr. Butler, of Phillips County, offered certain resolutions.

An address was made by Mr. Butler.

Mr. Jennings moved that the resolutions be referred to a committee of three, to be appointed by the chairman. The chair appointed Messrs. Fryrear, Crossen, and Butler such committee, to which Messrs. Baxter, White, and Jennings were added by motion. After a short time the committee reported the resolutions amended so as to read as follows: Whereas we learn that Major-General Steele has been called from the command of the Department of Arkansas: Therefore,

Resolved, first, That while we are willing to admit that the Government has need of his eminent military qualifications in other fields of usefulness, we yet cannot but deplore the necessity which just at the present juncture takes from our State services so invaluable and of which it stands so much in need.

Resolved, second, That in Major-General Steele we recognize a true friend, an earnest patriot, an amiable gentleman, and wherever he may be called he well carry with him our best wishes and our highest esteem.