War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0113 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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Saint Louis, Mo., May 18, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication addressed to me under date of the 11th instant by Brigadier General D. M. Frost, Missouri Volunteer Militia, in relation to the capture of his command at Camp Jackson near this city, May 10, 1861, by the U. S. troops under the command of Captain N. Lyon, Second Infantry.

I respectfully request the instructions of the Government respecting the transaction to which General Frost invites attention, and I recommend that the private property captured, munitions of war excepted, be restored.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.



General WILLIAM S. HARNEY, U. S. Army,

Commanding Department of the West.

SIR: In accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri which have been existing for some years and in obedience to the orders of the governor, on Monday last* I entered into an encampment with the militia force of Saint Louis County for the purpose of instructing the same in accordance with the laws of the United States and of this State. Every officer and soldier in my command had taken with uplifted hand the following oath, to wit:

You, each and every one of you, do solemnly swear that you will honestly and faithfully serve the State of Missouri against all her enemies, and that you will do your utmost to sustain the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State against all violence of whatsoever kind or description; and you do further swear that you will well and truly execute and obey the legal orders of all officers properly placed over you whilst on duty, so help you God.

Whilst in the peaceable performance of the duties devolved upon me and my command under these laws, my encampment was yesterday surrounded by an overwhelming force of armed men, acting under the command of Captain N. Lyon, Second Infantry, U. S. Army, and called upon by him through a written command accompanying this. To which communication I replied in the following terms, to wit:

CAMP JACKSON, MO., May 10, 1861.

Captain N. LYON, Commanding U. S. Troops.

SIR: I never for a moment having conceived the idea that so illegal and unconstitutional a demand as I have just received from you would be made by an officer of the U. S. Army I am wholly unprepared to defend my command from this unwarranted attack, and shall therefore be forced to comply with your demand.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Camp Jackson, Missouri Vol. Militia.

My command was in accordance with the above deprived of their arms and surrendered into the hands of Captain Lyon. After which, whilst thus disarmed and surrounded, a fire was opened upon a portion


*Monday, May 6, 1861.