Friday, June 10, 2011

June 11, 1861 (Tuesday): Lyons Builds An Army

Saint Louis Arsenal, Lyons Headquarters

                                    WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 11, 1861
General Lyon:
   You are authorized to enlist in the service of the United States such loyal citizens of the State of Missouri as you think proper, who shall not receive pay except when called into active service this Department.  Five thousand additional stand of arms have been ordered to be forwarded to you for distribution among them.  The disbursing officers in Missouri are instructed to discriminate in the purchases against persons disaffected to the Government.
                                                                                    SIMON CAMERON,
                                                                                    Secretary of War

Missouri remains divided, with Lyon accumulating volunteers from the German community in Saint Louis and many rural areas being neutral or pro-Southern.  It is important to remember the armies of 1861 were often little better than armed mobs.  Lyon had numbers and initiative, but he did not have a professional fighting force.

Official Records, Series I, Vol. III, Page 384.

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