Saturday, June 11, 2011

2nd Wheeling Convention opens; Lyon: "This means war"

    (Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon)Image via Wikipedia
    BG N. Lyon
  • Claiborne Fox JacksonImage via Wikipedia
    Gov. C.F. Jackson
    In a face-to-face meeting at St. Louis, Missouri’s Planter's House hotel Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, commanding the US Department of Missouri with Colonel Francis Blair, Jr., of the US First Missouri Infantry, and Missouri Governor Claiborne F. Jackson with  Confederate Brig. Gen. Sterling Price fail to reach a new agreement on the future of Missouri to replace the Price-Harney Truce. US Brig. Gen. William S. Harney had been recently removed from command by Lyon and Blair’s efforts for Harney’s agreement with Price for Federal authority to remain over St. Louis while giving control of the rest of the state to the pro-secession Missouri State Guard under Governor Jackson. Lyon is angry over what he feels is local intervention in orders to Federal troops. After over four-five hours of argument (much of it over the broad executive powers claimed by Jackson in the Military Bill) the arrogant Lyon abruptly ends the meeting as he started it, declaring deliberately, slowly, and with emphasis as he was still seated, “Rather, rather than concede to the State of Missouri the right to demand that my government shall not enlist troops within her limits, or bring troops into this State whenever it pleases or move troops at its own will into, out of, or through the State; rather than concede to the State of Missouri for one single instant the right to dictate to my government, in any matter however unimportant, I would (rising, as he said this, and pointing to everyone in the room) “I would see you, and you, and you and you, and you, and every man, woman, and child, in the State, dead and buried. This means war. In an hour one of my officers will call on you and conduct you out of my lines.” And then without another word, without an inclination of the head, without even a look, he turned on his heel and strode out of the room, rattling his spurs and clanking his sabre." Governor Jackson goes back to the capital at Jefferson City and prepares to evacuate the state government./1861
  • West Virginia Independence Hall, site of the W...Image via Wikipedia
    Site of Wheeling Convention
    Pro-Unionist Virginians convene the Second Wheeling Convention at Wheeling, western Virginia, just across the river from Ohio, to consider seceding from the Old Dominion State, or in their words, to restore the government of Virginia which had been vacated by Virginia’s secession. The meeting has been very quietly organized, and most of the delegates will later hold office in the new state of West Virginia./1861
  • US Colonel Richard Canby reports that Colonel Loring has abandoned the command of the Department of New Mexico./1861

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