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of all the troops at St. Louis. On Tuesday, the 14th of May, he sent Captain Cole, of the Fifth Missouri Volunteers, with one hundred and fifty men, to Potosi, who surrounded the town before daylight, and arrested about one hundred and fifty persons. They were marched to the court-house, and fifty of them required to give parole not to take up arms against the Government. Nine of the leaders were taken to the St. Louis arsenal. On his return to St. Louis, Captain Cole led his troop through De Soto, Jefferson county, where a body of secession cavalry was collected, who fled at his approach. Thirty of their horses were captured by Captain Cole, and a large secession flag seized, which they had just raised on a pole in the town, and the stars and stripes elevated in its place.
On the 21st of May, General Harney was induced by Price to enter into an arrangement which was professedly designed to "allay excitement," and "restore peace;" and for this common object, the "general officers of the Federal and State Governments were to be respected." Price was recognized as "having by commission full authority over the militia of the State," to direct the whole power of the State officers, and to maintain order. General Harney admitted that this, faithfully performed, was all he required; and that he had no wish to make any "military movements" on his part. This was all that Price desired. Having by these'plausible pretences tied the hands of General Harney, knowing that he would regard his obligations, the secession leaders continued their plots, and took measures for ponsummating the rebellion in the State. Loyal men in Missouri, as well as in other States, soon perceived the situation of affairs. The General Government became cognizant of the embarrassment in which General Harney was placed, and to release him from his engagements with General Price, as well as to secure the most efficient action at this stage of the rebellion, relieved him and appointed General Lyon to the command. Under his administration, vigorous, all-observant, prompt, and decisive, General Price found himself under a pressure very different from what he had anticipated.
The most important strategic point in the West at this time was the city of Cairo, situated at the extreme southern point of the State of Illinois, at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, where the latter river separates it from Missouri, and the former from Kentucky. It completely commands both streams, and in a military point of view may be properly considered as the key to what is usually denominated "the Great North-west."
The Illinois Central railroad connects it with Chicago, the greatest grain city of the world—with Lake Michigan, and the chain of lakes, and with the vast net work of railroads that branch from thence eastward. On the Missouri bank of the Mississippi river, two miles distant, is Ohio city, the initial point of the Cairo and Fulton railroad, designed to be extended to the Red river, in Arkansas, and thence to Galveston, in Texas. Twenty miles below, on the Kentucky side of the same giant river, is Columbus, which was soon after occupied and fortified by the rebel troops.
As soon as General Lyon was vested with supreme command in Missouri, one of his first steps was to order a body of Federal troops to take possession of Cairo, under General Prentiss, who immediately proceeded thither, with 6,000 men, and commenced fortifying the place.
On the 28th of May, Bird's Point, on the Missouri side of the river, a commanding position, was also occupied, by direction of General Lyon, by the Fourth Missouri Volunteers, under the command of Colonel Schuttner.
On the 11 th of June, Governor Jackson, at his own instance, accompanied by General Price, had an interview with General Lyon and Colonel Blair at St. Louis, when he requested that the United States troops should be withdrawn from the soil of Missouri. General Lyon, as well as Colonel Blair, were equally blind to the advantages of this movement, and could not be made to see how the Government or the State of Missouri could be benefitted by a surrender of the field to the secessionists. Jackson and Price, finding their negotiations altogether vain, and under a previous arrangement that they were not to be arrested or interfered with before the 12th, returned to Jefferson City on the same night, and prepared for an immediate hostile demonstration. General Lyon, convinced that the only effective treatment demanded by the occasion consisted in an instant arrest of the conspirators, if possible, started up the river, and occupied Jefferson City on the 15 th, the place having been abandoned by the rebels. On the 16th, he started in pursuit of Price and Jackson, and on the 17th landed about four miles below Booner
ville, where their forces were collected, and had resohed to make a stand.
BATTLE OP BOONEVILLE.
JlTJK 17, 1861.
The enemy were exceedingly well posted, having had every advantage in the selection of their position. They occupied the summit of the ground, which rises upward from the river in a long slope, and were prepared to give the loyal troops a warm reception. General Lyon opened a heavy cannonade against the rebels, who retreated and dispersed into the adjacent wood, where, hidden by bushes ami trees, th'ey opened a brisk fire on his troops.
Arriving at the brow of the ascent, Captain Totten renewed the engagement by throwing a few nine-pounder explosives into their ranks, while the infantry filed oblique right and left and commenced a terrible volley of musketry, which was, for a short time, well replied to. The enemy were posted in a lane running towards the river from the road along which the army of the United States were advancing, and in a brick house on the north-east corner of the junction of the two roads. A couple of bombs were, thrown through the east wall of that house, scattering the rebels in all directions. The well-directed fire of the German infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Schaefi'er, on the right, and General Lyon's company of regulars and part of Colonel Blair's regiment on the left of the road; soon compelled the enemy to seek a safer position. They clambered over the fence into a field of wheat, and again formed in line just on the brow of the hill. They then advanced some twenty steps to meet the Federal troops, and for a short time the artillery was worked with great rapidity and effect. Just at this time the enemy opened fire from a grove on the left of Lyon's centre, and from a shed beyond and still further to the left.
General Lyon halted, faced his troops about, and bringing his artillery to bear, opened fire on the rebels, and after a short engagement, killed thirty-five and took thirty prisoners, while the remainder fled in all directions, leaving many of their guns on the field. This accomplished, the General moved forward and took possession of the town. Neither General Price nor Governor Jackson were on the field of battle, though the latter wits a spectator, and took an early opportunity to withdraw.
On the 17th of June, Colonel Boernstein was appointed Military Governor at Jefferson City, including Cole and the adjoining counties, the Governor and officers of the State having fled. Colonel Boernstein, on being questioned as to how long he should remain, replied, "I don't know, perhaps a year; so long as the Governor chooses to stay away.