The Civil War in Missouri

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Proclamation by Brigadier General William S. Harney

1861
MHM Archives

Brigadier General William S. Harney, the overall Union commander in Missouri, was criticized by his superiors for being too conciliatory to secessionists. Shortly after issuing this proclamation, Harney met with the Missouri State Guard’s commander, General Price, to agree that Price would use the power of the state forces to maintain order and calm the inflamed public, and Harney would halt Union forces from moving into the state and disrupting the machinations of the pro-secessionists. Harney’s acquiescence resulted in him being stripped of his command and replaced with the hard-liner Unionist Nathaniel Lyon, who had been promoted to general.