Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/158

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Southern Historical Society Papers

senals, to be scattered over Texas, consisted mainly of the Second cavalry, which had been in Texas since 1856—very shortly after its organization. If the author had taken the trouble to look at Mr. Buchanan's message to Congress, of January 8th, 1861, he would have found in reference to the capture of the forts and arsenals in some of the Southern States this statement: "This property has long been left without garrisons and troops for its protection, because no person doubted its security under the flag of the country in any State of the Union. Besides, our small army has scarcely been sufficient to guard our remote frontier against Indian incursions." The truth of these statements of Mr. Buchanan were of easy verification, if the author had taken the trouble to make the proper inquiries before making such grave charges as he has recorded in a work in which he claims to have observed "the strictest impartiality."

He has also recorded as historical facts the absurd statements of unscrupulous partizans, made for the purpose of inflaming the passions of the Northern populace, that the arsenals had been plundered of all the arms belonging to the Government by Governor Floyd, and that said arms had been sent South. He says "he has examined with equal care the documents that have emanated from both parties." If this be true, then it follows, in reference to this subject of the removal of arms, that he has given very little attention to what has emanated from either party. He has entirely overlooked two reports made by Mr. Benjamin Stanton, of Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, to the House of Representatives, one on the 9th of January, 1861, and the other on the 16th of February, 1861, disproving of the charges that were made in regard to the sending of arms South for the purpose of aiding the Secessionists. The majority of the House of Representatives was then Republican, with a Republican Speaker, and Mr. Stanton and a majority of his committee were Republicans, and of course with no bias to induce them to misstate the facts to screen Governor Floyd.

From those reports, and the evidence accompanying them, it appears that the United States had on hand in its arsenals at the North—mostly at Springfield—499,554 muskets of the old percussion and flint-lock patterns, and under orders given by Governor Floyd in December, 1859—several months before Mr. Lincoln was nominated, and when the Democratic party was confident of carrying the next presidential election—105,000 of these muskets were