October 14, 1861: Cameron visits Missouri

John C. Fremont
John C. Fremont

The “Pathfinder”, Fremont, had overstepped his authority by attempting to free the slaves of secessionists in Missouri. Lincoln, after forcing him to rescind his proclamation, sent Secretary of War Simon Cameron to St. Louis, apparently to administer a bit more of a spanking. Fremont’s tenure was coming to an end.

From the New York Times:


The Tribune publishes the following very important order issued by the Secretary of War before he left St. Louis, and after he had visited Gen. FREMONT at Tipton:

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 14, 1861.

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to communicate the following as his instructions for your government:

“In view of the heavy sums due, especially in the Quartermaster’s Department in this city, amounting to some $4,500,000, it is important that the money which may now be in the hands of the disbursing officers, or be received by them, be applied to the current expenses of your army in Missouri, and these debts to remain unpaid until they can be properly examined and sent to Washington for settlement; the disbursing officers of the army to disburse the funds, and not transfer them to irresponsible agents — in other words, those who do not hold commissions from the President, and are not under bonds. All contracts necessary to be made, to be made by the disbursing officers. The Senior Quartermaster here has been verbally instructed by the Secretary as above.

It is deemed unnecessary to erect field-works around this city, and you will direct their discontinuance; also those, if any, in course of construction at Jefferson City. In this connection, it is seen that a number of commissions have been given by you. No payments will be made to such officers, except to those whose appointments have been approved by the President. This, of course, does not apply to the officers with volunteer troops. Col. ANDREWS has been verbally so instructed by the Secretary; also, not to make transfers of funds, except for the purpose of paving the troops.

The erection of barracks near your quarters in this city to be at once discontinued.

The Secretary has been informed that the troops of Gen. LANE’S command are committing depredations on our friends in Western Missouri. Your attention is directed to this, in the expectation that you will apply the corrective.

Major ALLEN desires the services of Capt. TURNLEY for a short time, and the Secretary hopes you may find it proper to accede thereto.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.
Maj.-Gen. J.C. FREMONT, Commanding Department of the West, Tipton, Mo.”

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