|Nathaniel Lyon, courtesy of www.nps.gov|
Here is an article from the Covington Journal of May 18, 1861
Our government, at a single bound, has passed from the limits of a Constitutional Democracy into a Military Despotism.
The executive at Washington has no warrant in law or precedent for calling for volunteers to serve three years, and no shadow of authority to increase the regular force of the Army and Navy.
The St. Louis affair is another example of flagrant usurpation. The cowardly act of firing on a crowd of men, women and children carries with it its own condemnation. It is the assault of the Federal troops on the State troops that demands consideration. The "authority of training the militia" is by the Constitution of the United States expressly reserved to the States respectively. In another article of the Constitution it is declared that a "well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of a people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." - Missouri is a state in the Union. Her troops were in camp under a State law, in strict accordance with the Constitution of the United States, for training. It is not pretended that they had committed any unauthorized act. In this condition they were surrounded by a federal force, numbering six or seven times their number, forced to surrender, and their arms taken from them. It will be seen that in this movement of the Federal authorities the Constitution of the United States has been flagrantly violated in two essential particulars.
We do not see that the most despotic government of Europe could adopt measures more arbitrary in character, or more destructive of the fundamental rights of the people.
Here is a report of the St. Louis affair mentioned above.