September 16, 1863, From The Missouri Democrat
In the State of Missouri an army, consisting not of a few companies, but of many thousands of men, enough in the absence of the United States forces to conquer and hold the State, is being organized by our State authorities. According to the best evidence we can get of the programme intended to be pursued, this force will not be less than 20,000 or 25,000 men. Although, in some nominal sense, subject to United States authority, so completely is it under State control that not an officer will it have who is not selected and appointed by the Governor of Missouri. Not long ago the commander of this department desired to select a gentleman of superior qualifications to fill the office of provost-marshal-general of the State, and, although he claims to command this force, he was unable to appoint him to the position, because the Governor of Missouri refused to commission him to a place in the State army. So completely is this great aggregation of soldiers subject to the control of our State officials, in consequence of the power being lodged in them alone to officer it, that the Governor might place every regiment and company of it in the hands of enemies to the Federal Government. Not only do the State authorities furnish all the commanders of this army, but they have given it their own distinctive name. The present government of Missouri is called the Provisional Government, and these troops are called the Provisional Army. Everything would seem to be done in its organization to give it a local cast, and to exclude from it as far as possible all idea of nationality.
If the movement of Governor Seymour, in raising an army for the State of New York, is worthy of the General Government's attention, how much more should the organization of eighteen or twenty provisional regiments in Missouri, to be officered exclusively by appointees of Governor Gamble's relations, deserve its consideration? The elements in Missouri are certainly no more loyal and orderly than in New York, and Governor Gamble is not a whit more reliable in his attachment to the Union than Governor Seymour, if as much so. Governor Seymour has always been a semi States' rights man, which has always meant a semi-traitor, while Governor Gamble was at the commencement of the rebellion a "conditional Union" man, and made his first appearance in our present troubles at a meeting of secessionists in this city, where he was the principal speaker, at which a resolution was adopted that, if the Federal Government did not yield to the leaders of the South their demands upon the subject of slavery, Missouri "should share the common duties and the common dangers of the South."
The whole doctrine of "States' rights," as professed and practiced by Democrats and pro-slavery men, is dangerous and disloyal. It should not be countenanced. No State has any business in raising armies of its own. No troops are too good nor too poor to serve the United States. The idea of nationality should ever be foremost in the soldier's mind. No other allegiance should be held superior. No greater folly can be permitted in times like these than for the General Government to permit States, particularly States having as many disloyal elements in them as Missouri, to be marshaling armies into the service which look to the State governments for all the offices, all the honors, and the chief source of power.
If the authorities at Washington are wise, they will watch not only such a movement as has been started in New York City under Seymour's auspices, but they will look to Missouri, where the same thing is being attempted on a much larger scale. They will find, in doing so, many things which well deserve their attention.
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