In the late 1830s the United States government established an arsenal in Liberty and the citizens’ minds rested easier. Before then they had lived in fear of Indian raids. Now, the militia which guarded the arsenal kept the Indians away. But then came the Civil War and the secessionists. The lines had been quickly drawn in Missouri as the Civil War began to break out across the nation. Governor Clairborne Jackson was a secessionist. Frank Blair and General Nathaniel Lyon led the movement of those wanting to stay in the union. Blair and Lyon managed to seize the arsenal at St. Louis, short-circuiting plans by the Jackson government to take it. At the Liberty arsenal, however, there were still some 1500 stands of arms and four small cannons.