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 Research US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. II, Vol. 1, Ch. 5.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

{p.823}

SERIES II, VOL I.
PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.
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CONFEDERATE POLICY OF REPRESSION IN EAST TENNESSEE.

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SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL EVENTS.

May25, 1861.–Publication of Hon. William G. Brownlow’s editorial, in the Knoxville Whig, “Murder will out,” upon which his subsequent arrest was based.
July9, 1861.–Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, C. S. Army, telegraphs to the Richmond authorities that “no time is to be lost in East Tennessee.”
Aug.3, 1861.–Governor Isham G. Harris, of Tennessee, proposes to visit Richmond to confer with the authorities upon the threatening aspect of affairs in East Tennessee.
4, 1861.–Arrest of Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson on his way to the Union lines.
13, 1861.–President Davis orders Nelson’s discharge.
Sept.30, 1861.–Rev. William Blount Carter lays before Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, a scheme to burn the railway bridges in East Tennessee.
Oct.22, 1861.–After a visit to Washington, William Blount Carter enters East Tennessee to organize parties to destroy the railway bridges.
Nov.5, 1861.–Burning of the railway bridges and uprising of the mountaineers.
11-20,1861.–Energetic efforts of Governor Harris and the Richmond Government to suppress the insurrection.
Nov.-Dec.,1861.–Failure of Federal efforts to succor the East Tennessee Unionists.
Nov.16, 1861.–William Blount Carter escapes to the Union lines and reports to Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, the success of his enterprise.
20, 1861.–Col. William B. Wood, C. S. Army, announces to Hon. Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, the suppression of the East Tennessee rebellion.
25, 1861.–The Secretary of War orders the captured bridge-burners to be tried by drum-head court-martial, and hanged if found guilty.
27, 1861.–Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, U. S. Army, earnestly urges upon Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, U. S. Army, an advance into East Tennessee.
29, 1861.–Judge Humphreys issues a writ of habeas corpus in the cases of certain bridge-burners. Writ not obeyed by the military.
Nov.-Dec.,1861.–Hanging of the bridge-burners.
Dec.6, 1861.–Hon. William G. Brownlow arrested at Knoxville on a civil warrant for treason.
17-27, 1861.–Trial, condemnation and pardon of Harrison Self, a bridge-burner.
27, 1861.–Nolle prosequi entered in Brownlow’s case, and he is discharged from civil into military custody. {p.824}
Jan.2, 1862.–Hon. William G. Brownlow states his case to President Davis, and asks leave to withdraw from the Confederacy.
11, 1862.–Writ of habeas corpus issues in case of Daniel Smith and six other bridge-burners.
Mar.5, 1862.–By direction of Secretary Benjamin, Hon. William G. Brownlow is escorted to the Union lines.
Apr.21, 1862.–The families of Messrs. Brownlow, Johnson, Maynard and other Union men ordered to leave the Confederacy.

CONTENTS.

Unionist Insurrection in East Tennessee, and Burning of the Railway Bridges. The Outbreak Suppressed, and Leading Incendiaries Executed.823
Union Designs in East Tennessee.-Failure to Arm and Support the Insurrectionists.889
Arrest of Dr. William G. Brownlow for Treason, and his Subsequent Expulsion from the Confederate States.902

Unionist Insurrection in East Tennessee, and Burning of the Railway Bridges. The Outbreak Suppressed, and Leading Incendiaries Executed.

[For much other correspondence, etc., not included herein, concerning military movements for the suppression of the East Tennessee uprising in November, 1861, against the Confederate authorities, and the execution of the bridge-burners, see Series I, Volume IV, p. 230 et seq., and Volume VII, same series, p. 439 et seq.]

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The arrest of Hon. Thomas A. R. Nelson.

RICHMOND, July 6, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, C. S. A.

SIR: I regard the peril of civil war in East Tennessee as imminent. Things are growing worse daily. An express arrived at Knoxville on the 1st day of July from Cumberland Gap bringing intelligence that one Doctor Scriven who left Knoxville some weeks ago arrived at Barboursville, thirty-three miles from Cumberland Gap, in charge of a considerable lot of arms for the Union men of East Tennessee. Mr. Brownlow in his paper says civil war is inevitable and that the Union men have 10,000 men under drill and armed with rifles and shot-guns. Mr. Thomas A. R. Nelson made a speech I am informed by a gentleman now here on Monday last at the circuit court in Carter County in which he incited the crowd to resist the action of the State and promised assistance to the Union men of the Lincoln Government.

...

First. A small, inadequate force is as bad or worse than none because while it irritates it invites aggression.

Second. The question as to whether the presence of a force will irritate and incite to rebellion ceases to be a practical question because the irritation grows worse without it and independent of it.

Third. The presence of six regiments properly distributed will quiet the passions of the rebellious and secure the peace in spite of Thomas A. R. Nelson, William G. Brownlow, Connally F. Trigg and William B. Carter who are the leaders of the Union men. ...

Fourth. I am looking every moment also to hear that the bridges have been burned and the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad torn up. Nothing can save it but a sufficient guard. The Confederate States have no marshal in East, Middle or West Tennessee to assist in keeping the peace. Ought they not to be appointed?

...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

LANDON C. HAYNES.

{p.825}

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ABINGDON, VA., August 6, 1861.

President DAVIS:

We have just received the following telegram:

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville.

EDITORS OF VIRGINIAN, or BEVERLY R. JOHNSTON:

I deem it prudent to advise you against the East Tennessee friends of Thomas A. R. Nelson who is on his way from Cumberland Gap [to] Abingdon under a guard of sixty men. They might attempt his release. They ought to reach Abingdon to-morrow evening. I have consented that John Baxter should visit him.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

What shall we do in our entirely defenseless condition? Should he not be sent on without delay to Richmond?

COALE & BARR, Editors of Virginian.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, August 6, 1861.

Adjt. Gen. S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.

SIR: Thomas A. R. Nelson with an escort of three men supposed to be on his way to take his seat in the Federal Congress at Washington was arrested about midnight night before last in Lee County, Va., by a company of home guards of that county. He was brought to a camp under my command at Cumberland Gap and was from there sent under a guard of sixty men to Abingdon, Va. These facts are to-day communicated to me by Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of Cumberland Gap. The knowledge of the event has apparently produced much excitement among Nelson’s adherents here giving rise to menacing language.

I have information from various sources apparently reliable that different bodies of men in the counties of Southeastern Kentucky estimated to amount in the aggregate to several thousand are under military organization and are threatening to force a passage through the mountains into East Tennessee. The Federalists here I am now well advised are awaiting such a movement. My impression is that a large number of Union men are opposed to it but there are very many Lincoln men here who will be restrained from co-operating only by considerations of policy or apprehensions of the consequences. A very large amount of arms and ammunition has been placed by the Lincoln Government in Kentucky. Anderson (of Sumter memory) is by the Federalists here believed to be the leading military man. A Kentuckian named Nelson,* late a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy, by some said to be Anderson’s aide by others said to be a newly appointed general having his headquarters at Cincinnati is the most prominent man in getting up the threatened invasion of East Tennessee.

...

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

* Brig. Gen. William Nelson, U. S. Army.

{p.826}

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RICHMOND, VA., August 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFF. DAVIS, President-of the Confederate States.

SIR: I have been arrested and as I learned since my arrival in this city upon the charge of treason, but whether against the State of Tennessee or the Confederate States I am unadvised. I am conscious of no act either against the State or the Confederacy that will support or sustain such an accusation.

I am sincerely anxious to preserve the peace and quiet of East Tennessee the section of the State in which I reside as best promotive of the peace and interest of the entire State.

I ask that I may be discharged from a vexatious prosecution that I may return home peacefully to follow my private interests and pursuits assuring your excellency that I will not either directly or indirectly by counsel, advice or action encourage, aid or assist the United States Government to invade or attain success in the present struggle with the Confederate States; nor will I counsel or advise others to thwart or cripple the Confederate States in the pending contest with the United States nor will I do so by my own acts.

In view of the increased majority in the election which has just taken place in Tennessee I shall feel it my duty as a citizen of that State to submit to her late action, and shall religiously abstain from any further words or acts of condemnation whatever or opposition to her government.

The parties arrested with me with the exception of my son who acted by my command were mere guides and conductors through the mountain passes on my way to my place of destination, and whatever view may be taken of my own course they are innocent, in no way responsible legally or morally and have committed no offense against the laws of the Confederacy or the State of Tennessee; and I ask that they also be discharged from custody by your excellency.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. A. R. NELSON.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 13, 1861.

THOMAS A. R. NELSON, Esq.

SIR: I have received your letter of the 12th instant in which you ask to be discharged from arrest and prosecution and make promise that you will “as a citizen of Tennessee submit to her late action and religiously abstain from any further words or acts of condemnation whatever or opposition to her government.” The desire of this Government being to maintain the independence it has asserted by the united feeling and action of all its citizens it has been its policy not to enter into questions of differences of political opinion hereafter existing.

I am therefore pleased to be spared the necessity of inquiring whether the accusation against you be well founded or not, vexatious or not, and to rest content with your submission as a loyal citizen of your State in her recent action in adhering to this Confederacy and adopting its permanent constitution by an increased majority. I have ordered your discharge and that of your companions from custody.

I am, &c.,

JEFF’N DAVIS.

{p.827}

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RICHMOND, VA., August 13, 1861.

Mr. J. G. M. RAMSEY, Knoxville, Tenn.:

Yours received.* Nelson has acknowledged his obligations as a citizen of Tennessee to submit to her late decision and upon his promise to act hereafter in accordance therewith I have ordered his release.

JEFF’N DAVIS.

* Not found.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., August 26, 1861.

Hon. A. T. BLEDSOE, Bureau of War, Richmond, Va.

DEAR SIR: ... I have with others labored hard and with some success to allay the spirit of disaffection in this region and to produce a calm which some deprecate that will probably be succeeded by an active enlistment on our side. I stopped at Jonesborough one day to confer with Col. T. A. R. Nelson and through him to learn what the Unionists design, and the result of a long interview has strongly impressed me with the belief that he will not only abstain from doing anything hostile to the Confederacy but that in due time (i.e. as soon as his standing with his party will permit) he will come out openly for the Southern cause and he has given me aid already in getting up volunteers. At my instance Union leaders now here from different counties are to-night engaged in preparing an address, adopting Nelson’s card (a copy* of which I sent to the Adjutant-General yesterday) and advising their friends in Kentucky and elsewhere to return to their homes and submit to “the powers that be.” I purpose publishing a handbill containing a short appeal to my friends and relatives with Nelson’s card; this indorsement of it by his friends and General Zollicoffer’s general order holding out the olive branch. This may lead to such mutual confidence that both sides may deem their rifles useless here and agree to carry them together under my lead against a common foe.

Please to ask the Secretary to telegraph me how many mounted men I may raise.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

A. M. LEA, Brigade Commissary.

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NASHVILLE, July 9, 1861.

President DAVIS:

No time is to be lost in East Tennessee. I examined the case thoroughly. There are 2,000 men of various arms now there. I think at least 10,000 ought to be there and at once. Governor Brown, of Georgia, has 2,500 well armed and equipped at Marietta ready to move. Floyd I hear has 2,000. The rest might be sent from Corinth. I would strongly recommend making a department of East Tennessee and parts of North Carolina and Georgia and the appointment of General F. K. Zollicoffer, of the Tennessee army, to its command as a brigadier of the Provisional Army. Governor Harris concurs in this earnestly.

L. POLK.

{p.828}

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RICHMOND, July 9, 1861.

Governor ISHAM G. HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.:

The President directs me to request that you will order two Tennessee regiments either to Jonesborough or Haynesville in East Tennessee as soon as possible.

L. P. WALKER.

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MEESVILLE, BRADLEY COUNTY, TENN., July 11, 1861.

President DAVIS.

SIR: ... The startling state of the public mind in this county lying as it does upon the Georgia boundary impels me to again importune your early attention in some effective manner to this section of the South. It is fortunate that we are not now left to conjecture the purposes of the Union men in East Tennessee who are in arms, or the probable number of them in this county. On Sunday, July 7, an alarm was given that a troop of secessionists had entered the county to disarm the Union men. By some means unknown to our friends here in twelve hours near 1,000 Union men were in arms at different rendezvous and disclosed a most complete organization, secret hitherto in its character and numbers. The alarm proving to proceed from a mere jest the party immediately dissolved only to hold themselves in readiness at like short notice to rally again with their rifles and shotguns and with such ammunition as they have.

I must assure you that from the Georgia line to Cumberland Gap a like feeling to that here developed exists and not the slightest obstacle could be interposed by the Southern men so overwhelmed are they by numbers to the movement of Lincoln’s troops should they enter our territory in the direction of Georgia; neither can we unaided strike a single blow with any effect to suppress an outbreak which may any day occur here.

If it be true as we understand that a large majority of the people of Eastern Kentucky are like to our East Tennessee people then may an army move from the Ohio River to the Georgia line (north) without the slightest impediment from our present defenses.

Can you not take action to avert disaster now so threatening not only to the true men in East Tennessee but so demoralizing to the great movement of the South? No moral influence of any kind whatever will do it; physical power when exhibited in force sufficient may and I believe will prevent it.

WILLIAM G. SWAN, Knoxville, Tenn.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, July 18, 1861.

His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS, Nashville, Tenn.

SIR: I would respectfully ask your attention to the accompanying extract from a letter written by Mr. Yerger, of Corinth, Miss., dated July 9, and communicated to the President by Mr. W. P. Harris, of Jackson, Miss., and subsequently referred to this Department.

...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

{p.829}

[Inclosure.]

Being delayed in my passage through East Tennessee I found a much more hostile and embittered feeling among that people toward the Con-federate Government than I supposed to exist. I found the emissaries of the Lincoln Government active and constantly engaged in exciting hatred and animosity toward our Government. I believe the people only await the occasion to rise in revolt against the Confederate Government. Numerous instances of active organization came to my knowledge. I do not think there is an adequate Confederate force in that region to maintain us securely. ... The conviction that more is necessary to protect us from the outbreak of the disaffected in East Tennessee than is generally supposed induces me to call your attention to these facts. I think at least 2,500 or 3,000 troops should be properly stationed at these points in this district of country to keep our way open. The twelve-months’ men of Mississippi now at this point could be much better employed there than here, and if it should become necessary to disarm those people of the weapons they have could effectually and successfully accomplish it if under the command of some discreet commander. If this point is kept quiet by the presence of an imposing military force there will be no other part of East Tennessee that will be able to give any considerable trouble.

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NASHVILLE, July 18, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER:

General Anderson left this evening for Haynesville, East Tennessee, where he awaits your orders. He will have with him two regiments of infantry, one ranger company, all well armed. One other regiment is at Knoxville ordered from Middle Tennessee.

By command:

W. C. WHITTHORNE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, July 31, 1861.

Brig. Gen. F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Commanding, &c., Bristol, Tenn.

SIR: I am instructed by the President to make you the following communication:

The great importance of the East Tennessee and Western Virginia road requires that it should be closely guarded wherever there is reason to apprehend its destruction. The movements of the enemy or the sending of arms into East Tennessee should be so closely watched by an adequate force as to render success impracticable. You will know so well the state of things in East Tennessee that nothing more can be said in that regard than to point to you the importance of preventing organization for resistance to the Government and of attracting by every possible means the people to support the Government, both State and Confederate. It may occur that civil process in case of treason may be resisted in which event you will endeavor to be in position to give all needful support to the civil authorities. The President relies on you to give more accurate and exact information in relation to public {p.830} affairs in East Tennessee than it has heretofore been possible to obtain and you are invited to the fullest correspondence in all matters relating to your command.

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

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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RICHMOND, August 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. F. K. ZOLLICOFFER:

Retain at Bristol under your orders such of the Tennessee regiments now there or that may arrive there until further advised. You are assigned to the command of the District of East Tennessee.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, August 3, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER.

SIR: ... That there will be an effort on the part of the Federal Government to arm the Union men of Tennessee I have no doubt. For this purpose companies and regiments of Union men are being organized in Kentucky and every day our relations with the people of Kentucky are becoming more complicated and threatening, especially that part of Kentucky adjoining East Tennessee. ... I fear we will have to adopt a decided and energetic policy with the people of that section. I hope, however, to visit Richmond in a few days, and confer with you upon this and other questions of interest to the State and General Government.

Very respectfully,

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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KNOXVILLE, August 10, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER:

News received that John Baxter is arrested at Lynchburg. This is unfortunate. He is a Unionist but has my permission to go to Nelson and counsel with him as a lawyer and friend. He gave me assurance of conciliatory influence there, and here his arrest embarrasses my plans of conciliation.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Nashville, August 16, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, War Department, Richmond.

SIR: I am satisfied from the movements of the Union men of East Tennessee that more troops should be stationed in that division of the State. If you would establish camps of instruction at different points {p.831} in East Tennessee and order to them such troops as you may have in camps in States south of us to the extent of 5,000 or 7,000 men the presence of such a force would give perfect security to our railroads and prevent the organization of a rebel army, while the presence of the force we have there at present has the effect of irritating without being sufficient to awe or subdue.

Twelve or fourteen thousand men in East Tennessee would crush out rebellion there without firing a gun, while a smaller force may involve us in scenes of blood that will take long years to heal. We can temporize with the rebellious spirit of that people no longer. If you can order a sufficient number of troops from States south of us to that point, the adoption of a decided and energetic policy (which I am resolved upon so soon as I have a sufficient force to sustain it), the arrest and indictment for treason of the ringleaders, will give perfect peace and quiet to that division of our State in the course of two months. ... If the suggestion with regard to East Tennessee is to be acted upon at all it should be done at once as every moment’s delay but increases the danger of an outbreak there.

Very respectfully,

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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ORDERS, No. 3.}

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, August 18, 1861.

The general in command gratified at the preservation of peace and the rapidly increasing evidences of confidence and good-will among the people of East Tennessee strictly enjoins upon those under his command the most scrupulous regard for the personal and property rights of all the inhabitants. No act or word will be tolerated calculated to alarm or irritate those who though heretofore advocating the National Union now acquiesce in the decision of the State and submit to the authority of the Government of the Confederate States. Such of the people as have fled from their homes under an apprehension of danger will be encouraged to return with an assurance of entire security to all who wish to pursue their respective avocations peacefully at home. The Confederate Government seeks not to enter into questions of difference of political opinions heretofore existing but to maintain the independence it has asserted by the united feeling and action of all its citizens. Colonels of regiments and captains of companies will be held responsible for a strict observance of this injunction within their respective commands, and each officer commanding a separate detachment or post will have this order read to his command.

By order of Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer:

POLLOK B. LEE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, August 20, 1861.

His Excellency ISHAM G. HARRIS, Governor of Tennessee.

SIR: Your letter of August 16 has just been received by the hands of Major Bradford. The importance of the present attitude of East Tennessee is not unknown to this Department and the necessity of {p.832} providing promptly the means of supporting our friends in that section is by no means disregarded. Three regiments have been accordingly already ordered into East Tennessee-two from Mississippi and one from Alabama-and it is hoped that these troops with those already within your State may suffice for the accomplishment of the objects at present necessary.

The Department fully concurs in your view of the necessity of adopting a decided policy to insure the public safety and only regrets that it is not in the power of the Government to the extent that may be necessary.

...

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., August 26, 1861.

Col. W. E. BALDWIN, Russellville, Tenn.

SIR: I have ordered you to move with your command and encamp at Fish Springs, near the Johnson County line, because of the great disaffection as reported to me among the inhabitants of that county and of Carter adjoining, and in order that any efforts at rebellion against the authorities of the State or Confederacy may be quelled at once. I have information from various sources that a number of loyal citizens from those counties apprehending danger at the hands of the Federalists among them who seem to be largely in the ascendency have fled for safety to Virginia and North Carolina. I also learned to-day that two men were killed and others wounded recently by these Lincolnites. You will try and ascertain the facts in the case and report to me. You will report to headquarters as often as convenient or as circumstances may require the condition of affairs in those counties.

I desire you as much as possible to be conciliatory toward these people, adhering strictly to the policy indicated in my proclamation and in General Orders, No. 3. You will enjoin upon your men a scrupulous observance of the rights of persons and of property and all peaceable and law-abiding citizens. You will disarm and disperse all bodies of men in open hostility to the authorities of the State and of the Confederate States; capture and hold their leaders, and if resistance is offered and it becomes necessary destroy them. The following are the names of some of the Lincoln leaders in Johnson County, viz: Lewis Venable, of Laurel Creek; Northington, hotel-keeper at Taylorsville; R. R. Butler, Taylorsville, representative of the county; John G. Johnson and J. W. Merick, captains of Lincoln companies. Joseph P. Edoms, of Elizabethton, Carter County, and A. Evans, of Washington County, are also among the ringleaders of them. If you obtain satisfactory evidence that these or other leaders are in open hostility to the authorities of the State or the Confederacy or stirring up rebellion against the same you will arrest and detain them in custody. I will forward to your aid for scouting purposes a cavalry company so soon as I can arm them if you think their services are required.

By order of Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer:

P. B. LEE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.833}

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., September 1, 1861.

Colonel BALDWIN.

SIB: I expect to start to-morrow morning Captain McClellan’s cavalry company by land to overtake and co-operate with your regiment. He knows the people and the roads well in Johnson and Carter Counties and you will employ his company in scouting, getting information or otherwise as you may deem proper. The news I am receiving indicates a mischievous purpose on the part of the Federals and their leaders in Johnson County. You will seize the leaders who commit overt acts of a hostile character and as much as possible endeavor to pursue a conciliatory course towards their misguided followers. The indications are that a crisis is upon Kentucky; that in a few days the armed Lincoln companies will be in great force there. Be strict in keeping your men in camp so as to prevent the soldiers from committing trespasses or otherwise alienating the feelings of well-disposed citizens. ...

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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SNEEDVILLE, September 9, 1861.

Brig. Gen. F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Commanding, Knoxville, Tenn.

DEAR SIR: We, the undersigned citizens of Sneedville, &c., would respectfully represent to you that we are threatened with immediate invasion from the Union party of Hancock and Hawkins and perhaps other counties in East Tennessee in connection with Union and Northern men from some of the mountain counties of Kentucky. We have the proof showing these facts from men who have heretofore belonged to and acted with the Union party of our own county. One gentleman, the sheriff of our county, revealed the following facts to a citizen of our town this morning, viz: that in a few days there would be a strong force from Kentucky escorted here through the mountains by a force of Union men from this county and Hawkins who have lately gone from here to Kentucky. There have been crowds within the past ten days from this county and Hawkins numbering from the best information 500 men who we understand are determined to bring back with them from Kentucky a sufficient force to overrun Southern men in Hancock and in this portion of East Tennessee generally, and from thence to the railroad with a view to tear it up so as to stop any transportation upon the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. We have abundant proof clear to our minds that there exists a great necessity for having force stationed here. There is no appearance of Union hostilities having abated. We do not feel that the lives of ourselves and our families are by any means safe.

...

We are, dear sir, most respectfully, yours,

F. M. TURNER ET AL.

(Forwarded to Secretary of War same date.)

{p.834}

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MEMPHIS, October 26, 1861.

ROBERT JOSSELYN, Esq.

DEAR SIR: On my return from Nashville last night I received your letter of 11th instant.* The prisoners alluded to were [H. C.] Jarvis, [John W.] Thornburgh and others who were arrested for treason and imprisoned in Nashville. They were turned out by Judge [West H.] Humphreys whilst I was in Nashville.

More than 100 persons have been arrested in East Tennessee without warrants in some cases, marched great distances and carried into court on no other charge than that they were Union men. In one case an old man named Duggan, a Methodist preacher, was arrested, carried fifty miles on foot (he a large, fleshy man), refused the privilege of riding his own horse, and all they had against him was that in February last he prayed for the Union. If that is a good charge about two-thirds of the people of the State are liable in the same way as at that time they voted 62,000 majority for the Union.

I have spent much time this summer and fall in trying to conciliate the people of East Tennessee. I thought I had succeeded. Just as the people were quieting down, getting reconciled, raising volunteers, &c., they commenced these arrests which have gone far to poison the minds of the people against the Government, and if tolerated and persisted in the people of that end of the State at a critical moment will rise up enemies instead of friends.

You ask me who makes these arrests. As far as I can learn they are instigated by a few malicious, troublesome men in and about Knoxville. I always hear the names of W. G. Swan, William M. Churchwell, John H. Crozier, [John] Crozier Ramsey and the postmaster at Knoxville mixed up with these matters. It is said these men have private griefs and malice to gratify and they aim to bring down the avenging arm of the Government to satiate their passions. Crozier Ramsey is the attorney-general. It is said he in most cases causes the arrests and makes the affidavit. Just think of this-an attorney degrading himself by turning an affidavit man.

You may inquire what is the remedy? I answer turn out Ramsey; put some man in Middle or West Tennessee in his place who has dignity and character; turn out the postmaster at Knoxville. If the President will then make it known to all officials that he discountenances all frivolous arrests things will quiet down. If, however, he refuses to do this, retains Ramsey, then we may look for great trouble in that end of the State. If the President will write Landon C. Haynes, Senator-elect, and any other respectable man in East Tennessee he will be at no loss what course to pursue.

I address this to you to be certain the President will get it and receive attention.

Very respectfully,

ROBERTSON TOPP.

[Indorsement.]

Referred to the Secretary of War, that such inquiry may be made and action taken as will prevent as far as we may such proceedings as are herein described.

J. D[AVIS].

* Not found.

{p.835}

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, October 28, 1861.

Brig. Gen. F. K. ZOLLICOFFER.

GENERAL: ... The news of your falling back to Cumberland Ford has had the effect of developing a feeling that has only been kept under by the presence of troops. It was plainly visible that the Union men were so elated that they could scarcely repress an open expression of their joy. This afternoon it assumed an open character and some eight or ten of the bullies and leaders made an attack on some of my men near the Lamar House and seriously wounded several. Gentlemen who witnessed the whole affair say that my men gave no offense and were not at all to blame. The affair became pretty general and couriers were sent to me at my camp of its existence. I immediately marched Captain White’s cavalry and 100 of my men into the town to arrest the assailants but they made their escape. The Southerners here are considerably alarmed believing that there is a preconcerted movement amongst the Union men if by any means the enemy should get into Tennessee. J. Swan told me to-night that he heard one say this evening as Captain White’s cavalry rode through town that “they could do so now but in less than ten days the Union forces would be here and run them off.” I cannot well tell you the many evidences of disaffection which are manifested every day and the increased boldness that it is assuming. I deem it, however, of sufficient importance to be on the alert and as there are no other forces here now but a part of my regiment and Captains Gillespie’s and White’s cavalry I think I had better keep my men there until others arrive.

THURSDAY MORNING, 29TH.

The town is quiet this morning. The men who committed the assault on my men yesterday have left town I am informed. The cannon and ammunition start this morning with orders to push on as rapidly as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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KNOXVILLE, October 29, 1861.

[Gov. ISHAM G. HARRIS.]

DEAR GOVERNOR: I don’t like to meddle in things that are in keeping of men so much more vigilant and wiser than I am but I am constrained by the circumstances around me to believe that Zollicoffer and the railroads of East Tennessee are in a dangerous condition at present.

I am well aware that the views of the “original panel” in East Tennessee is not much heeded abroad but I am well satisfied that there is to-day a larger Lincoln force well armed in East Tennessee than Zollicoffer has of Southern men under his command; that this force is in such a state of organization that they can and will be concentrated in Zollicoffer’s rear whenever they are advised of a sufficient force in his front. These people are in full correspondence with the former in Kentucky and know as well and better what is going on in the Lincoln {p.836} camp than we do what is going on in our own. ... There is no giving way in the hostile feeling in East Tennessee. This you may rely on and time will convince you.

Truly, your friend,

C. WALLACE, [President East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad.]

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CAMP BUCKNER, October 30, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR: ... If they attempt an invasion of East Tennessee it is rather probable they will move by way of the passes near Jacksborough or Jamestown. While our scouts are observing this road they might be advancing by one of the other roads. I have therefore taken steps to have four cavalry companies employed in scouting from Jacksborough to Williamsburg.

...

Watch the movements of the Lincoln men in East Tennessee. Restrain our ultra friends from acts of indiscretion. Promptly meet and put down any attempted open hostility. But I have observed heretofore that a few of our friends about. Knoxville are unnecessarily nervous; give their expressions of apprehension only their due weight.

...

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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CORINTH, November 4, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS.

DEAR SIR: By request of Mr. Samuel Tate I write to you this morning. He is just from East Tennessee and says he considers the command of General Zollicoffer in great danger; more from the rear than the front. Feelings of decided hostility are again being exhibited by the citizens, and in his opinion there is danger of aid being given to Lincoln by the people of East Tennessee at an unexpected moment and seizure of the railroad. He requests me to suggest to you the necessity of rendezvousing several regiments immediately. I give you this information at his pressing instance. Election Wednesday. Result doubtful.

I have the pleasure to be, your obedient servant,

REUBEN DAVIS.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., November 4, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: I have to-day written to General Cooper in reference to the state of affairs in East Tennessee and the necessity of re-enforcements being sent immediately; but as there is a misapprehension in reference to the feeling of the late Union party existing abroad I have requested Mr. Archer, of Richmond, now on a visit here to call on you and give you fuller information than I can write. In addition to what I have {p.837} written to General Cooper I will say that there can be no doubt of the fact that large parties numbering from 20 to 100 are every day passing through the narrow and unfrequented gaps of the mountain into Kentucky to join the enemy. My courier just in from Jamestown informs me that a few nights ago 170 men passed from Roane County over into Kentucky. I do not believe that the Unionists are in the least reconciled to the Government but on the contrary are as hostile to it as the people of Ohio and will be ready to take up arms as soon as they believe the Lincoln forces are near enough to sustain them. I do not believe that the Southern men here are alarmed or nervous. They are as brave and fearless as any I ever saw but they do live in constant apprehension that a general uprising and rebellion may take place at any day.

I submit the matter to the determination of the Department assuring you that I will do all that lean with 200 infantry and one company of cavalry to prevent any disturbance.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

–––

KNOXVILLE, TENN., November 4, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

SIR: ... This information has been received by the Union men in East Tennessee and they are openly preparing for rebellion. Men are arriving here daily from the adjoining counties bringing information that the Unionists are talking exultingly of the approach of the Lincoln army and their intention to join it. The state of the country here is evidently worse at this time than at any previous period. ...

It is a great mistake to suppose that the people of East Tennessee are submissive or willing to acquiesce. They have only been held quiet by the force which was at Knoxville and now that it is gone they are evidently preparing for a general uprising if the Lincoln army should make any advance into Tennessee. I need at least a regiment at this place to give protection to the stores of the Government and preserve quiet.

...

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., November 8, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS.

DEAR SIR: Many friends here have urged me to address your excellency this note. ... It is I fear a grand mistake to suppose the Union party in East Tennessee has lost its hostility to the Confederacy. At the election day before yesterday with perfect unanimity that party refused to cast a vote for men who had been its late leaders because they were running for seats in the Confederate Congress; and if a force shall be thrown into East Tennessee or on the line which now seems probable and which General Zollicoffer is unable to defeat the flames of rebellion will flash throughout East Tennessee; the railroad {p.838} will be destroyed, the bridges burned and other calamities not necessary to mention will follow. I regard the state of affairs from all the information I possess as perilous.

...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

LANDON C. HAYNES.

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KNOXVILLE, November 9, 1861. (Via Bristol 10th.)

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Two large bridges on my road were burned last night about 12 o’clock; also one bridge on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad at the same time and an effort made to burn the largest bridge on my road. There is great excitement along the whole line of road and evidence that the Union party are organizing and preparing to destroy or take possession of the whole line from Bristol to Chattanooga, and unless the Government is very prompt in giving us the necessary military aid I much fear the result The only hope for protection must be from the Government. Unless the Government gives us the necessary aid and protection at once transportation over my road of army supplies will be an utter impossibility; it cannot be done. We have arrested four of the individuals engaged in burning one bridge and know who burned another, but for want of the necessary military force fear we cannot arrest them.

JOHN R. BRANNER, President East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

–––

BOWLING GREEN, KY., November 9, 1861.

Governor HARRIS, Nashville:

From our information the destruction of the railways and telegraphs near Chattanooga, Cleveland and Dalton cannot be the work of the enemy’s troops but of the disaffected in North Alabama and East Tennessee. I beg your excellency to use every exertion to ascertain the extent, power and organization of this insurrection if as I fear one exists, and most urgently I press your excellency to leave no means untried to put arms into the hands of your unarmed levies.

A. S. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Jacksborough, November 9, 1861. (Via Knoxville 10th.)

S. COOPER:

Colonel Wood of Knoxville writes that last night Hiwassee bridge and two other railroad bridges near Chattanooga were burned. Attempt on Strawberry Plains bridge failed. No cars from east. Feared that the Union bridge is destroyed. I send a regiment to Knoxville. Carroll’s brigade ordered to report to me not heard from.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier. General.

{p.839}

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BRISTOL, November 9, 1861.

Hon. JOHN LETCHER.

DEAR SIR: Upon the oath of J. H. Rudd, conductor of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Company, and news received from A. M. Millard, the representative of Sullivan County, Tenn., by note whose handwriting was testified to by George Pile and Jos. R. Anderson I do hereby inform you that the bridge across the Holston was burned last night by about fifty Union men and that a Union force is now assembling near Watauga bridge reported to number about 500 for the purpose of attacking Captain McClellan’s troops now stationed at the bridge and burning the bridge, and ask aid as we are unable to form any idea of the result of this; and furthermore state that all communication between this place and Nashville by railroad and telegraph is cut off and ask that you appeal to President Davis to call out the militia of East Tennessee to suppress rebellion.

WM. F. MOORE, Justice of the Peace, Washington County, Va.

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CLEVELAND, TENN., November 11, 1861.

JEFF. DAVIS, President:

Several bridges burned on East Tennessee road. The country in great excitement and terror. The Twenty-third Regiment (Colonel Hutcherson’s) Georgia Volunteers leaving Camp McDonald to-day for Richmond. Can you order them temporarily to Knoxville, Tenn.? You could dispatch to Marietta and Augusta, Ga.

J. W. LEWIS, Superintendent East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

–––

BRISTOL, November 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have just returned from the burned bridge. We have at the next bridge ten miles beyond about 250 men under Captain McClellan. They have two cannon which they found on the cars and which were given to them by General Charles Clark who stopped until this morning with them. The camp of the enemy is at N. G. Taylor’s, five miles distant, with about 400 men. Another camp at Elizabethtown two miles further is said to contain 500 men. The two may be confounded. There is no doubt but that re-enforcements are every moment reaching them from Watauga County, N. C., and Johnson, Carter and Washington counties, Tenn. These counties can furnish about 2,000 Lincolnites and each fresh occasion emboldens them. They threaten to burn Watauga bridge to-night. Should they be successful it will bring forward hundreds now quiet. It is all important they should be disposed of before they unite their different forces now ranging from 50 to 500 A fight occurred last night between twenty-two of our scouts and the main camp of the enemy. We captured 2, killed 9 and lost none. I have given orders for all trains to give way to the troop trains now coming forward. They will reach here to-morrow morning. Can I do anything for you?

RO. L. OWEN, President Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

{p.840}

–––

KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER:

Three bridges burned between Bristol and Chattanooga, two on Georgia road. Five hundred Union men now threatening Strawberry Plains; fifteen hundred assembling in Hamilton County; and a general uprising in all the counties. I have about 1,000 men under my command.

W. B. WOOD, Colonel.

–––

KNOXVILLE, November 11, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

SIR: My fears expressed to you by letters and dispatches of 4th and 5th instant have been realized by the destruction of no less than five railroad bridges-two on the East Tennessee and Virginia road, one on the East Tennessee and Georgia road and two on the Western and Atlantic road. The indications were apparent to me but I was powerless to avert it. The whole country is now in a state of rebellion. A thousand men are within six miles of Strawberry Plains bridge and an attack is contemplated to-morrow. I have sent Colonel Powel there with 200 infantry, one company cavalry and about 100 citizens armed with shotguns and country rifles. Five hundred Unionists left Hamilton County to-day we suppose to attack Loudon bridge. I have Major Campbell there with 200 infantry and one company cavalry. I have about the same force at this point and a cavalry company at Watauga bridge. An attack was made on Watauga yesterday. Our men succeeded in beating them off, but they are gathering in larger force and may renew it in a day or two. They are not yet fully organized and have no subsistence to enable them to hold out long. A few regiments and vigorous means would have a powerful effect in putting it down. A mild or conciliating policy will do no good; they must be punished; and some of the leaders ought to be punished to the extent of the law. Nothing short of this will give quiet to the country.

General Zollicoffer at great inconvenience to himself has sent me Colonel Powel’s regiment numbering about 600 effective men which I have disposed of as above stated. I have arrested six of the men who were engaged in burning the Lick Creek bridge and I desire to have instructions from you as to the proper disposition of them. The slow course of civil law in punishing such incendiaries it seems to me will not have the salutary effect which is desirable. I learn from two gentlemen just arrived that another camp is being formed about ten miles from here in Sevier County and already 300 are in camp. They are being re-enforced-from Blount, Roane, Johnson, Greene, Carter and other counties. I need not say that great alarm is felt by the few Southern men. They are finding places of safety for their families and would gladly enlist if we had arms to furnish them. I have had all the arms in this city seized and authorized Major Campbell to impress all he can find in the hands of Union men who ought now to be regarded as avowed enemies for the use of the new companies. I felt it to be my duty to place this city under martial law as there was a large majority of the people sympathizing with the enemy and communicating {p.841} with them by the unfrequented mountain paths, and to prevent surprise and the destruction of the commissary and quartermaster’s stores.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 216.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 11, 1861.

1. Col. Danville Leadbetter, Provisional Army, is hereby assigned to the command of the troops to be stationed for the protection of the railroads between Bristol and Chattanooga, Tenn. He will reconstruct bridges, repair and keep open the line of communication between those points and will call upon railroad companies for such aid as he may require to carry out this order.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NASHVILLE, November 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

The burning of railroad bridges in East Tennessee shows a deep-seated spirit of rebellion in that section. Union men are organizing. This rebellion must be crushed out instantly, the leaders arrested and summarily punished. I shall send immediately about 10,000 men to that section; cannot arm larger force at present. If you can possibly send from Western Virginia a number of Tennessee regiments to East Tennessee we can at once repair the bridges and crush out the rebellion. I hope to be able very soon to collect a large number of sporting guns in the State to arm our volunteers and will co-operate with the Government to the fullest extent of my ability in all respects. If a part only of the Tennessee troops in Western Virginia shall be sent I would prefer Anderson’s brigade.

ISHAM G. HARRIS.

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JONESBOROUGH, TENN., November 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.

SIR: Civil war has broken out at length in East Tennessee. In the late election scarcely a so-called Union man voted. Neither Mr. Nelson nor any of the released men who had been sworn to be faithful to the Southern Confederacy voted upon the occasion and there appeared a simultaneous assault upon our line of railroads from Virginia to the Georgia line. In this county (Washington) the secession strength is about equal to the Union force but our force is much weakened by five volunteer companies now in the service, in Carter and Johnson Counties, northeast of this, the Union strength is not only as formidable but it is as violent as that of any of the Northwestern Virginia counties. Had they the power not a secessionist would live in this region. The {p.842} hostile element in those counties and also in Greene is so strong that I give it as my firm conviction that it will neither abate nor be conciliated. They look confidently for the re-establishment of the Federal authority in the South with as much confidence as the Jews look for the coming of the Messiah and I feel quite sure when I assert it that no event or circumstance can change or modify their hopes. In this state of affairs this part and indeed all of East Tennessee will be subjected during the war to apprehensions of internal revolt more or less remote as the tide of war turns in this direction. The recent bridge-burning in this section was occasioned by the hope that the Federal troops would be here in a few days from Kentucky to second their efforts. We will crush out the rebellion here in a week or ten days but to prevent its recurrence should be a matter of anxious consideration. Upon this subject I have the honor of making the following suggestions to your excellency:

The expatriation requiring alien enemies to dispose of their effects and leave with their families should be enforced. Should they not do so voluntarily on proof being submitted that they were in arms or hostile to the Government they should be forced to leave on due notice with their families. A man with his family with him in the North will do us no great harm. He will not enlist there for he will have to support his family.

By removing the hostile element from our counties we have peace and the Southern men can then enter the army because they know that their families are safe at home. By leaving this hostile element here we will never have peace but be subject to constant alarm, these men rising up at every turn of events to harass us. I submit this suggestion to your excellency’s careful attention. There are now camped in and about Elizabethton in Carter County some 1,200 or 1,500 men armed with a motley assortment of guns in open defiance of the Confederate States of America and who are awaiting a movement of the Federal troops from Kentucky to march forward and take possession of the railroad. These men are gathered up from three or five counties in this region and comprise the hostile Union element of this section and never will be appeased, conciliated or quieted in a Southern Confederacy. I make this assertion positively and you may take it for what it is worth. We can and will in a few days disperse them but when will they break out again? I am satisfied the only hope for our quiet and repose and our co-operation without hindrance in the present revolution is the expatriation voluntarily or by force of this hostile element.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. G. GRAHAM.

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JACKSBOROUGH, November 12, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Knoxville.

SIR: ... I rejoice that you have caught six of the bridge-burners. I am yet unadvised what precise bridges are actually destroyed or whether my intended telegraphic dispatches are really transmitted over the wires. Have you any news from Colonel Carroll’s regiment or any other re-enforcement? I will to-morrow send dispatches to the forces near Jamestown, the cavalry near Huntsville, that near Oliver’s and start out the cavalry here to commence simultaneously disarming the Union inhabitants. You will please simultaneously send orders to all detachments under your command to {p.843} inaugurate the same movement at the same time in their various localities. Their leaders should be seized and held as prisoners. The leniency shown them has been unavailing. They have acted with base duplicity and should no longer be trusted.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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RICHMOND, November 13, 1861.

JOHN R. BRANNER, President Railroad Company, Jonesborough, Tenn.:

Troops are now moving to East Tennessee to crush the traitors. You shall be amply protected.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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JONESBOROUGH, TENN., November 13, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

The Lincolnites are forming an encampment at Elizabethton. Now have from 1,000 to 1,300 men and more coming within six miles of our railroad at Watauga bridge. They also have from 600 to 1,000 men near Strawberry Plains bridge, the most important and expensive bridge on our road, and still collecting in greater numbers and threatening to take and burn the bridge and take possession of the road. If these two bridges are burned our road stops. The demonstrations are such in East Tennessee that a much larger force is necessary. They are cutting the telegraph wires as fast as we put them up.

JNO. R. B. RANKER, president East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Jacksborough, November 14, 1861. (Via Knoxville-15th.)

General COOPER, Adjutant-General:

...

I have ordered all posts and detachments to disarm Union men and seize leaders. Have made dispositions to cut off and crush tories of Rhea, Hamilton and Sevier. Blockade, here nearly complete. One regiment marches for Wartburg to-day.

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Chattanooga, Tenn., November 17, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond.

SIR: In obedience to orders two regiments moved to this point. Affairs are not so bad as reported. Suppose that Col. S. A. M. Wood {p.844} has reported to the War Department a full account of his expedition against Clift and the breaking up of his camp. Five prisoners taken with arms. To-night I send a reconnoitering force to North Chickamauga Creek where the citizens are mostly disloyal and a good many in open rebellion. As soon as sufficient information can be obtained a larger force will be sent to capture Clift and his troops. So soon as they return I will move to join General Zollicoffer at Jacksborough.

... I inclose you a copy of oath and bond I have taken from Union prisoners taken before my arrival.

Very respectfully,

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

[Inclosure.]

We, ___ ___ and ___ ___, acknowledge ourselves indebted to the Confederate States of America jointly and severally in the sum of $10,000, but to be void if ___ ___ shall faithfully and honestly support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America and if he shall faithfully and honestly render true allegiance to said Confederate States in all things; and if he shall not directly or indirectly by writing, talking or otherwise seditiously or rebelliously attempt to excite prejudice in the mind of any person or persons against the existence, perpetuity or prosperity of said Confederate States; and if he shall not in any manner directly or indirectly aid, assist, encourage or advise the United States or any officer, agent or adherent thereof in the present war against the Confederate States.

Witness our hands and seals this ___ November, 1861.

___ ___ ___ ___

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and honestly support the Constitution and laws of the Confederate States of America and I will faithfully and honestly render true allegiance to said Confederate States in all things and in every particular; and I further swear that I will not directly or indirectly by talking, writing or otherwise seditiously or rebelliously attempt to excite prejudice in the mind of any person or persons against the existence, perpetuity or prosperity of said Confederate States; nor will I in any manner directly or indirectly aid, assist, encourage or advise the United States or any officer, agent or adherent thereof in the present war against the Confederate States.

___ ___

–––

JOHNSON STATION, November 19, 1861. (Via Jonesborough.)

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Yesterday we dispersed the insurgents, 300 strong, at Doe River. Took thirty prisoners in the neighborhood; none very prominent. What shall be done with them? Are those not known as criminals to be released on their oath of allegiance? Those known to have been insurgents I recommend be sent to Richmond and kept there. Please telegraph to Jonesborough, Tenn.

D. LEADBETTER.

{p.845}

–––

RICHMOND, November 19, 1861.

Col. D. LEADBETTER, Jonesborough, Tenn.:

Send all the prisoners known to be criminals or to have borne arms against the Government to Nashville to be tried for high treason.

Discharge the others on their taking oath of allegiance. I have ordered a regiment from North Carolina to report to you at Jonesborough.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 20, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: The rebellion in East Tennessee has been put down in some of the counties and will be effectually suppressed in less than two weeks in all the counties. Their camps in Sevier and Hamilton Counties have been broken up and a large number of them made prisoners. Some are confined in jail at this place and others sent to Nashville.

In a former communication I inquired of the Department what I should do with them. It is a mere farce to arrest them and turn them over to the courts. Instead of having the effect to intimidate it really gives encouragement and emboldens them in their traitorous conduct. We have now in custody some of their leaders-Judge [David T.] Patterson, the son-in-law of Andrew Johnson; Colonel [Samuel] Pickens, the senator in the legislature from Sevier and other counties, and several members of the legislature, besides others of influence and some distinction in their counties. These men have encouraged this rebellion but have so managed as not to be found in arms. Nevertheless all their actions and words have been unfriendly to the Government of the Confederate States. The influence of their wealth, position and connections has been exerted in favor of the Lincoln Government and they are the parties most to blame for the troubles in East Tennessee. They really deserve the gallows and if consistent with the laws ought speedily to receive their deserts; but there is such a gentle spirit of conciliation in the South and especially here that I have no idea that one of them will receive such a sentence at the hands of any jury impanelled to try them.

I have been here at this station for three months, half the time in command of the post, and I have had a good opportunity of learning the feeling pervading this country. It is hostile to the Confederate Government. They will take the oath of allegiance with no intention to observe it. They are the followers and slaves of Johnson and Maynard and never intend to be otherwise. When arrested they suddenly become very submissive and declare they are for peace and not supporters of the Lincoln Government but yet they claim to be Union men. At one time whilst our forces were at Knoxville they gave it out that great changes were taking place in East Tennessee and the people were becoming reconciled and loyal. At the withdrawal of the army from here to the Gap and the first intimation that the Lincoln army was like to penetrate the State they were in arms, and scarcely a man with only a few honorable exceptions but what was ready to join them and make war upon us.

The prisoners we have tell us that they had every assurance that the army was already in the State and would join them in a very few days; that the property of Southern men was to be confiscated and divided amongst those who would take up arms for Lincoln.

{p.846}

I have to request at least that the prisoners I have taken be held if not as traitors as prisoners of war. To release them is ruinous; to convict them before a court at this time next to an impossibility; but if they are kept in prison for six months it will have a good effect. The bridge-burners and spies ought to be tried at once and I respectfully request that instructions be forwarded at as early a day as practicable as it needs prompt action to dispose of these cases.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. WOOD, Colonel, Commanding Post.

–––

OKOLONA, TENN., November 20, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, &c., Richmond, Va.

SIR: ... In my judgment there is not a Union man in Carter County who was not involved to some extent in the rebellion. Many of them were drawn into it by wicked leaders and some have heartily repented but many others will seek the first favorable opportunity to repeat the experiment. Under these circumstances what can be done to hold them in check in the future? If a Northern army invades the State at any future day a majority of our population will undoubtedly tear up the railroad, burn the bridges and destroy the lives and property of Southern men.

...

If the military commander at this point could have a discretionary power which would enable him to inquire into the character of the rebels and give certain ones the option to join the Confederate service during the war or be sent on for trial for treason I have no doubt the ends of justice would be attained and much annoyance to the Government avoided. This perhaps would be rather a high-handed movement, but the disease is a desperate one and requires severe and energetic treatment. Every Union man in the county either took up arms or was fully advised of the intention of his party to do so, so they are all principals or accessories before the fact. If they are all prosecuted every citizen of East Tennessee must be arraigned before the court or brought up as witnesses. Nearly every rebel in my county could be convicted if all the Southern-rights citizens were brought up as witnesses; but this perhaps would look too much like political prosecutions.

Martial law ought to be enforced in every county in East Tennessee to hold these bad men in proper restraint but our President is very averse to such a policy. But be assured if the Northern despotism succeeds in throwing a strong military force in here we shall have much worse than martial law. Even now our most quiet and law-abiding citizens have been shot down in cold blood from behind coverts by the tories and the proof can be made that Unionists have been tampering with the slaves.

The mass of the Union party religiously believed that a Northern army of at least 100,000 men was in East Tennessee before they began this rebellious demonstration. The Southern men have all been disarmed and the tories have apparently disbanded in most of the counties but really gone home to await the approach of an invading army. {p.847} If we are invaded every Southern man will be taken a prisoner or else murdered in the night time. Our very existence depends on Mr. Lincoln’s ability to invade the state.

...

Asking your pardon for my boldness and the hasty manner of writing this letter, I am, very respectfully, &c.,

MADISON T. PEOPLES.

–––

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Wartburg, One Mile from Montgomery, November 20, 1861.

Lieutenant-Colonel MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General, Bowling Green, Ky.

SIR: ... I sent a few men up to Greeneville to arrest Andrew Johnson’s sons and son-in-law. Have no late news from Carter and Johnson Counties. By this time I presume General Carroll is at Knoxville in command and instructed to make proper dispositions to guard the railroads and crush the tory combinations.

The recent burning of the bridges brought a crisis which I think demonstrates that but comparatively a small proportion of the population will now give countenance to hostile acts against the Confederate Government and that those who are still hostile are only running upon their own destruction. They should now be dealt very severely with. Leniency and forbearance have gradually won many thousands over who would have been driven to the enemy had our policy been severe two months ago hut those that are yet hostile can only be cured of their folly by severity. They should be made to feel in their persons and their property that their hostile attitude promises to them nothing but destruction.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

–––

CHATTANOOGA, November 21, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

General Carroll has gone on to Zollicoffer. Colonel Cook’s regiment, partly armed, and the Seventh Alabama Regiment are here. I have assumed command. Tories now quiet but not convinced. Executions needed.

S. A. M. WOOD, Colonel Seventh Alabama Regiment Volunteers.

–––

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Jamestown, Tenn., November 22, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond.

SIR: ... I have no dispatches from Knoxville since I left there but hear through various scouting parties that the tories in lower East Tennessee are dispersed, a number of prisoners taken, a few Lincolnites killed and wounded and several hundred guns captured. Citizens {p.848} have turned out in large numbers and assisted the soldiers in scouring the mountains and hunting down the fugitive traitors. They should now be pursued to extermination if possible.

Very respectfully,

F. K. ZOLLICOFFER, Brigadier-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 25, 1861.

Col. W. B. WOOD, Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR: Your report of the 20th instant is received and I proceed to give you the desired instructions in relation to the prisoners taken by you amongst the traitors in East Tennessee:

First. All such as can be identified as having been engaged in bridge-burning are to be tried summarily by drum-head court-martial and if found guilty executed on the spot by hanging. It would be well to leave their bodies hanging in the vicinity of the burned bridges.

Second. All such as have not been so engaged are to be treated as prisoners of war and sent with an armed guard to Tuscaloosa, Ala., there to be kept imprisoned at the depot selected by the Government for prisoners of war. Wherever you can discover that arms are concealed by these traitors you will send out detachments, search for and seize the arms. In no case is one of the men known to have been up in arms against the Government to be released on any pledge or oath of allegiance. The time for such measures is past. They are all to be held as prisoners of war and held in jail till the end of the war. Such as come in voluntarily, take the oath of allegiance and surrender their arms are alone to be treated with leniency.

Your vigilant execution of these orders is earnestly urged by the Government.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

P. S.-Judge [David T.] Patterson, Col. [Samuel] Pickens and other ringleaders of the same class must be sent at once to Tuscaloosa to jail as prisoners of war.

J. P. B.

[NOTE.-The same letter with a slight verbal alteration of the opening paragraph and the omission of the postscript was sent at the same time to Brig. Gen. F. K. Zollicoffer, Jacksborough, Tenn.; Brig. Gen. W. H. Carroll, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Colonel Leadbetter, Jonesborough, Tenn.]

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., November 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

The military authorities in command at this post have determined to try the bridge-burners and other men charged with treason by a court-martial. What shall I do? Answer.

J. C. RAMSEY, C. S. District Attorney for the District of Tennessee,

{p.849}

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RICHMOND, November 25, 1861.

J. C. RAMSEY, District Attorney, Knoxville:

I am very glad to hear of the action of the military authorities and hope to hear they have hung every bridge-burner at the end of the burned bridge.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of WAR.

–––

[No date.]

Capt. DAVID MCCLELLAN, Elizabethton, Tenn.

DEAR SIR: On the first page I hand you copy of an order from the War Department* and call your especial attention to it. You will send all prisoners under the first and second clause, except such as surrender voluntarily themselves and arms, to me to be sent to headquarters at Greeneville with the necessary witnesses to establish the charges against them. Those who voluntarily surrender themselves and their arms and have had no complicity with bridge-burning nor have been in arms you will please follow the order from the War Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. J. WHITE, Captain.

* Instructions of Benjamin to Wood and others, p 84.8.

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HEADQUARTERS, Greeneville, East Tenn., November 28, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General Richmond.

SIR: ... I think that we have effected something-have done some good; but whenever a foreign force enters this country be it soon or late three-fourths of this people will rise in arms to join them. At present they seem indisposed to fight and the great difficulty is to reach them. Scattering in the mountain paths they can scarcely be caught; and as their arms are hidden when not in use it is almost impossible to disarm them. Cavalry though a bad force for fighting them in case they would fight is yet the only force which can reach them. It is adequate too to disperse and capture them in their present state of morale. I am confident that a mounted regiment with two very light guns would do more to quiet this tier of counties than five times the number on foot. ... Twenty-two prisoners have been sent to Nashville from Carter County and we have now in confinement some five or six known to have been in arms and who will be sent to Tuscaloosa under the order of the War Department dated the 25th instant.

...

Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Provisional Army, C. S., Commanding.

{p.850}

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond.

SIR: I am just in receipt of yours of 25th. Your instructions shall be strictly obeyed. I have not heretofore released any against whom there was proof that they had been engaged in any rebellious movements. It was only those who were arrested upon mere suspicion that I permitted to take the oath of allegiance. I telegraphed you to-day that Judge Humphreys had issued writs of habeas corpus in the cases of several prisoners who are beyond doubt guilty of burning the railroad bridges predicated as I understand upon the affidavits of Baxter and other lawyers. Your instructions are fully understood and I shall not allow any interference in their execution.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

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KNOXVILLE, November 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

General W. H. Carroll, commanding this post, has ordered a general court-martial for the trial by the military authorities of persons charged with burning the bridges in East Tennessee and of the tories who have been recently captured with arms in their hands against the Government. The question as to the jurisdiction of courts-martial in such cases has been raised in the court and it is insisted that the civil authorities have some jurisdiction of the persons in such offenses. Please instruct what course to pursue. A court martial will be much more effective in ferreting out the offenders. Please answer at as early a moment as possible as it is very desirable to put these matters through rapidly. Writs of habeas corpus have been and will be issued.

R. F. LOONEY, Colonel and President of Court.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.}

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 29, 1861.

The Government of the Confederate States has not nor will it interfere with individuals on account of their political opinions. The President of the Confederate States issued a proclamation stating that all those who did not fully recognize their allegiance to the Government should dispose of or remove from its limits with their effects before October, 1861. Those persons who remained tacitly recognized the Government and are amenable to the laws.

The commanding general at this post will endeavor to fully carry out the policy of the Government. While he will afford ample protection to all citizens who peaceably pursue their ordinary occupations he will order the arrest of all who may take up arms against the Government or who in any manner may aid or abet its enemies or incite rebellion in order that they may be tried by military law.

By order of Brig. Gen. W. H. Carroll, commanding post:

G. H. MONSARRAT, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.851}

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RICHMOND, November 30, 1861.

Col. R. F. LOONEY, Knoxville:

Courts of justice have no power to take prisoners of war out of the hands of the military nor to interfere with the disposal of such prisoners by the military. An answer to a writ of habeas corpus that the prisoner was captured in arms against the Government and is held as a prisoner of war is a good and complete answer to the writ. Send this dispatch to General Carroll and let him send at once all the prisoners to jail at Tuscaloosa as prisoners of war except those found guilty of bridge-burning and murdering the guards placed at the bridges. Let not one of these treacherous murderers escape.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, Greeneville, November 30, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Two insurgents have to-day been tried for bridge-burning, found guilty and hanged.

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel.

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PROCLAMATION.

HEADQUARTERS, Greeneville, East Tenn., November 30, 1861.

To THE CITIZENS OF EAST TENNESSEE:

So long as the question of Union or disunion was debatable so long you did well to debate it and vote on it. You had a clear right to vote for the Union but when secession was established by the voice of the people you did ill to distract the country by angry words and insurrectionary tumult. In doing this you commit the highest crime known to the laws.

Out of the Southern Confederacy no people possess such elements of prosperity and happiness as those of East Tennessee. The Southern market which you have hitherto enjoyed only in competition with a host of eager Northern rivals will now be shared with a few States of the Confederacy equally fortunate politically and geographically. Every product of your agriculture and workshops will now find a prompt sale at high prices and so long as cotton grows on Confederate soil so long will the money which it brings flow from the South through all your channels of trade.

At this moment you might be at war with the United States or any foreign nation and yet not suffer a tenth part of the evils which pursue you in this domestic strife. No man’s life or property is safe, no woman or child can sleep in quiet. You are deluded by selfish demagogues who take care for their own personal safety. You are citizens of Tennessee and your State [is] one of the Confederate States.

So long as you are up in arms against these States canyon look for anything but the invasion of your homes and the wasting of your substance. This condition of things must be ended. The Government commands the peace and sends troops to enforce the order. I proclaim that every man who comes in promptly and delivers up his arms will {p.852} be pardoned on taking the oath of allegiance. All men taken in arms against the Government will be transported to the military prison at Tuscaloosa and be confined there during the war.

Bridge-burners and destroyers of railroad tracks are excepted from among those pardonable. They will be tried by drum-head court-martial and be hung on the spot.

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

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KNOXVILLE, December 5, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

The following dispatch received this morning dated from Bird’s Point:

Captain Cocke just in with two bridge-burners and other prisoners. Have no news from Colonel Leadbetter. Colonel Powel reports by special messenger that he has seen no gathering. Will hold his position. Will throw my forces over the river in the morning and report.

Dispatch from Morristown says courier in from Monsarrat. Cannonading and musketry at 8 o’clock. Tories have made a stand.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

Captain Monsarrat has dispersed the tories in Cocke County and captured thirty of the ringleaders.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, Greeneville, Tenn., December 8, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

SIR: At the date of my last letter a part of the force under my command was engaged in the pursuit of a party of insurgents moving from their camp in the northern part of Greene toward Cocke County. As usual their force was dispersed and only some stragglers could be picked up. Among these prisoners were three who had been of the party that burned the Lick Creek bridge. They were Henry Fry, Jacob M. Hensie and Hugh A. Self. All confessed their own and testified to the others’ guilt, and also gave as correctly as they could remember the names of the whole party engaged in that crime. Fry and Hensie were tried by drum-head court-martial on the 30th ultimo and executed the same day by hanging. I have thought it my duty to ask of the Department that the punishment of Hugh A. Self be commuted to imprisonment. He is only sixteen years old not very intelligent and was led away on that occasion by his father and elder brother both of whom I learn have now been captured by General Carroll’s troops.

Hearing that the insurgents had gathered in force at or near the bend of Chucky River and thence to the neighborhood of Parrottsville and of Newport on the French Broad in Cocke County I moved the {p.853} Twenty-ninth North Carolina with two companies of the Third Georgia Battalion in that direction on the 3d instant. Hearing that General Carroll had troops on the line of railroad at Morristown I arranged with them by telegraph to move into the enemy’s country at the same time and from opposite directions.

That country consists of a tumultuous mass of steep hills wooded to the top with execrable roads winding through the ravines and often occupying the beds of the water-courses. A few of the insurgent scouts were seen, pursued and fired on. One was desperately wounded and left at a cabin near by.

At the farm houses along the more open valleys no men were to be seen and it is believed that nearly the whole male population of the country were lurking in the hills on account of disaffection or fear. The women in some cases were greatly alarmed throwing themselves on the ground and wailing like savages. Indeed the population is savage.

The expedition lasted four days, and in the course of it we met Colonel Powel’s command deep in the mountains and our guns were responded to at no great distance by a force under Captain Monsarrat.

These people cannot be caught in that manner. As likely to be more effective I have detached three companies of Colonel Vance’s regiment to Parrottsville with instructions to impress horses from Union men and be active in seizing troublesome men in all directions. They will impress provisions giving certificates therefor, with assurance that the amounts will be paid if the future loyalty of the sufferer shall justify the clemency of the Government. The whole country is given to understand that this course will be pursued until quiet shall be restored to these distracted counties, and they can rely upon it that no prisoner will be pardoned so long as any Union men shall remain in arms. Three other companies of Colonel Vance’s command are on their way to Warrensburg, on the north side of Chucky, to remain there under similar instructions.

It is believed that we are making progress toward pacification. The Union men are taking the oath in pretty large numbers and arms are beginning to be brought in. Captain McClellan, of the Tennessee cavalry, stationed by me at Elizabethton reports that Carter County is becoming very quiet and that with the aid of a company of infantry he will enter Johnson County and disarm the people there. I shall send the company without delay.

The execution of the bridge-burners is producing the happiest effect. This coupled with great kindness toward the inhabitants generally inclines them to quietude. Insurgents will continue for yet a while in the mountains but I trust that we have secured the outward obedience of the people.

Very respectfully, &c, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

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KNOXVILLE, December 10, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

The court-martial has sentenced A. C. Haun, bridge-burner, to be hung. Sentence approved. Ordered to be executed at 12 o’clock to-morrow. Requires the approval of the President. Please telegraph.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.854}

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RICHMOND, December 10, 1861.

General W. H. CARROLL, Knoxville:

Execute the sentence of your court-martial on the bridge burners. The law does not require any approval by the President, but he entirely approves my order to hang every bridge-burner you can catch and convict.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS RIFLE BRIGADE, Knoxville, December 11, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: In pursuance of your instructions by telegraph of yesterday the sentence of death pronounced by court-martial upon A. C. Haun, the bridge-burner, was executed by hanging at 12 o’clock to-day. The court-martial is still in session engaged in the trial of a number of others charged with complicity in the same crime. I am not advised of the nature or extent of the proof that can be brought against them but should it be sufficient and the court find them guilty the sentence whatever it may be will be promptly executed unless otherwise directed by you. In addition to those suspected of burning the bridges I have now in confinement about 150 more prisoners charged with taking up arms, giving aid and assistance to the enemy, inciting rebellion, &c. Those among them who have been proven guilty of the offenses alleged against them I shall send to Tuscaloosa in accordance with your instructions* by letter of November 25. I have already sent there forty-eight to be held as prisoners of war.

I have been greatly annoyed by the interference of the civil authorities with what I conceive the proper and faithful discharge of the duties incumbent upon me in my capacity of military commander of this portion of East Tennessee. Several attempts have been made to take offenders out of my hands by judicial process to be tried by the civil tribunals, which trials I am satisfied would in many instances have resulted in the release of those who are guilty and should be punished. In order to avoid these embarrassments I felt myself justified in placing the city under martial law until such time as all the prisoners charged with military offenses now in my custody can be tried by a military tribunal. If after this is done any should remain whose offenses come legitimately under the jurisdiction of the civil courts I will turn them over to the proper officers to be disposed of in that way. I have only been prompted to venture upon this stringent course by strong conviction that the public good imperatively demanded it.

The traitorous conspiracy recently so extensive and formidable in East Tennessee is I think well-nigh broken up as there is at present but little or no indication of another outbreak. I have small detachments of my force out in every direction suppressing any rebellious spirit that may be manifested and arresting those who are known to have been in arms against the Government. I am daily receiving the most encouraging evidences that the people are beginning to return to a sense of duty and patriotism as many of those who were heretofore unfriendly toward us are coming forward and giving every assurance of future fealty.

{p.855}

For a detailed account of the operations of my command since taking the field I respectfully invite your attention to my official report this day forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General.

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

* See Benjamin to Wood, p. 848.

[Inclosure.]

PROCLAMATION.

HEADQUARTERS RIFLE BRIGADE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 11, 1861.

The exigencies of the time requiring as is believed the adoption of the sternest measures of military policy the commanding general feels called upon to suspend for a time the functions of the civil tribunals.

Now therefore be it known that I, William H. Carroll, brigadier-general in the Confederate Army and commander of the post at Knoxville, do hereby proclaim martial law to exist in the city of Knoxville and the surrounding country to the distance of one mile from the corporate limits of said city.

By order of Brig. Gen. William H. Carroll:

H. C. YOUNG, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., December 13, 1861.

Major-General CRITTENDEN, Richmond, Va.

SIR: In accordance with the verbal instructions communicated to you by the President you will proceed to Kentucky and assume command of all the forces now commanded by General Zollicoffer, including Carroll’s brigade and the different posts established by General Zollicoffer at Cumberland Gap and other mountain passes. You will report directly to General A. S. Johnston by letter. Unless otherwise ordered by General Johnston your command will not include Eastern Tennessee, Colonel Leadbetter having been specially assigned by the President to the duty of maintaining the communications through that district of country and ordered to assume the command of the troops necessary for guarding the line and dispersing the insurrectionists and bridge-burners;, nor will your command include the forces under General Marshall who has been ordered to report to General Johnston unless the latter shall so direct.

If by chance you shall, however, be thrown into command in any part of East Tennessee you will understand the policy of the Government to be to show no further clemency to rebels in arms. All actually engaged in bridge-burning should be tried summarily and executed if convicted by military authority. All others captured with arms or proven to have taken up arms against the Government are to be sent to Tuscaloosa as prisoners of war. All such inhabitants as are known to have been in league with the traitors may be pardoned if they promptly deliver up their arms and take the oath of allegiance to this Government. In such event they are to be protected in their persons and property; otherwise they could be arrested wherever found and treated as prisoners of war, and especially should care be taken to allow {p.856} none of them to remain armed. These are the instructions substantially that have been given to Colonel Leadbetter under which he has been acting.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Not found.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., December 13, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: Your order to me of the 10th instant to join General Zollicoffer immediately with all my armed force reached me last night. I immediately set about making the necessary arrangements to carry the same into effect as indeed I had been doing for some days previous under instructions from General Zollicoffer himself. A portion if not all of my command would now have been on the march for General Zollicoffer’s present position but for the unsettled condition of affairs in East Tennessee together with other obstacles that I have been utterly unable to overcome though I have made every possible exertion to that effect but as yet without success.

...

The indications of an extensive outbreak in East Tennessee at that time were so alarming that I deemed it unsafe to move my command through that country wholly unarmed. I therefore made application in every direction for guns of any description to serve me until my own should be ready for use. I finally after much annoyance succeeded in getting from the arsenal at Memphis about 400 flint-lock muskets, rifles and double-barreled shotguns. With these imperfect and almost worthless as they were I advanced to Chattanooga and halted my forces for a few days for the purpose of dispersing the different bands of traitors who were gathering in that vicinity. This object being accomplished I moved on to this point. When I reached here I found a general feeling of alarm and uneasiness prevailing throughout the surrounding country. Information every day reached me from all points that recreant Tennesseeans with a few miscreants from other States were organizing themselves into predatory bands in the counties of Blount, Sevier, Cocke, Hancock, Scott, Campbell and other counties bordering on the North Carolina and Kentucky line. I immediately sent out scouting parties of cavalry together with such small detachments of infantry as I could arm to protect and assist the loyal citizens of these counties in driving these base ingrates from their midst. These various parties have succeeded in arresting many of the rebellious and disaffected and bringing them to this place for trial. Out of the number thus arrested I have sent and will send about 100 as prisoners of war to Tuscaloosa. I have for some days past been receiving information from sources entitled to much credit that a considerable force of the enemy were threatening a descent from the Kentucky border upon the counties of Campbell and Scott by way of a small pass in the mountains above Cumberland Gap.

...

I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

{p.857}

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 13, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

DEAR SIR: My letter to you of the 3d instant* was hastily and inconsiderately written and I regret the strong and intemperate language used; and inasmuch as no exceptions except in the most mild and gentlemanly terms have been taken to that letter I feel myself under the more obligations to make an apology.

I have been peculiarly situated here in East Tennessee. My fight with the Lincolnites for the last eight months has been as severe a conflict as any this war will record. I have not only held possession of the East Tennessee and Georgia road against the will of the Lincoln portion of my stockholders and for a long time guarded our bridges with troops in our own pay but I have worked the road all the time in the face of this violent and threatening opposition and never once failed to carry through both troops and munitions and provisions without delay. Moreover when the East Tennessee and Virginia completely broke down I did not hesitate to shoulder that responsibility and by superhuman efforts operated it also to what advantage to the army you are aware. Under all these circumstances worn down by excitement and labor I am sometimes thrown off my guard. When the Hessians burned my bridges Colonel Myers immediately wrote me to know what aid I needed. Not wanting to tax any one with my work I answered promptly, “None other than to send me funds due for work done for the Confederate States.” Colonel Ashe came along; I gave him the same answer and he assured me our money should be paid and on his arrival at Richmond telegraphed me to send McClung immediately for our money. I sent McCluug and was astonished to receive by telegraph from him the news that Colonel Myers not only repudiated Ashe’s contract with the roads but it would be days before he would be able to send me money. This in addition to the fact that captains, majors, colonels, &c., were ordering our trains in and out hazarding life and property and leaving me no control of either road or ferries, and then the order from Richmond to guard Brownlow, the prince of bridge-burning Lincolnites over the mountains in safety, all conspired to put out of humor much more even-tempered men than myself.

...

In two weeks I will have a better bridge than the one destroyed.

Truly, yours,

C. WALLACE.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS CARROLL’S BRIGADE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 19, 1861.

Hon. D. M. CURRIN, Richmond, Va.

DEAR SIR: ... In September Major-General Polk sent General W. H. Carroll here for the purpose of endeavoring to bring the people over to the support of the Confederate Government and to enlist one or more regiments for the Army. General Carroll succeeded beyond his expectations, raising and organizing in a very short time a full regiment-coming too mostly from those counties where in June the heaviest vote had been polled against the separation of Tennessee {p.858} from the Federal Government. ... This gratifying result I am satisfied is attributable almost entirely to the liberal and conciliatory policy of which I have spoken; but notwithstanding ... there were still left a few leading miscreants and a handful of ignorant and deluded followers who were wicked enough for the commission of any crime however detestable. By these and these alone were the bridges burned and other depredations committed while the mass of the people were entirely ignorant of their designs and utterly opposed to any such wickedness and folly. The numbers engaged in these outrages have I know been greatly over-estimated as facts have been developed in the investigations that have been made by the court-martial now in session at this place which satisfy me beyond doubt that there were not at the time the bridges were burned 500 men in all East Tennessee who knew anything of it or who contemplated any organized opposition to the Government. ... Scouting parties were sent out in every direction who arrested hundreds suspected of disloyalty and incarcerated them in prison until almost every jail in the eastern end of the State was filled with poor, ignorant and for the most part harmless men who had been guilty of no crime save that of lending a too credulous ear to the corrupt demagogues whose counsels have led them astray. Among those thus captured were a number of bridge-burners. These latter were tried and promptly executed.

... About 400 of the poor victims of designing leaders have been sent to Tuscaloosa as prisoners of war leaving in many instances their families in a helpless and destitute condition. The greatest distress prevails throughout the entire country in consequence of the various arrests that have been made, together with the facts that the horses and the other property of the parties that have been arrested have been seized by the soldiers and in many cases appropriated to personal uses or wantonly destroyed.

Old political animosities and private grudges have been revived and bad men among our friends are availing themselves of the opportunity afforded them by bringing Southern men to hunt down with the ferocity of bloodhounds all those against whom they entertain any feeling of dislike. ... The wretched condition of these unfortunate people appeals to the sympathy and commiseration of every humane man. When in Richmond a short time since I was present at an interview with the President and feel assured that he has no disposition to exercise any unnecessary severity towards these deluded dupes. Those best acquainted with affairs here are fully impressed with the belief that if the proper course were pursued all East Tennessee could be united Pi support of the Confederate Government. Strong appeals have been made from all sections to General Carroll to release those now in prison here and the return of those sent to Tuscaloosa; but under the instructions from the Secretary of War by which he is governed he does not feel at liberty to do so.

...

Col. H. R. Austin visits Richmond for the purpose of impressing these views upon the President. Col. Landon C. Haynes will follow in a few days for the same purpose.

...

Respectfully, your friend,

H. C. YOUNG.

{p.859}

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 24, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond.

SIR: ... I am now disposing the troops of my command along the railroad throughout so as to protect the important bridges and the Department is aware that the number of men is none too great for that especial service. In the northern counties-such as Scott, Morgan and Campbell-disturbances are frequent and Southern men are much exposed. Notwithstanding the favorable aspect of things generally in East Tennessee the country is held by a slight tenure and the approach of an enemy would lead to prompt insurrection of an aggravated character. It should be constantly kept in awe by the presence of a respectable force.

...

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

–––

RICHMOND, December 26, 1861.

General WITHERS, Mobile:

Have you the means of receiving and guarding in-Mobile about 100 or 150 prisoners taken among the traitors of East Tennessee? They are not considered safe in Tuscaloosa.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

–––

Trial of Harrison Self for bridge-burning.

KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: Inclosed you will find the proceedings of a general court-martial held at Knoxville, Tenn., for the trial of Harrison Self, charged with burning Lick Creek bridge, and who was found guilty and condemned to be hanged at this place this day at 4 p.m., the execution of which was suspended by an order from you.*

Very respectfully,

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

* Order not found. Self’s sentence was mitigated by President Davis, but the order cannot be found among the Confederate archives.

[Inclosure.]

Be it remembered that the following proceedings were held at a general court-martial sitting at Knoxville, Tenn., on the 17th day of December, 1861, and succeeding days; said court-martial being ordered, organized and held under and by virtue of the following orders, viz:

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 55, 1861.

A general court-martial is hereby appointed to meet at Knoxville on the 25th of November or as soon thereafter an practicable for the trial of such prisoners as may be brought before it.

{p.860}

Detail of the court: Col. R. F. Looney, Col. Moses White, Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman; Maj. D. H. Thrasher, Capt. J. A. Lea, Capt. Job Umphlett, Capt. J. D. Thomas, Capt. S. J. McReynolds, Capt. J. C. Carter, Capt. J. H. McCann, Capt. L. Guthrie, Captain McClung, Capt. R. Roddey, Maj. T. J. Campbell, judge-advocate.

By order of Brigadier-General Carroll:

G. H. MONSARRAT, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 92.

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, December 10, 1861.

The necessities of the service not permitting the absence of a greater number of officers from their respective commands the following officers are charged with the duty of remaining upon the general court-martial (commenced by Special Orders, No. 35) now in session in this city, viz: Col. Moses White, Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman, Major Lucas, Maj. D. H. Thrasher, Capt. J. R. McCann. Capt. S. J. McReynolds, Capt. J. D. Thomas, Capt. R. Roddey.

The officers thus detailed will constitute a court-martial for the trial of all persons who may be brought before them and will continue in session from day to day until further orders. Maj. T. J. Campbell will continue to act as judge-advocate.

By order of Brigadier-General Carroll:

H. C. YOUNG, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, December 11, 1861.

Of the above-named officers seven may sit upon said court-martial and their acts will be approved by the commanding officer.

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 100.

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, December 14. 1861.

Captain Cotter is detailed upon the general court-martial now in session in this city until further orders. He will report himself at the court-house in Knoxville immediately.

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 125.

HEADQUARTERS, December 16, 1861.

Captain Green is detailed upon a general court-martial now in this city. He will report to Major Campbell, judge-advocate, immediately.

By order of Brigadier-General Carroll:

H. C. YOUNG, Assistant Adjutant-General.

And said court-martial being so in session on the 17th day of December, 1861-present: Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman, Major Lucas, Major Thrasher, Captain McReynolds, Captain Thomas, Captain Cotter and Captain Green, the judge-advocate, Major Campbell, and the defendant, Harrison Self, being also present-the judge-advocate read in the presence and hearing of the defendant the various orders concerning and constituting the court and asked the defendant if he had any objection to any member of the court, to which the defendant replied that he had no objection to any member of the court. The defendant made known to the court his desire to have the presence of Messrs. Haynes and Baxter, attorneys, to conduct his defense and said gentlemen were admitted to conduct his defense. The judge-advocate administered the following oath to each member of the court-martial present as above stated:

Oath-You and each of you do swear that you will well and truly try and determine the matter now before you between the Confederate States and the prisoner to be tried and that you will duly administer justice according to the provisions of {p.861} an act establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the Confederate States without partiality, favor or affection, and if any doubt should arise not explained by said articles according to your conscience, the best of your understanding and the custom of war in like cases; and you do further swear that you will not divulge the sentence of the court-martial until it shall be published by proper authority; neither will you disclose or discover the vote or opinion of any particular member of the court-martial unless required to give evidence thereof as a witness in a court of justice in a due course of law; so help you God.

Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman then administered to Major Campbell, the judge-advocate, the following oath:

You do swear that you will not disclose or discover the vote or opinion of any particular member of the court-martial unless required to give evidence thereof as a witness by a court of justice in due course of law, nor divulge the sentence of the court to any but the proper authority until it shall be duly disclosed by the same; so help you God.

Thereupon the judge-advocate read aloud in the hearing of the defendant the charges against him. Said charges are hereto attached as a part of this record. The charges being read the judge-advocate thus addressed the defendant: “Harrison Self, you have heard the charges against you; how say you, guilty or not guilty?” Thereupon the defendant by his counsel filed the following plea the judge-advocate waiving all objection to same arising out of its want of form or that it was not duly sworn to:

The defendant, Harrison Self, for plea to the charges exhibited against him says that he is a citizen of the State of Tennessee and of the Confederate States of America and is entitled to the protection of the laws and the constitutions of both; and that he is not now and never has been connected with the army of the Confederate States or of the State of Tennessee in any way; that the crime imputed to him is treason and that he is alone amenable to civil authorities for the same, whereof he prays the judgment whether they will take cognizance of this case as he prays to be discharged, &c.

Argument being heard and the plea being fully considered by the court the same is dismissed and overruled. Thereupon the defendant by his counsel entered the plea of not guilty. The court proceeded to hear the evidence, and the witnesses were severally sworn and examined in the presence of the court, the judge-advocate and his counsel, and their testimony reduced to writing and signed by the deposing witnesses respectively and said testimony so taken is hereto appended as part of this record.

CHARGE I: Against Harrison Self for bridge-burning.

Specification 1.-For that on the 9th day of November, 1861, he the said Harrison Self with divers other persons did set [fire] to and cause to be burned down the railroad bridge across Lick Creek in the county of Greene, State of Tennessee, belonging to the said East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad Company, which said railroad bridge was in the use and employment of the Confederate States of America for the transportation of arms, munitions, army supplies, troops, &c., and the said Self did cause the same to be burned down for the purpose of cutting off and preventing said transportation of arms, &c., and thus to enable the enemies of said Confederate States to prevent the war against the same in the existing difficulty between said Confederate States and the United States of America.

CHARGE II: Being in arms against the Confederate States.

Specification 1.-For that on the 9th day of November, 1861, he the said Harrison Self with divers other persons did make an attack armed with guns, pistols and knives upon Azer Miller, Barding, Treexell, Pugh and others, soldiers in the C. S. Army, whilst stationed at Lick Creek bridge of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad for the purpose of guarding the said bridge, and so the said Harrison Self is guilty of being in arms against said Confederate States.

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TESTIMONY.

ISAAC N. HACKER, corporal in Capt. M. Live’s company cavalry, C. S. Army, aged about twenty-four years, a witness in behalf of the Confederate States was sworn and testified as follows:

On the night the Lick Creek bridge of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad was burned in the early part of November, 1861, I with six others was detailed from Capt. M. Live’s company as guard at said bridge. Between 2 and 3 o’clock whilst five of us were in a tent near the bridge we were surrounded by a band of from forty to sixty men armed the most part of them with guns who, we in the tents being almost wholly unarmed, took us prisoners. The band was led by a man who called himself Colonel Fry. After taking us prisoners they placed a guard around us in the tent and all but the guard went to the bridge and in less than five minutes the bridge was in flames. After the bridge was burned the band or a large part or them came to the tent, gave us of the guard our choice either to take an oath not to take up arms against the Government or to die right then and there, to be killed immediately. We took the oath. They took the names of the guard down. During the time Fry cursed and abused us of the guard; said, “That night three months ago you men or men of your sentiments ran me from Greene County, but now I have you under my thumb and will do with you as I please.” He also said he had within the past week been all over the railroad from Chattanooga to Bristol, and that all the bridges between these places would be burned that night; that Jeff Davis and South Carolina had had possession of it long enough; that they were now going to take it and use it themselves. They represented that they had a whole regiment besides cavalry near at hand. Some one of the crowd said the damned wire was done telling on them now. A telegraph wire runs along the line of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. Some one of attacking party asked, “Where is Henry Harmon’s gun.” Some one else of the party replied, “I’ve got it.”

I. N. HACKER.

Defendant declines to cross-examine.

JOHN W. MCDANIELS, witness on behalf of the Confederate States, aged nineteen years, sworn and testified as follows:

On the evening preceding the night on which the Lick Creek bridge was burned I was pulling corn in a field, Jacob Harmon and Jonathan Morgan came to the side of the field next to the public road when Harmon said be wanted us to come to his house that night and bring our arms. I told him I had no arms. He said he wanted me to come anyhow. Said he had seen Colonel Fry from Kentucky and that they were to burn the bridge that night. I went to Jacob Harmon’s house that night in company with James McDaniels, Hugh A. Self, Andrew Self, Cannon Hann and Harrison McDaniels, all of whom are young men unmarried but Cannon Hann. We got to Harmon’s at about 9 o’clock, the time appointed by Harmon. I saw there on that night (in addition to those who went there with me as above stated), viz, Henderson Lady, John Lady, William Housewright, Jacob Myers, Jonathan Morgan, Harrison Self (the present defendant), Alex. Haun, Arthur Hann, Henry Wampler, Matt. Hincher, William Hincher (drinking), Thomas Harmon, Henry Harmon and Jacob Harmon. David Fry he was there when I got there. Defendant came there after I got there. There were several present whose names I did not know. We staid till about 12 at night. David Fry administered an oath. I think he administered it to nearly all who were there. Oath was taken by putting hand on a U. S. flag; swore to support the Stars and Stripes and not to reveal anything of what was done that night and to do anything pressed upon us that night to do. Harrison Self, I think, was in the room when some of them took the oath. I think he himself took the oath. After the oath was administered to the party the party went to Lick Creek bridge, took the bridge guard in tents prisoners and then they burned the bridge. Crowd then dispersed. Harrison Self went with the party from Harmon’s to the bridge. I saw him between bridge and Harmon’s after the bridge was burned. Harmon on the occasion that I first referred to when I was in the field passed up toward the house of the defendant. I think Harrison Self’s gun was there that night. Do not remember to have seen it in his house.

Cross-examined:

I think I remember the fact that Harrison Self’s gun was there that night. I heard some one of the crowd say that the defendant was going to fetch his gun.

JOHN W. MCDANIELS.

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THOMAS HARMON, witness on behalf of the Confederate States, sworn and testified as follows:

On the day preceding the night on which the Lick Creek bridge was burned Daniel Smith came to my father’s house. My father was not present. Smith said that he had particular business with my father, Jacob Harmon. Said that Fry was to be there that night at my father’s and he was going to tear up the railroad. Said Fry wanted father to come over to his (Daniel Smith’s) house; the road was to be torn up that night. Father came back and I told him what Smith had said. Father went in the direction of Smith’s. Said he was going there. I was slightly acquainted with Daniel Smith; have seen him since in the jail in Knoxville. That night at about 8 o’clock a crowd commenced assembling at my father’s house. There came the following persons, to wit, John McDaniels, Harrison Self (the defendant)-he came in late-Andrew Self, Hugh Self, James McDaniels, Cannon Haun, Arthur Hann, Matt. Hincher, Henry Fry, Jacob Myers, William Willoughby, Granville Willoughby, Lazarus Rednens, another Rednens whose Christian name I do not know, James Guthrie, Elijah Willoughby and several others who-were strangers to me. Jonathan Morgan was there; my father was there. Fry swore these men with the left hand on the flag (United States) and the right band lifted up to secrecy and to do any and everything he impressed on them to do that night. Did not see him swear the defendant. After oath was administered they went on to the bridge; took the guard at the bridge prisoners then went and set fire to the bridge. I saw the defendant at my father’s house and also in the company on the way to the bridge. I am well acquainted with the defendant. The interview with Smith at my father’s took place at about 5 o’clock in the morning. Some of the crowd who were engaged in this matter were armed with guns and some not armed at all. Did not see the defendant have any gun.

THOMAS HARMON.

Defendant declines to cross-examine.

JONATHAN MORGAN, witness on behalf of the Confederate States, sworn and testified as follows:

I was at Jacob Harmon’s on the night the Lick Creek bridge was burned. The defendant, Harrison Self, was there that night. I went home between 10 and 11 o’clock that night. Did not see the defendant sworn. Did not see him take any part in the occurrences of the occasion. Simply saw him there. Recollect speaking to him. Think he said something about going home. He said he had a notion of going home or something to that effect. Do not know whether he went home or not.

Cross-examined:

Defendant I think also said it was a bad business. Do not remember that he said he came down to stop it. He seemed to think it was a bad business. I did not see defendant do anything to stop it. He had a son about sixteen years of age there. Did not see defendant have any gun. Did not see him take the oath. I left before any oath was taken. Left when they were talking about the oath.

JONATHAN MORGAN.

The judge-advocate announced to the court that he had no further testimony to offer in chief.

The counsel for the defendant said that he had just learned that Alexander Lowe is a material witness for the defendant and that he thinks said testimony is of great importance and that the attendance of said witness can be obtained by Friday morning at 10 o’clock, and the court adjourned the further consideration of this case until Friday, December 20, 1861, at 10 a.m.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., Friday, December 20, 1861.

At 10 a.m. court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: Each and all the members of the court who on Tuesday last were sworn on the trial of this case; the judge-advocate, the prisoner and his counsel being also present, Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman presiding.

{p.864}

The defendant introduced ALEXANDER LOWE, private in Captain Fry’s company, Colonel Powel’s regiment, C. S. Army, who being first sworn testified as follows:

I resided on the defendant’s farm at the time the Lick Creek bridge was burned, in Greene County, Tenn. Before the burning of the bridge on the evening previous to its being burned defendant said it was a bad thing to burn the bridge. On the evening before the burning of the bridge Jacob Harmon came by the field where I was pulling corn with John McDaniels and told us to come down to his house that night; that the bridge was to be burned that night. In the evening in question I went past the house of the defendant. Saw him; asked him if anything had been said to him about the bridge-burning; told him what had been told me. Defendant said he had heard about the same thing. Defendant said it was a bad thing. I asked defendant if he was going. Said he did not know whether he was going down to Harmon’s or not. He did not as I recollect say to me for me to stay at home and that he would go down to Harmon’s and prevent it. Something was said about my wife being sick but nothing about his going down for the purpose of preventing it that I now recollect. Defendant lives about three or four miles from the bridge. He said he thought it was a bad thing. Don’t know that he said it ought or ought not to be done. I was not at his house. I passed on by. Saw him at the hog-pen. Went on home. Saw him about dark. Defendant has been strong Union man. Not been a fool about it. Never acted harshly or made any threats to my knowledge. Not hostile to soldiers of Confederate States. Sold them supplies once-some salt. Never heard of his refusing to sell supplies. He lives a little over one mile from Jacob Harmon’s. He said it was a bad thing. Those are the only words of condemnation of the bridge-burning that I recollect of his using. I was not giving the conversation particular attention. I did not think the thing would be done at all.

Cross-examined:

Saw defendant next morning early at home. He said nothing concerning the bridge. I did not know then that the bridge had been burned. Saw defendant early in the morning. Told me nothing about it being burned. Nothing about his having gone down to prevent it. I talked with him a little. Do not recollect of a word being said about the bridge being burned.

Re-examined:

Went by defendant’s house early in the morning about sun-up. I had heard nobody else say anything about the bridge. I first heard of it from Etta Harmon. Did not tell me to invite anybody else or defendant to come down and burn bridge. Ever since Frémont’s proclamation I have been a Southern man and openly said that when I fought I would fight for the South, and had talked thus to defendant before the bridge was burned and have volunteered. Defendant has heard me speak of my sentiments as above to defendant’s counsel. Have talked with defendant about another army coming in here. He said it would make things worse here; that it would make the matter worse for another army to come in here but do not recollect that he ever said that if by volunteering he could prevent another army coming in here he would volunteer himself. Defendant is about fifty years of age. Has children grown and has grandchildren.

J. A. LOWE (his x mark).

The defendant through his counsel announced that he had no further testimony to offer. To allow the counsel for the defendant time to prepare his argument the court adjourned till to-morrow morning at 10 a.m.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 21, 1861-10 a.m. Court met pursuant to an adjournment.

Present: Each and all the members of the court who were heretofore sworn for the trial of this case, Lieutenant-Colonel Bateman presiding; the judge-advocate, the prisoner, Harrison Self, and his counsel being also present.

The counsel for the defendant addressed an oral argument to the ear of the court to which the judge-advocate replied. The court was then {p.865} cleared for deliberation and having maturely considered the evidence the court do find, more than two-thirds of the members of the court concurring in the finding, the defendant Harrison Self:

Of the specification of the first charge, guilty.

Of the first charge, guilty.

Of the specification of the second charge, guilty.

Of the second charge, guilty.

And for such his offense the court doth sentence the defendant to be hanged by the neck until he is dead.

T. P. BATEMAN, Lieut. Col. 11th Tenn. Regt. and President of the Court-Martial. T. J. CAMPBELL, Judge-Advocate.

The court-martial as far as this case is concerned adjourned sine die, yet to meet on Monday next at 10 a.m., to continue the investigation of other cases.

T. P. BATEMAN, Lieut. Col. 11th Tenn. Regt. and President of the Court-Martial. T. J. CAMPBELL, Judge-Advocate.

KNOXVILLE, December 26, 1861.

The sentence of the court-martial in this case is approved and the prisoner is ordered to be executed in accordance therewith at 4 p.m. to-morrow.

W. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

KNOXVILLE, December 21, 1861.

Brigadier-General CARROLL:

The members of the court-martial sitting for the trial of persons charged with bridge-burning and other offenses beg respectfully to state that they have just concluded the trial of Harrison Self, charged with having burned the Lick Creek bridge, and from the testimony in the case have found him guilty and under a sense of stern justice have sentenced him, the defendant, to death by hanging. The court is unanimous, however, in the behalf-from the testimony in the case, from the character of the prisoner, from what the members of the court know of his previous life and conduct, from his known kindness of heart and his standing in the community as a good citizen, and from many other circumstances occurring in the trial which cannot be transferred to paper-that this is a proper case for commutation of punishment. It is our belief that the public interest will suffer nothing from this course, but that on the contrary every object will be gained that can be attained by the extreme penalty of death.

T. P. BATEMAN, Lieutenant-Colonel. HUGH R. LUCAS, Major. D. H. THRASHER, Major. J. D. THOMAS, Captain. WILL GREEN, Captain. S. J. MCREYNOLDS, Captain. H. W. COTTER, Captain. T. J. CAMPBELL, Judge-Advocate.

{p.866}

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KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS:

My father, Harrison Self, is sentenced to be hung this evening at 4 o’clock on a charge of bridge-burning. As he is my only earthly stay I beg you to pardon him.

ELIZABETH SELF.

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KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

The execution of Self suspended. Guilty with palliating circumstances. Will forward papers in the morning.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America:

The undersigned, officers of the C. S. Army, now on duty in Knoxville, Tenn., would most respectfully represent to your excellency that Harrison Self, condemned to be hung for participating in the burning of the Lick Creek bridge on the line of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, is now held here in close confinement for execution. Already five persons have expiated upon the gallows for the burning of this bridge. The public danger which called for such punishment has in the opinion of the undersigned passed away and the crime itself has been sufficiently atoned for in the ignominious death of others more guilty than he whose punishment we seek to mitigate. We have heard and believe the fact to be true that Self who at first assented to the proposal to burn the bridge relented and abandoned the purpose; said it was a bad thing; and we have reason to believe that he tried to dissuade his comrades from the execution of their purpose but their stronger wills prevailed and he was thus dragged into a participation in it. In consideration of these facts we have understood that the court which tried him recommended a milder punishment than that of death. We respectfully join in this recommendation with an earnest hope that your excellency yielding to the dictates of mercy will spare this man’s life.

JAS. W. GILLESPIE, Colonel, Commanding Regiment Tennessee Volunteers. R. F. LOONEY, Colonel, Commanding Thirty-eighth Tennessee. [And 25 other officers and citizens.]

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 6, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

There has been a recommendation sent to you by the court-martial sitting at this place to commute the punishment of Harrison Self who has been sentenced to be executed for being concerned in bridge-burning. I understand the recommendation to have been made unanimously by the court-martial to commute his punishment and I do not know that it would be of any use for me to say anything further on the subject to you. But as I have lived a neighbor to him and know him well I have been requested to write to you.

{p.867}

Harrison Self is a very good-natured, unsuspecting man, easily to be deceived, imposed upon or misled. I never knew a man that had a kinder heart. I cannot believe from what I know of him that he designed burning the Lick Creek bridge. I am indeed informed that when the plot was formed to burn the bridge he advised against it and would not go into it. That night he undressed to go to bed and finding his two sons gone, one sixteen and the other eighteen years of age, and fearing they had been inveigled into the conspiracy went in search of them and in this way he was present when the bridge was burned all the time advising the mad men who committed the act not to do so. I understand his sons were forced to go there and did nothing when they went. I understand his sons are both anxious if they will be permitted to volunteer. Previous to this they were young men of good character. The young men have been used as witnesses against the malignant plotters of the rebellion and arson and have not concealed anything but told the whole truth on all concerned. Would it not be best to let the young men volunteer and hold their father as a hostage for their good behavior? We would lose nothing by this course but we would probably gain much. Let us economize the muscle and sinew of the South and never let an opportunity pass to turn it to our account.

If examples are to be made let them be made of the leaders not of the unfortunate, the ignorant, the deceived. God it seems has prospered our cause and I believe He will to the end. He has put many of our enemies into our hands. Let us then exercise that highest attribute of God, mercy, and show ourselves worthy of his continued favor. I think mercy in this case will strengthen our cause, and it will make our cause and our Government to be loved and idolized in the little circle of this man’s distressed family where before they did not know the principles or appreciate the men who are the head of our Government.

If you think the evidence of what I have written will be worth anything in the decision you may make and if you shall want to know anything further of me than appears in this letter you can inquire of Judge Robert L. Caruthers, Member of Provisional Congress, Tennessee.

I am, most respectfully,

R. ARNOLD, Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-ninth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 16, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: I submit as you direct the following report on the proceedings of the court-martial which tried Harrison Self for bridge-burning and having found him guilty sentenced him to be hanged:

As accused was not in the army and the crime alleged against him was treason he claimed by his counsel the right as a citizen of Tennessee and the Confederate States to be tried by the civil authorities.

Considered by the court and overruled.

Hacker, first witness for prosecution, does not allude to Harrison Self nor mention his name.

McDaniels, second witness for prosecution, saw accused at the place of rendezvous, a neighbor’s house, which had been appointed for the bridge-burners. He thinks Harrison Self was in the room when some of the men swore to support the Stars and Stripes, &c., and he thinks he took the oath. Party went from Harmon’s house, the place of rendezvous, {p.868} to the bridge. Saw Self between Harmon’s and bridge. Did not see him at bridge. He thinks he remembers the fact that Harrison Self’s gun was there that night. Heard some one of the crowd say that the defendant was going to bring his gun. He knows nothing except that accused was at Harmon’s and does not tell why he thinks so.

Thomas Harmon, third witness for prosecution: Crowd commenced assembling at his father’s house (Jacob Harmon’s) about 8 o’clock. Saw Harrison Self there. Did not see defendant sworn. After party was sworn they went to the bridge. Saw the defendant with the company on the way to the bridge. Did not see him at the bridge. Did not see him have a gun.

Jonathan Morgan, fourth witness for prosecution: Harrison Self was at Jacob Harmon’s on the night the bridge was burned. Did not see him sworn and did not see him take any part in the occurrences of the occasion. Simply saw him there. Spoke to him and thinks he said something about going home. He said he had a notion of going home or something to that effect.

Cross-examined: Defendant also said I think it was a bad business. Did not see him do anything to stop it.

Alexander Lowe, first witness for defense, private in Captain Fry’s company, Colonel Powel’s regiment, C. S. Army: Resided on defendant’s farm at the time the bridge was burned. On the evening previous to the burning of the bridge the defendant said it was a bad thing to burn the bridge. He said he did not know whether he was going to Harmon’s or not. He did not say that he was going down to prevent it-the burning of the bridge-that I now recollect. He said it was a bad thing. He lives three or four miles from the bridge. Defendant has been strong Union man. Not been a fool about it. Never acted harshly or made any threats to my knowledge. Not hostile to soldiers of Confederate States. Sold them supplies once-some salt. Never heard of his refusing to sell supplies. He said it was bad thing to burn the bridge. These are the only words of condemnation that I recollect of his using. I did not think the thing would be done at all.

Cross-examined: Saw defendant early next morning. He said nothing about the bridge. Nothing about having gone down to prevent its being burned.

Re-examined: Ever since Frémont’s proclamation I have been a Southern man and openly said that when I fought I’d fight for the South and have talked thus to the defendant before the bridge was burned and have since volunteered. The defendant is about fifty years of age, has children grown and grandchildren.

Such is the sum and substance of all the evidence in the case. There are two petitions on file for a mitigation of the sentence, and after most maturely considering the whole case it does appear to me that he ought not to be hanged. All of which is respectfully submitted to the better judgment of your honor.

A. T. BLEDSOE, Chief of Bureau of War.

P. S.-Accused was also tried for taking up arms against the Confederate States and found guilty. On what evidence I can not imagine unless because he was found in company with those who had arms or because one witness thought his gun was there and thought he heard some one in the crowd say he would bring his gun. No one saw him with arms.

Very respectfully,

A. T. B.

{p.869}

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[Received War Department, December 28, 1861.]

President DAVIS:

SIR: At the request of many of our most reliable friends in East Tennessee I have come to Richmond to lay before you a faithful account of East Tennessee matters. ...

It is the opinion of the best informed and most reliable men in East Tennessee that all the Confederate troops now employed in guarding the railroads and suppressing rebellion in East Tennessee except one regiment might be safely sent to other points where troops are really needed, and that if proper measures were immediately adopted to bring back to their families all innocent men who have been carried or frightened away from their homes it would restore peace and a sense of security to the people and put an end to all appearances of disloyalty to the Confederate Government in East Tennessee; and I believe that the wrongs they have suffered if properly explained and promptly relieved will afford an occasion for a striking display of the justice, wisdom and power of the Confederate Government which will do more to insure the fidelity of the people of East Tennessee than all the severity of punishment advised by the violent partisans of that section who have provoked the prejudices of the people against themselves and consequently against the Government of which they were supposed to be the true exponents.

Respectfully, &c.,

H. R. AUSTIN.

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., January 7, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

SIR: General Carroll having left this post yesterday I deem it my duty to take charge of the political prisoners now in confinement here. Their number is understood to be 130; has lately been increasing and with others expected to be captured soon I do not see how the court-martial is to keep pace with the exigencies of the occasion. Besides that mode of proceeding is very expensive and in my opinion an equally just and more summary disposition of those cases would be attended with happier results to the Government.

Under this conviction and acting in the spirit of the orders hitherto received by me I shall dissolve the court-martial convened by General Carroll on its determination of the few purely military cases yet to be tried and shall proceed with the political offenders as I have heretofore done at Greeneville.

If this course be not approved by the Department I beg to be promptly advised to that effect by telegraph. Captain Monsarrat who seems to be an excellent officer is the immediate commander of the post and I judge that there will be little occasion for interference with his functions as such.

Can any more prisoners be received at Tuscaloosa?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, January 11, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: On the 9th instant I telegraphed* the Department that a writ of habeas-corpus had been issued by the circuit court of the State of Tennessee and served on me in the case of Daniel Smith, charged as an accessory to the crime of bridge-burning.

To the writ I made answer that the prisoner had been seized in obedience to instructions of the War Department at Richmond and held as a prisoner of war; that he had been duly transferred as such to my custody and is now held by me commanding Confederate forces in East Tennessee. But the court claims that the validity of the answer must be tried and decided by the court. Judge [George] Brown who issued the writ is a Southern man and desires only to do his official duty. Some other judges of the State exercising the same authority may be less worthy of confidence and this question of jurisdiction between the military and civil authorities assumes much gravity whether it be decided by loyal or disloyal judges.

In the condition of the country immediately subsequent to the bridge-burning I should have paid no respect to a writ of habeas corpus. The military law of self-preservation prevailed at that time. But the circumstances are now less urgent and I infer that the Government does not wish to suspend the writ. Martial law might be proclaimed locally and the lawyers here think that the writ would thus be suspended. I do not see how so long as Congress has not suspended the writ.

The judges generally and perhaps without exception would decide that a man taken literally in arms against the Government is a prisoner of war. But there must occur many cases of serious guilt wherein the prisoner will be turned over to the civil courts to be bailed out and tried by his peers. If the military have any function or mission to perform in this disturbed country their efforts in that behalf will be frustrated by the interference of the civil courts for the military will be brought into contempt.

To-day I am served with another writ by Judge Brown including the cases of six or eight prisoners to be brought before Judge Humphreys’ C. S. court, on the 16th.

I hope to receive from the Department full instructions for my guidance in all such cases.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Provisional Army, C. S.

* Telegram not found.

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The cases of James S. Bradford, Levi Trewhitt and others.

RICHMOND, VA., January 20, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.

SIR: In passing through East Tennessee I have been informed by a gentleman of integrity and whose loyalty to the Confederacy has never been questioned that some forty-five or fifty of the citizens of that section of country have been arrested by persons having or assuming to have military authority under this Government; that after arrest the most of them have been told they must volunteer or be sent to the {p.871} Government prison at Tuscaloosa, Ala., and that those who refused to volunteer under such compulsion have been sent to and imprisoned at Tuscaloosa where they now remain.

The names of the persons thus dealt with as far as my information extends are as follows: Dr. John G. Brown, Charles B. Champion, James S. Bradford, Allen Marlow, Sidney Wise, John F. Kinchelow, Samuel Hunt, - Potts. W. R. Davis, - Gamble, Thomas L. Cate, John Bean, Sr., and John Boon. These men were arrested by a captain of Tennessee cavalry and as I learn without ever having been before any tribunal, civil or military, without any specification of charges and without the examination of a single witness they were hurried off to imprisonment. Levi Trewhitt, William Hunt, Stephen Beard, John McPherson, George Munsey, - Thompson were taken to Knoxville but had no investigation before any tribunal. The first two were sent from thence to Tuscaloosa. The remaining four were released either on parole or unconditionally but after returning to their homes they were arrested by the captain of cavalry before alluded to and also sent to Tuscaloosa. As I am informed none of the persons whose names I have given were taken in arms or suspicioned of having been in arms against the Government.

I was requested to bring these facts to the attention of the Tennessee Congressional delegation. I learn that many if not all of them have received corroborative information. By their request I have been induced to bring the subject to your attention that justice might be done in the premises and the character of the Government vindicated. It is insisted and I presume correctly that the terror engendered by these arrests was an efficient cause in changing public sentiment in East Tennessee.

Respectfully,

JNO. C. BURCH.

[Indorsement.]

Secretary of War, for attention.

Those who acted for the Government can inform you whether political arrests were made and prisoners sent to Tuscaloosa as herein affirmed.

J. D[AVIS].

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CLEVELAND, TENN., January 8, 1862.

Col. CHARLES M. MCGHEE.

DEAR SIR: I have received your request to write you the facts about the arrest of James S. Bradford by Capt. W. L. Brown’s command, and he was a few days after sent to Tuscaloosa. The nature of the charge against him I am ignorant of. I feel confident that his arrest and transportation from here must have been done under a misconception of his position as regards the rebellious feeling that has disturbed East Tennessee, and had an investigation been allowed him he would have been discharged without spot or blemish. It is true he was originally a Union man and at the beginning of the secession amongst us had considerable influence with the party but before the period at which our State linked her future with the Southern Confederacy he became a loyal Southern man and from that day exerted all his influence and power for peace and submission. I know that it told to such a degree that their numbers were greatly lessened amongst us.

{p.872}

When we learned an armed body of men had assembled at Clift’s for the purpose of resistance-the people in the county being much alarmed-some of his original Southern personal friends desired he should go over there and use his influence to get them to disperse. He consented to do so and informed me of his intention but I opposed his going fearing it might bring him into trouble from the Union people. He replied that his neighbors were anxious for him to go and as he was reflected on to some extent for former Union sentiments he felt it his duty to do all in his power to arrest the evil. He remained only a few hours at Clift’s, stayed over night at Col. C. D. Luttrell’s and returned there the day he was at Clift’s. Colonel Luttrell who is an out-and-out original Southern man approved of and encouraged his mission to Clift’s. He was there several days before the forces moved on Clift’s camp and at home as they passed his house. So soon as he returned from the camp he informed me he could do nothing with them and I came into town and so informed my Southern friends. He even said it was dangerous to speak of peace to the motley crew.

I do not desire as you know to have any man released who in any way encouraged rebellion; but Bradford I know is an innocent man and is a good Southern man and so shown himself from date named and I would therefore be glad to see him released.

FRANCK W. LEA.

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CLEVELAND, TENN., January 8, 1862.

[Col. CHARLES M. MCGHEE.]

DEAR SIR: James S. Bradford, of this county, was arrested some time since and sent to Tuscaloosa. Mr. Bradford was originally a Union man but I know of no other charge that has been brought against him. Since the separation of the State from the Federal Government he has consistently recommended submission to the will of the majority of the people of the State. This I have heard him frequently do in the presence of Union men and secessionists. Mr. Bradford neither attended nor encouraged any of the meetings held in East Tennessee of a hostile character and I am satisfied he disapproved of the whole of them. I do not believe he ought to have been arrested but such was the excitement here at that time that but little was said about it by Southern rights men.

Now that everything is calm and quiet it is believed by the original secessionists of whom I am one that Bradford ought to be released. You know that I would be the last one who would screen any one who had any connection with Toryism in East Tennessee. I am satisfied, however, that Bradford had nothing to do with it and was arrested simply because he had been a Union man. In view of these considerations I respectfully submit whether it would not be better for our cause and justice be more perfectly subserved to have Mr. Bradford released or brought back and tried? If he is guilty let him be punished. If he is innocent you will agree with me that he ought to be discharged. You have only inquired of me as to Mr. Bradford. I might perhaps give you the names of others who have been submitted to equally as great outrages by the petty personal prejudices of some of our recent converts who are now in brief authority.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAML. A. SMITH.

{p.873}

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 20, 1862.

On the 19th day of November last I arrested and brought to this place Levi Trewhitt, esq., of Cleveland, Tenn. This arrest was made under an order from Col. W. B. Wood, commanding the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, who at that time was the commander of this post. The arrest was ordered because Mr. Trewhitt was suspected of a knowledge of the burning of the railroad bridges and the plans by which it was done. He was retained here for some weeks and then sent to Tuscaloosa by order of General W. H. Carroll, who succeeded Colonel Wood in command. There was no trial or investigation of the charges so far as I know or have understood.

JAS. W. GILLESPIE, Colonel Forty-third Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

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His Excellency. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America:

Your petitioners, the undersigned citizens of Bradley County, Tenn., humbly represent and show unto your excellency that Levi Trewhitt, who is now as they understand confined in Mobile as a prisoner of war, is one of the old, influential citizens of Bradley County, Tenn.; that he is about sixty-five years of age and has been for the past few years afflicted with paralysis and as they now understand is sick and in the hospital at Mobile. They further state that said Trewhitt was a very useful man at home. We therefore pray that said Levi Trewhitt be released from said confinement upon his becoming a loyal citizen and taking an oath to support the constitution of the Confederate States of America; and as in duty bound will ever pray, &c.

WILLIAM GRANT. T. L. HOYL. JNO. B. HOYL. [And 31 others.]

We, the undersigned officers in the Confederate service, fully concur with the above petitioners.

D. M. KEY, Lieutenant-Colonel. [JAMES W.] GILLESPIE, Colonel Regiment Tennessee Volunteers. [And 16 others.]

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STATE OF TENNESSEE, Bradley County:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, an acting justice of the peace and duly authorized to administer oaths within and for the county and State aforesaid, John Blackburn, a man of undoubted truth and veracity and entitled to credit when on oath, and made oath in due form of law that at and about the time the rebellion in East Tennessee took place and about the time that it was understood that Clift was encamped with a regiment of men for the purpose of going to the State of Kentucky there was some disquietude in the settlement in which he resided, and in consequence thereof a meeting of divers of the citizens was held for the purpose of taking steps in relation to the condition of the country, {p.874} some talking of going and joining Clift in his rebellion, and at said meeting Levi Trewhitt, who as he now understands is confined at Tuscaloosa or Mobile as a prisoner of war, was present and opposed all and everything that had any tendency toward rebellion and advised them to go on with their ordinary business and keep out of all rebellion and to keep away from Clift, and by the exertion and influence of said Trewhitt said settlement became quieted down and the citizens went on with their ordinary business he all the time opposing any rebellion whatever, and none of said neighbors and citizens went to Clift or into the rebellion to the knowledge of affiant.

JOHN BLACKBURN.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 16th day of January, 1862, and I certify that the said John Blackburn is a man of undoubted truth and veracity.

J. B. HUMPHREYS, Justice of the Peace for Bradley County, Tenn.

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STATE OF TENNESSEE, Bradley County:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, an acting justice of the peace and duly authorized to administer oaths within and for the said county of Bradley and State of Tennessee, Edmund Ramsey, a man of undoubted truth and veracity and entitled to credit when on oath, and made oath in due form of law that, in the summer of 1861, there was a company of men organized in the settlement where he resided who called themselves as home guards, furnishing their own arms, &c., and after General Zollicoffer issued a proclamation requesting said companies to stop drilling, Levi Trewhitt, whom he now understands to be confined in Tuscaloosa or Mobile as a prisoner of war, used his exertions and influence to get said company to cease drilling and by the aid of his exertions and influence said company was procured to cease drilling and obey said proclamation; and further states that at or about the time it was understood that Clift was encamped with a regiment of men in Hamilton County about forty miles distant on the north side of Tennessee River there was some disquietude among the citizens in the settlement where he resided and a meeting of some of the citizens for the purpose of taking steps, and a different meeting from the one in the settlement of G. R. and Benjamin Hambright as to going and joining the said Clift, and at said meeting said Levi Trewhitt opposed everything that had any tendency toward a rebellion, and advised the persons there assembled to keep out of said rebellion and not to join or go to Clift but to go on with their ordinary business and by the aid of said Trewhitt’s exertions and influence said disquietude was suppressed and said persons procured to go on with their business, and no person to affiant’s knowledge went to said Clift or into the rebellion in any manner.

E. RAMSEY.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the 16th day of January, 1862, and I certify that the said Edmund Ramsey is a man of undoubted truth and veracity.

J. B. HUMPHREYS, Justice of the Peace for Bradley County, Tenn.

{p.875}

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STATE OF TENNESSEE, Bradley County:

Personally appeared before me, the undersigned, an acting justice of the peace and duly authorized to administer oaths within and for the county and State aforesaid, G. R. Hambright and Benjamin Hambright, men of undoubted truth and veracity and entitled to credit when on oath, and made oath in due form of law that at and about the time the rebellion was taking place in East Tennessee there was some disquietude in the settlement in which they resided in said county, and that there was some talk among the neighbors as to what they should do relative thereto and as to going and joining Clift who they understood was encamped for the purpose of going to Kentucky and consequently a meeting of divers of the citizens for the purpose of taking steps in the premises, and affiants learning that fact went to the residence of Levi Trewhitt whom they understand now to be confined at Tuscaloosa or Mobile as a prisoner of war and procured him to go and be where these said persons were to assemble, who did go to said place and there opposed every thing or movement that had any tendency to a rebellion in East Tennessee and through his influence and exertions the people in said settlement were quieted and all tendency to rebel in said settlement was put down by his advising them against rebellion and to go on with their ordinary business and let Clift and his rebellion alone and keep themselves out of rebellion, and thereby the citizens went on with their ordinary business and none went into the rebellion to the knowledge of affiants.

BENJAMIN HAMBRIGHT. G. R. HAMBRIGHT.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the 16th day of January, 1862, and I certify that the said G. R. Hambright and Benjamin Hambright are both men of undoubted truth and veracity.

J. B. HUMPHREYS, Justice of the Peace for Bradley County, Tenn.

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STATE OF TENNESSEE, Bradley County:

Personally appeared before me, Joseph H. Davis, an acting justice of the peace and duly authorized to administer oaths within and for the county and State aforesaid, Welcome Beard and made oath in due form of law that about the time that he understood that there was a rebellion in East Tennessee and that about the time he understood that Clift was encamped with a regiment of men in Hamilton County on the north side of the Tennessee River about twenty-three miles from the settlement of affiant for the purpose of going to the State of Kentucky there was some disquietude in the settlement of affiant and a meeting of divers persons near to affiant for the purpose of taking steps in relation to the rebellion, and affiant saw Levi Trewhitt whom he now understands is confined at Tuscaloosa or Mobile as a prisoner of war and held a private conversation with him who stated that he was opposed to all rebellion, and when they went where the crowd was affiant proposed that the said Levi Trewhitt make a speech to the crowd relative to what they had best do, and then the said Trewhitt gave them a talk in which he advised them all to keep out of all rebellion and go on with their ordinary business and by the aid and influence of {p.876} said Trewhitt every person there assembled was procured and did agree to keep out of all rebellion and keep away from Clift and his rebellion and go on with their ordinary business, and the said Trewhitt especially advised them to keep out of Clift’s rebellion.

WELCOME BEARD.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the 17th day of January, 1862, and I certify that the said Welcome Beard is a man of undoubted truth and veracity.

JOS. H. DAVIS, Justice of the Peace for Bradley County, Tenn.

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STATE OF TENNESSEE, Bradley County:

Personally appeared before me, Joseph H. Davis, an acting justice of the peace for the county of Bradley and duly authorized to administer oaths within and for the county and State aforesaid, Alexander A. Clingan and made oath in due form of law that at or about the time of the rebellion in East Tennessee and at the time he understood that Clift was encamped in Hamilton County on the north side of Tennessee River about twenty-four miles from the residence of affiant Levi Trewhitt, whom affiant now understands to be confined at Tuscaloosa or Mobile as a prisoner of war, came by where affiant was and procured affiant to go with him to where some persons were to assemble for the purpose of taking steps as to what they should do and to assist him in suppressing anything that might occur tending to a rebellion and affiant did go. At said meeting the said Trewhitt made a speech or talk to the persons there assembled and advised them to keep out of all rebellion and especially to keep out of the Clift rebellion and to go on with their ordinary business and by the aid and assistance of the said Trewhitt said persons all agreed and promised to keep out of all rebellion and go on with their ordinary business.

A. A. CLINGAN.

Sworn to and subscribed before me the 17th day of January, 1862, and I certify that the said Alexander A. Clingan is a man of undoubted truth and veracity.

JOSEPH H. DAVIS, Justice of the Peace for Bradley county, Tenn.

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CANNON’S STORE, January 20, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America:

We, the undersigned petitioners, humbly request that E. Hodges and W. E. Hodges, citizens of Sevier County, Tenn., and who were sent to the military prison at Tuscaloosa and are as we understand now at Mobile, Ala., be released from prison and set at liberty by their giving full assurances of their loyalty to the State of Tennessee and the Confederate States. We also believe that the said Hodges have fully atoned for the crimes they have committed and that justice is fully satisfied in their cases. We, your petitioners, would further represent that men more guilty than they have been released and nolle prosequi {p.877} entered in their cases merely by their giving bond for their good behavior; and we would represent to you that the Hodges are men whose families are in straitened circumstances and those to whom clemency has been shown are in quite affluent circumstances.

We, the undersigned petitioners, would also represent to you that we are men that have in no way favored the late attempt at rebellion in Eastern Tennessee but have been contending and laboring for the cause of the South both before and since the difficulties have been upon our country, and we would further state that we ask not for their release upon any personal grounds but merely that even-handed justice be meted out to all alike. And your humble petitioners will ever pray, &c.

REND BIRDWELL. JAMES W. CHAMBERS. W. H. CANNON. D. O. MCCROSKY. E. L. MULLENDORE.

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., January 21, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.

SIR: ... Outwardly the country remains sufficiently quiet but it is filled with Union men who continue to talk sedition and who are evidently waiting only for a safe opportunity to act out their rebellious sentiments. If such men are arrested by the military the Confederate and State courts take them by writ of habeas corpus and they are released under bond to keep the peace; all which is satisfactory in a theoretical point of view but practically fatal to the influence of military authority and to the peace of the country. It seems not unlikely that every prisoner now in our hands might or will be thus released by the Confederate court even after being condemned by court-martial to be held as prisoners of war.

It is reported to-day that several fragmentary companies recruiting in different counties ostensibly for the service of the Confederate States have suddenly disappeared; gone to Kentucky.

It is confidently hoped that the bridge over the Holston at Union will be completed in the current month.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, January 26, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

SIR: It is thought here that the fugitives from General Crittenden’s army may not exceed 1,000 total. ... The people here are anxious lest the two regiments of East Tennessee known to be with the enemy should enter the northern counties of Scott, Campbell, &c., all disloyal, raise those counties in more open rebellion, destroy the bridges and inaugurate a civil war. Those regiments broken up into companies might move from Somerset without commissariat and through {p.878} the mountain paths as they have always done in the opposite direction. The moment they get into the State they are surrounded by friends and the railroad line and the Government packing establishments are endangered. ...

The Department is well aware of my opinion as to the political condition of East Tennessee. Only a little aid and comfort are needed to place it in open hostility to the Government.

If troops can by possibility be spared two or three additional regiments should be held disposable here or be so placed as to hold the northern counties in check.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Commanding.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 27, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America.

SIR: The Army of the Cumberland is utterly routed and demoralized. The result is regarded with the profoundest solicitude. ... There is now no impediment whatever but bad roads and natural obstacles to prevent the enemy from entering East Tennessee and destroying the railroads and putting East Tennessee in a flame of revolution.

Nothing but the appointment to the command of a brave, skillful and able general who has the popular confidence will restore tone and discipline to the army and confidence to the people. ... Cannot you, Mr. President, right the wrong by the immediate presence of a new and able man?

Yours, truly,

LANDON C. HAYNES.

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OFFICE OF DEPUTY PROVOST-MARSHAL, Athens, Tenn., January 27, 1862.

Col. JOHN E. TOOLE, Provost-Marshal, Knoxville, Tenn.

DEAR SIR: I am gratified to hear that the thirty-nine caught in the mountains are dying. It is better for the country and better for posterity that they should die young-that is, as young as they are. The Captain Pierce who was conducting them hence is again in these parts. He was recently in Meigs and McMinn operating for more recruits. He told an old lady whose son he got into that unfortunate gang all about his affairs and made many apologies for letting her son get caught. She betrays him and if I had six or eight good cavalry I think I could get him. He has a partner by the name of Matthews in the same neighborhood whom I will try to get.

I suggest that as the conscripts have not been run out of Monroe County yet you try to get Captain Clark’s cavalry company belonging to Colonel Ashby’s regiment detailed for Captain Hicks and let me borrow a few men from him occasionally. If not this some other company. My vineyard is getting a little foul again. Last Friday I hired a horse and rode out to Dixon’s factory and arrested two conscripts (one of them old Dixon’s son) whom he had got detailed to guard his factory, and they were doing so by sleeping in the building. I overhauled {p.879} that concern pretty thoroughly, searched the house and Dixon’s residence for arms which were reported to me as being concealed there. I have no doubt that old Dixon and all he has connected with him are doing all they can for Lincoln.

I arrested his boss for saying that the next morning after the Holston and Watauga bridges were burnt a man said to him: “Well, there is good news.” “What is it?” said he. “All the railroad bridges are burnt from the Georgia line to the Virginia line except the one at Loudon.” He denied that he told that such a thing had been said by him and when I proved to his face that he had told this story he said he could not recollect who the man was. I took him before a magistrate and made him swear that he could not recollect who the man was. I let him go because the factory was spinning gun-cotton for the Government so they said and it could not run if he was taken away. He is there yet and thinks he is safe. What ought to be done with such a devil and with the whole set?

I will see about the cattle driving from Charleston. Cannot you send me copies of factory bonds? There are wagons slipping off from this county to Kentucky. I hear of it after they are gone. Buch inquires about his account.

Your obedient servant,

JNO. M. CARMACK, Captain and Deputy Provost-Marshal.

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CONGRESS HALL, January 28, 1862.

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Assistant Secretary of War:

The friends of the State prisoners from East Tennessee confined at Tuscaloosa or Mobile are very desirous of having their cases acted upon promptly by the Department. May I ask your early attention to the subject.

Yours,

THOMAS M. JONES.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, February 4, 1862.

Hon. L. C. HAYNES, Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR: On the 28th of January last Brigadier-General Withers was directed to release Samuel Hunt with other political prisoners upon their taking the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, February 24, 1862.

To THE MEMBERS OF THE TENNESSEE DELEGATION IN THE CONGRESS.

GENTLEMEN: When a body of traitors a few months ago combined to wage war against the Government in Eastern Tennessee a number {p.880} of captives were taken. Those found engaged in actual commission of the crime of bridge-burning were tried by court-martial and executed. Others found in arms were by executive clemency considered rather as prisoners of war than as traitors and as such are held in custody in Mobile.

It is not only possible but probable that in the confusion and disorder of the times some innocent men have been confounded with the guilty yet it is almost impossible to discern the truth. Nothing could be more alien to the wishes and intentions of the Government than to exercise arbitrary power or to hold any of its citizens in custody except under due process of law. It was an act of clemency not of persecution to consider the misguided men found in arms as public enemies instead of traitors.

I have, however, received the inclosed statement* and petition of some of those now held as prisoners of war and from which you will perceive that they deny the fact that they were taken in arms or were hostile to the Government. If so they ought at once to be released. Will you be good enough to take this subject into consideration and give me your advice and counsel as to these men. Do you know them? Is there any one here that can tell whether or not their statements are correct? Do you think that they can be safely returned to East Tennessee at this time?

I would feel greatly obliged by your co-operation in this matter that I may do what is right for the individuals without endangering the public safety.

Very respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Not found.

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RICHMOND, February 24, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN.

SIR: Yours of this date with inclosed petitions has been duly considered. We are credibly informed that all the petitioning prisoners have been released from confinement except Stone, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Beam, Matthews and Evans. We think it was bad policy to discharge them but we know the Government acted in view of the best interests of the country. In answer to your interrogations we state that some of us know all the prisoners. We believe their statements false. We do not think it would be safe to permit them to return to East Tennessee at this time.

We are, sir, with great respect, your obedient servants,

E. L. GARDENHIRE. WM. H. TIBBS. H. S. FOOTE. G. W. JONES. J. B. HEISKELL. G. A. HENRY. WM. G. SWAN.

{p.881}

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[No date.]

I submit to Col. W. M. Churchwell, provost-marshal for East Tennessee, the following conversation of Captain Fry now a prisoner. I was placed in charge of the wife of said Fry to conduct her to her husband and allow her to communicate with him: Among other things spoken of by said Fry he was directing his wife how to dispose of his property. He told her that Colonel Carter would see that she got his wages, remarking that there was $1,000* due him aside from his wages. I then made him explain how the $1,000 extra came to be due him. He then told me that General Thomas had agreed to pay him $1,000 to come to East Tennessee. He did not tell on what business he came.

Respectfully submitted, &c.

A. C. BLEVINS, Captain, C. S. Army.

* See Thomas to McClellan, p. 889.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 2, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that David Fry, arrested while attempting at the head of some forty others to make his way from East Tennessee to Kentucky, is now in custody in the jail of this city with nineteen of his company taken at the same time. David Fry who claims to be in the employ of the Federal Government was the ringleader of the bridge-burners who perpetrated such outrages in this State in November last. The depositions of two men who were with him on the night of the 8th of November conclusively show this and a private diary found on his person at the time of his arrest confirms their testimony. I beg to be informed what proceedings are to be held in his case which should be quickly disposed of. His speedy trial as a spy and traitor followed by the extreme penalty incurred would have a most salutary effect in this quarter.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major-General, Commanding.

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APRIL 17, 1862.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

I understand that Michael Myers is expected in Richmond with a petition for the release of Jake Myers, one of the parties engaged in burning Lick Creek bridge in East Tennessee taken in Lee County, Va., on his way to Kentucky; also for the release of Daniel Smith. The former Secretary having been imposed upon by irresponsible persons in several flagrant cases established the rule not to act on such cases without consulting the member of the House of Representatives from the district. I hope that this man will not be released and that the present head of the Department will adopt the same rule.

Very respectfully,

J. B. HEISKELL.

{p.882}

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PROCLAMATION.

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, April 18, 1862.

The major-general commanding this department charged with the enforcement of martial law believing that many of its citizens have been misled into the commission of treasonable acts through ignorance of their duties and obligations to their State and that many have actually fled across the mountains and joined our enemies under the persuasion and misguidance of supposed friends but designing enemies hereby proclaims:

First. That no person so misled who comes forward, declares his error and takes the oath to support the constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

Second. That no person so persuaded and misguided as to leave his home and join the enemy who shall return within thirty days of the date of this proclamation, acknowledge his error and take an oath to support the constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

After thus announcing his disposition to treat with the utmost clemency those who have been led away from the true path of patriotic duty the major-general commanding furthermore declares his determination henceforth to employ all the elements at his disposal for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of East Tennessee whether from the incursions of the enemy or the irregularities of his own troops and for the suppression of all treasonable practices.

He assures all citizens in cultivating their farms that he will protect them in their rights and that he will suspend the militia draft under the State laws that they may raise crops for consumption in the coming year. He invokes the zealous co-operation of the authorities and of all good people to aid him in his endeavors.

The courts of criminal jurisdiction will continue to exercise their functions save the issuing of writs of habeas corpus. Their writs will be served and their decrees executed by the aid of the military when necessary. When the courts fail to preserve the peace or punish offenders against the laws these objects will be attained through the action of military tribunals and the exercise of the force of his command.

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major-General, Commanding Department of East Tennessee.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, April 19, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. P. CARTER [U. S. Army), Commanding Twenty-fourth Brigade, Cumberland Ford.

GENERAL: In acknowledging the receipt of your communication* of the 16th instant let me assure you that nowhere within the limits of this department will any violation of the rules of civilized warfare meet with my sanction. David Fry was captured within our lines in citizen’s dress and was sent to Knoxville charged as a citizen of East Tennessee with bridge-burning. He has as yet laid no claim to being a prisoner of war nor has he announced himself as an officer in the U. S. service. His presence within our lines in citizen’s dress and engaged {p.883} in the felonious occupation of bridge-burning makes him amenable either as a citizen of East Tennessee to the criminal courts of the land or as a spy to the military court of the service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major-General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 19, 1862.

Maj. W. L. EAKIN, Commanding, &c., Morristown, Tenn.

MAJOR: The major-general commanding directs me to inform you in response to your communication of 18th instant that you will arrest all Union leaders who circulate exaggerated reports of the military draft and thereby induce ignorant men to fly their homes and go to Kentucky.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 21, 1862.

Mrs. ANDREW JOHNSON.

MADAM: By Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith I am directed to respectfully require that you and your family pass beyond the C. S. line through Nashville if you please in thirty-six hours. Passports will be granted you at this office.

Very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 21, 1862.

Mrs. MAYNARD, Knoxville.

MADAM: By order of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith I am directed respectfully to require that yourself and family pass beyond the C. S. line in thirty-six hours.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 23, 1862.

Dr. F. A. RAMSEY, Surgeon.

DOCTOR: I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you in response to your communication of this date that Mrs. Maynard will not be required to leave before the expiration of the time at which you state she will be able to bear the fatigue of travel.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.884}

–––

PROCLAMATION.

KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 23, 1862.

To THE DISAFFECTED PEOPLE OF EAST TENNESSEE:

The undersigned in executing martial law in this department assures those interested who have fled to the enemy’s lines and who are actually in their army that he will welcome their return to their homes and families; they are offered amnesty and protection if they come to lay down their arms and act as loyal citizens within the thirty days given them by Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith to do so.

At the end of that time those failing to return to their homes and accept the amnesty thus offered and provide for and protect their wives and children in East Tennessee will have them sent to their care in Kentucky or beyond the Confederate State lines at their own expense.

All that leave after this date with a knowledge of the above facts will have their families sent immediately after them.

The women and children must be taken care of by husbands and fathers either in East Tennessee or in the Lincoln Government.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 23, 1862.

First Lieut. JULIUS M. RHETT, Battalion of Artillery, C. S. Army, Charleston, S. C.

SIR: On the 17th instant 475 Union men of East Tennessee were captured en route for Kentucky and sent by Major-General Smith’s order on the 20th instant to Milledgeville, Ga. Some of them expressed a wish before leaving to enlist in the C. S. Army. They were not permitted to do so because of the apprehension that they might [not] be faithful here to their oaths of allegiance; elsewhere they may make good soldiers. Remembering your request the major-general commanding directs me to say that you have whatever authority he can give you to proceed to Milledgeville, Ga., and enlist as many of them as consent for service in South Carolina or elsewhere except in East Tennessee.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 24, 1862.

M. T. HAYNES, Esq.

SIR: Mrs. Maynard applies for passports for two servants understood to be slaves. I am directed to ask your decision as to whether they are her property or not.

Respectfully,

W. M. CHURCHWELL.

{p.885}

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Knoxville, April 25, 1862.

The following-named persons are allowed in charge of Lieut. Joseph H. Speed to pass out of the Confederate States Government by way of Norfolk, Va.: Mrs. Horace Maynard and three children.

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 26, 1862.

COMMANDING OFFICER OF PRISON, Atlanta, Ga.

SIR: By direction of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, commanding this military department, I have to request that you will admit into the prison in which the Union men of Tennessee are confined Mr. W. H. Malone, a gentleman who bears this communication and whose loyalty is indorsed by some of the best and most patriotic citizens of the State. Mr. M. proposes to enlist into the army of the Confederacy such of the prisoners as may be disposed and whom he may deem reliable for service without the limits of this department. The major-general commanding heartily approves the motive which influences Mr. M. and trusts that the object he would attain will as far as possible be advanced by the authorities who have the prisoners in charge. You will release John Patterson, one of the prisoners who was by mistake sent among the number.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 26, 1862.

Mrs. ANDREW JOHNSON.

MADAM: Your note* to Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith has been referred to this office and I am directed respectfully to reply in order to give you more time to make your arrangements for leaving. The time is extended thirty-six hours from the delivery of this second note when the major-general hopes you will be ready to comply with his request. You can go by way of Norfolk, Va., north, or by Kingston to Nashville. Passports and an escort will be furnished for your protection.

Very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

* Omitted as unimportant.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 26, 1862.

Mrs. WILLIAM B. CARTER, Elizabethton.

MADAM: I am directed by Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith respectfully to require that you and your family pass beyond the C. S. line in thirty. {p.886} six hours from the delivery of this note by way of Cumberland Gap. Passports and an escort will be furnished you for your protection to the enemy’s line.

Very respectfully,

W. M. CHURCHWELL.

–––

[No date.]

To THE PUBLIC:

The militia draft under the State laws having been suspended by the proclamation of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith he also suspends the operation of the conscript bill in this department. It is expected all good citizens will return from Kentucky. They will not be molested if they come to remain and cultivate their farms and take care of their families.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 28, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a portion of the Fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers (Colonel Morgan) will leave to-day for Milledgeville, Ga., in charge of Union prisoners. The officer of the detachment is directed to report afterward with his command to the military authorities at Savannah, Ga. In more than one communication Brigadier-General Stevenson has reported many desertions from this regiment to the enemy and urged its removal from Cumberland Gap. Because of this and the general character of the regiment for disloyalty I have thought it best to send it beyond the limits of this department. Being thus removed beyond the influence of friends in the ranks of the enemy it is thought these men may make loyal and good soldiers. I trust my action in this matter will meet the approval of the Department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major. General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 28, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. LEADBETTER, Commanding, &c., Chattanooga, Tenn.:

A citizen cannot be tried by a military court for an offense committed in a district before the declaration of martial law. The offender will be held for trial by some court in Georgia having jurisdiction of the case. This decision of the Attorney-General does not apply in cases where soldiers who are not citizens are upon trial.

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.887}

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JONESBOROUGH, TENN., April 28, 1862.

Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL, Provost-Marshal.

SIR: My mission to Mrs. Johnson was unsatisfactory. She said she would not go North but Judge Patterson and her son Charles have assured me that she would go. You will please state what goods and chattels she will be allowed to take with her; also how much money and if you are willing that her son Charles shall accompany her. He is a young unmarried gentleman and I think should go with his mamma. Mrs. Carter will go unhesitatingly but has a sick child just now but can go in a few days. She says she has not the funds. She is in bad health and must take a nurse with her, a slave. You will answer by 12 o’clock.

A. J. CAMPBELL.

–––

JONESBOROUGH, [April] 30, 1862.

Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL:

Mrs. Johnson, her two sons, Mrs. Carter and her two children will leave to-morrow night for Norfolk. You will send passports, transportation for myself and everything else that is necessary. Send them by the conductor of the next train; if otherwise I will not get them in time. Also send me $50.

A. J. CAMPBELL.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Knoxville, Tenn., May 14, 1862.

Capt. J. F. BELTON, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

By direction of the major-general commanding allow me respectfully to report the circumstances attending the arrest of William Galbraith and J. M. Meek who with others were sent to Tuscaloosa, Ala. A short time before their arrest a large number of deluded citizens mostly young men from the neighborhood of Galbraith and Meek (New Market, Jefferson County, East Tenn.) stampeded and started to Kentucky to join the enemy. They were intercepted by Captain Ashby’s cavalry (Campbell County) and after a fight 400 were captured. From some of those prisoners information was obtained corroborating other statements orally made that caused the arrest of Galbraith and Meek with others. Inclosed marked A is a copy* of statements on file in this office showing the immediate cause of the arrests, and B* and C since their arrests, and also statements* in their favor marked [illegible.]

A letter from two of Mr. Galbraith’s friends inclosing one from his wife asks his release and makes the following statement in their letter: “We know that he (Galbraith) has been a Union-man and perhaps in many instances disloyal to the Confederate Government.” They then go on to state that they do not believe he had anything to do with the late stampede. Many responsible men have indorsed verbally the charges against Galbraith and Meek. That they are disloyal citizens none I believe pretend to deny and while some are fearless enough to commit themselves on paper as you will see by the inclosed original letter marked B* it may be well to remark that in this disaffected section of the country it is difficult to obtain tangible proof such as is desirable, but circumstantial evidence almost equal to {p.888} a demonstration may be had to convict the leaders who are solely to blame for the disloyalty of the masses. Having been for years their political leaders in whom they were in the habit of confiding it is not strange they will readily hear and believe what is said to them, the edicts of those leaders being their only means of communication. The masses generally are not well informed and really excite pity more than blame for their course of conduct. A change can hardly be effected without removing or destroying the influence of those well-known, unsound leaders throughout East Tennessee who are responsible for the deep disaffection. It has been the aim of the provost-marshal as he understood it to be the desire of the major-general commanding to make the masses and their leaders understand that the Government has power to enforce its laws and at the same time to conciliate as far as the interest of the Government would allow to use the power discreetly, justly but firmly.

I am, captain, very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

* Not found.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, May 14, 1862.

Mrs. ROBERT K. BYRD.

MADAM: Will it suit your convenience to visit Kentucky next week as formerly proposed by private conveyance to Cumberland Gap with proper escort? It is important to you as well as others. The colonel has been quite sick, but I learn has recovered and joined his regiment now at Cumberland Ford.

Very respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL,] Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Knoxville, Tenn., May 15, 1862.

ROBERT B. RHEA, Deputy Provost-Marshal, Blountsville:

Yours of the 14th instant to hand. It would be well to see that all men that have attempted to stampede to Kentucky will take the oath before they shall be recognized as citizens; and if they refuse to do so and you are convinced that they have attempted to join the enemy then it is your duty to arrest them and report the same to these headquarters. ...

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

OFFICE DEPUTY PROVOST-MARSHAL, Elizabethton, Tenn., May 19, 1862.

Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL, Provost-Marshal.

DEAR SIR: A few days since I communicated with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Carter in reference to their departure for the Federal lines. Col. Dan. Stover called on me yesterday and stated that Mrs. Johnson’s {p.889} health was still very poor with no prospect of improvement shortly if ever. I have consulted with several physicians who state that Mrs. Johnson is consumptive and to remove her will probably cause her death. She is very anxious to remain here with her children and is not at all desirous to go to the bosom of “Andy.” I called on Mrs. Carter a few moments since. Two of her children are a little sick now but will be well in a few days. She is anxious to go to her husband and if allowed to take a nurse she will go much more cheerfully. She says she won’t go a step till her children get well enough to travel and till she is allowed to carry a nurse to assist her with the children. She prefers going by Cumberland Gap. I think Mrs. Johnson’s health is not likely to improve; so if she has to go now is as good a time as any. These people are very quiet now. A great many gladly circulate false rumors in relation to Federal victories but I can’t find out the originators of such stories.

...

Very respectfully,

WM. W. STRINGFIELD, Deputy Provost-Marshal.

–––

Union Designs in East Tennessee.-Failure to Arm and Support the Insurrectionists.

[For military reports, orders, correspondence, etc., having relation to these events, but not found herein, see “Revolt of the Unionists in East Tennessee,” Series I, Vol. IV, p. 230 et seq.; also, Vol. VII, same series, p. 439 et seq.]

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HEADQUARTERS, Camp Dick Robinson, September 30, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding Department of the Potomac.

GENERAL: I have just had a conversation with Mr. W. B. Carter of Tennessee on the subject of the destruction of the grand trunk railroad through that State.* He assures me that he can have it done if the Government will intrust him with a small sum of money to give confidence to the persons to be employed to do it. It would be one of the most important services that could be done for the country, and I most earnestly hope you will use your influence with the authorities in furtherance of his plans which he will submit to you together with the reasons for doing the work.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

* See p. 881 for statement of A. C. Blevins.

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NEAR MONTGOMERY, MORGAN COUNTY, TENN., October 22, 1861. (Received November 4.)

Brigadier-General THOMAS.

SIR: I reached here at 2 p.m. to-day. I am within six miles of a company of rebel cavalry. I find our Union people in this part of the State {p.890} firm and unwavering in their devotion to our Government and anxious to have an opportunity to assist in saving it. The rebels continue to arrest and imprison our people.

You will please furnish the bearers with as much lead, rifle powder and as many cape as they can bring for Scott and Morgan Counties. You need not fear to trust these people. They will open the war for you by routing these small bodies of marauding cavalry.

...

I am obliged to send this note unsealed.

In haste, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. BLOUNT CARTER.

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NEAR KINGSTON, ROANE COUNTY, TENN., October 27, 1861. (Received November 4.)

General THOMAS.

SIR: I am now within a few miles of our railroad but I have not yet had time to obtain all the information I must have before I decide on the course best for me to adopt. If I can get half a dozen brave men to “take the bull by the horns” we can whip them completely and save the railroad. If I cannot get such leaders we will make a desperate attempt to destroy all the bridges and I firmly believe I will be successful.

...

This whole country is in a wretched condition; a perfect despotism reigns here. The Union men of East Tennessee are longing and praying for the hour when they can break their fetters. The loyalty of our people increases with the oppressions they have to bear. Men and women weep for joy when I merely hint to them that the day of our deliverance is at hand. I have not seen a secession flag since I entered the State. I beg you to hasten on to our help as we are about to create a great diversion in General McClellan’s favor. It seems to me if you would ask it he would spare you at once 5,000 or 10,000 well-drilled troops. Will you not ask for more help?

I know you will excuse a civilian for making suggestions to a military man when you remember that I am risking my life and that I am about to ask my people to do the same. I find more deficiency in arms in this part of East Tennessee than I expected. You must bring some small-arms with you. I am satisfied that you will have to take the road by Monticello and Jamestown unless you come by Cumberland Gap.

I can assure you that whoever is the leader of a successful expedition into East Tennessee will receive from these people a crown of glory of which any one might well be proud, and I know of no one on whom I would more cheerfully bestow that crown than on yourself.

I regret that I can give you no more information but I will communicate with you as circumstances may require. Perhaps it would be well for you to let General McClellan know that I have reached East Tennessee as I know he is very anxious for my success.

I write in great haste but believe you may rely on all I have written.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. BLOUNT CARTER.

{p.891}

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HEADQUARTERS, Crab Orchard, November 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Department of the Cumberland, Louisville, Ky.

GENERAL: ... I inclose copies of two communications I have just received from Mr. William B. Carter, the brother of Lieutenant Carter, U. S. Navy.* If we could possibly-get the arms and the four regiments of disciplined and reliable men we could seize the railroad yet. Cannot General McClellan be induced to send me the regiments?

He can spare them easily I should think.

...

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

* See two preceding communications.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, November 7, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL.

GENERAL: ... So much-in regard to political considerations. The military problem would be a simple one could it be entirely separated from political influences. Such is not the case. Were the population among which you are to operate wholly or generally hostile it is probable that Nashville should be your first and principal objective point. It so happens that a large majority of the inhabitants of Eastern Tennessee are in favor of the Union. It therefore seems proper that you should remain on the defensive on the line from Louisville to Nashville while you throw the mass of your forces by rapid marches by Cumberland Gap or Walker’s Gap on Knoxville in order to occupy the railroad at that point and thus enable the loyal citizens of Eastern Tennessee to rise while you at the same time cut off the railway communication between Eastern Virginia and the Mississippi. It will be prudent to fortify the pass before leaving it in your rear.

[GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.]

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HEADQUARTERS, Crab Orchard, November 7, 1861.

Governor ANDREW JOHNSON, London, Ky.

DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 6th instant is at had.* I have done all in my power to get troops and transportation and means to advance into Tennessee. I believe General Sherman has done the same. Up to this time we have been unsuccessful. ... If the Tennesseeans are not content and must go then the risk of disaster will remain with them. Some of our troops are not yet clothed and it seems impossible to get clothing.

...

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.

* Not found.

{p.892}

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HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army.

DEAR GENERAL: ... Yesterday I sent forty-five pounds rifle powder, fifty pounds lead and twenty boxes rifle caps into East Tennessee for the Union men. I borrowed the whole from Colonel Garrard. Will you have the kindness to have rifle powder forwarded to me not only to return that borrowed but also for further distribution among the mountain men? The ammunition sent yesterday was to be delivered to the men mentioned by my brother in his letter to you. Lead and caps are also needed.

We thank you, general, for your assurance that as soon as you can you will move toward East Tennessee. Our men and officers have entire confidence in you and shall be most happy to see you in our midst. If the reports made to me to-day are true-and they seem to be reliable-we might get possession of the mountain passes without loss or even opposition. Do you not think so?

I am persuaded you will do what is right and proper.

With respect,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Comdg. East Tennessee Brigade.

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HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Crab Orchard, Hy.

GENERAL: My brother William has just arrived from East Tennessee and the news he brings I think of so much importance that I will dispatch a special messenger to convey, it to you. My brother left Roane County near Kingston on Monday night last. Be reports that on Friday night, 8th instant, of last week he succeeded in having burned at least six and perhaps eight bridges on the railroad viz: Union bridge in Sullivan County, near the Virginia line; Lick Creek bridge in Greene County; Strawberry Plains in Jefferson County, fifteen miles east of Knoxville, partially destroyed; Hiwassee bridge, seventy miles southwest of Knoxville and on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad; two bridges over the Chickamauga between Cleveland and Chattanooga and between Chattanooga and Dalton, Ga. These bridges are certainly destroyed. The Long Island bridge at Bridgeport on Tennessee River, and a bridge below Dalton on the Western Atlantic road are probably destroyed.

The consternation among the secessionists of East Tennessee is very great. The Union men are waiting with longing and anxiety for the appearance of Federal forces on the Cumberland Mountains and are all ready to rise up in defense of the Federal Government. My brother states that he has it from reliable sources that the rebels have but 15,000 men at Bowling Green many of them badly armed and poorly organized. The other 15,000 men are distributed at two other points in Southwestern Kentucky.

{p.893}

The above information was obtained from Union members of Tennessee Legislature who were at Bowling Green on last Monday was a week ago.

...

General, if it be possible do urge the commanding general to give us some additional force and let us advance into East Tennessee; now is the time. And such a people as are those who live in East Tennessee deserve and should be relieved and protected. You know the importance of this move and will I hope use all your influence to effect it. Our men will go forward with a shout to relieve their native land.

The brigade commissary has not yet handed in his report of the amount of provisions on hand; but I think we have already nearly if not quite a month’s supply on hand.

With much respect, I am, dear general, yours, very truly,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Comdg. East Tennessee Brigade.

–––

HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 17, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Crab Orchard, Ky.

GENERAL: My brother* who will hand you this can give you all the news we have received since my letter of yesterday from Knox County, Ky.

...

With much respect, yours, very truly,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Comdg. East Tennessee Brigade.

* William Blount Carter.

–––

CAMP CALVERT, EAST TENN., November 20, 1861.

General GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding, &c., Crab Orchard.

GENERAL: ... Recruits are arriving almost every day from East Tennessee. We have no arms to put into their hands. The Union men coming to us represent the people in East Tennessee as waiting with the utmost anxiety the arrival of the Federal forces. They are all ready to join them and do their part toward the deliverance of their native land. Union camps are already forming in some of the counties and unless help soon reaches them as they have but little ammunition they will be scattered or destroyed.

...

With the hope of soon seeing you here, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.894}

–––

HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 24, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding, &c., Danville, Ky.

GENERAL: ... We have arrivals every day from East Tennessee. The condition of affairs there is sad beyond description and if the loyal people who love and cling to the Government are not soon relieved they will be lost.

...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN.’S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., November 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Commanding Department of the Ohio.

GENERAL: ... I am still convinced that political and strategical considerations render a prompt movement in force on Eastern Tennessee imperative. The object to be gained is to cut the communication between the Mississippi Valley and Eastern Virginia; to protect our Union friends in Tennessee and re-establish the Government of the Union in the eastern portion of that State. Of course Louisville must be defended but I think you will be able to do that while you move into Eastern Tennessee. If there are causes which render this course impossible we must submit to the necessity but I still feel sure that a movement on Knoxville is absolutely necessary if it is possible to effect it. Please write to me very fully.

Very truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, U. S. Army, Commanding, &c., Danville, Ky.

GENERAL: ... The rebel force at Cumberland Gap is from the best information I can obtain so small that I think we will meet with but little opposition in ease it is determined to advance by that pass. Our desires are to get to East Tennessee as soon as possible in order that our loyal friends there may be relieved. Many of them have been lying out in the woods to escape their enemies but as the season advances they will be driven to their houses and be forced into the rebel ranks or carried to prison. Let us up and help them now when it will require so little to accomplish this desirable and necessary end.

...

I am, general, respectfully and truly, yours,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.895}

–––

NOVEMBER 27, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL.

GENERAL: What is the reason for concentration of troops at Louisville? I urge movement at once on Eastern Tennessee unless it is impossible. No letter from you for several days. Reply. I still trust to your judgment though urging my own views.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

WASHINGTON, Monday night [November 29, 1861].

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville.

MY DEAR BUELL: ... Keep up the hearts of the Tennesseeans. Make them feel that far from any intention of deserting them all will be done to sustain them. Be sure to maintain their ardor for it will avail you much in the future. I am not as a general rule at all disposed to scatter troops. I believe in attacks by concentrated masses but it seems to me with the little local knowledge I possess that you might attempt two movements-one on Eastern Tennessee say with 15,000 men, and a strong attack on Nashville as you propose with say 50,000 men.

I think we owe it to our Union friends in Eastern Tennessee to protect them at all hazards. First secure that; then if you possess the means carry Nashville.

...

In haste, truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.

–––

WASHINGTON, December 3, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville.

MY DEAR BUELL: I inclose two letters which were referred to me by the President and were intended for your eye. I do so feeling sure that you sympathize with me in my intense regard for the noble Union men of Eastern Tennessee; that you will overlook all mere matters of form; and that you will devote all your energies toward the salvation of men so eminently deserving our protection. I understand your movements and fully concur in their propriety but I must still urge the occupation of Eastern Tennessee as a duty we owe to our gallant friends there who have not hesitated to espouse our cause.

Please send then with the least possible delay troops enough to protect these men. I still feel sure that the best strategical move in this case will be that dictated by the simple feelings of humanity. We must preserve these noble fellows from harm; everything urges us to do that-faith, interest and loyalty. For the sake of these Eastern Tennesseeans who have taken part with us I would gladly sacrifice mere military advantages; they deserve our protection and at all hazards they must have it. I know that your nature is noble enough to forget any slurs they may cast upon you. Protect the true men and you have everything to look forward to. In no event allow them to be crushed out. ... You may fully rely on my full support in the movement I have so much at heart-the liberation of Eastern Tennessee.

{p.896}

Write to me often fully and confidentially. If you gain and retain possession of Eastern Tennessee you will have won brighter laurels than any I hope to gain.

With the utmost confidence and firmest friendship, I am, truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.

[Extracts from Inclosure No. 1.]

HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, near London, Ky., November 21, 1861.

Hon. HORACE MAYNARD.

DEAR SIR: The copy of Evening Star received this evening assures me you have not forgotten me.

...

Our men are most anxious to return to Eastern Tennessee, not so much to see their families as to drive the rebels from the country. We are all inclined to think that help will be deferred until it is too late to save our people. This ought not to be so.

Two or three batteries and 10,000 men provided even with powder and lead for the people could save Eastern Tennessee at this time. Will help never come?

...

Can you not get those in power to give us a few more men and permission to make at least an effort to save our people? Do try. They are even now in arms and must be crushed unless assistance soon reaches them.

Two men came in from Carter this evening who have been nearly six weeks on the way.

With respect, yours, truly,

S. P. CARTER.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 3, 1861.

Please read and consider this letter.

A. L[INCOLN].

[Extracts from Inclosure No. 2.]

HEADQUARTERS EAST TENNESSEE BRIGADE, Camp Calvert, November 25, 1861.

Hon. HORACE MAYNARD.

MY DEAR SIR: ... I know not what will be the next move but hope most sincerely it may be toward Eastern Tennessee. If something is not done and that speedily our people will be cut up and ruined. A column should be ordered to move into Eastern Tennessee, one detailed for that purpose and no other to go without reference to any other movement with the specific object of relieving our people simply on account of their loyalty and as though it were entirely disconnected with any military advantages. I intend to say that our people deserve protection and should have it at once and independently of all outside considerations.

...

{p.897}

If we had a battery I believe we could go into Tennessee and then if we could carry arms or even powder and lead to furnish to our people I believe we could stay there.

Will help ever come? I do not mean contingent aid but special and direct.

We are getting along well. Most of our men have returned who left on night of 13th and all are elated at the orders to remain here. If it be possible have it so arranged that the Eastern Tennesseeans shall not again except in case of urgent and pressing necessity be ordered back toward Central Kentucky. Many would sooner perish in battle than turn their backs toward the Tennessee line again.

...

With best wishes, I am, yours, very truly,

S. P. CARTER.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 3, 1861.

Please read and consider this letter.

A. L[INCOLN].

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CAMP CALVERT, KY., December 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding, &c., Lebanon, Hy.

GENERAL: ... We have some rebels in camp from Scott County, East Tenn. They were brought in yesterday by some Tennesseeans and Kentuckians. They have been noted for the bitterness of their enmity to the Union cause and the unrelenting manner in which they have persecuted loyal men. Four of them are said to be members of a rebel company of rangers one of whom is a sergeant. What shall be done with them?

...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

WASHINGTON, [December] 5, 1861.

General D. C. BUELL.

MY DEAR BUELL: I have only time before the mail closes to acknowledge yours of the 30th. ... Let me again urge the necessity of sending something into East Tennessee as promptly as possible. Our friends there have thrown their all into the scale and we must not desert them. I tell the East Tennessee men here to rest quiet that you will take care of them and will never desert them.

...

In haste, truly, your friend,

MCCLELLAN.

–––

WASHINGTON, December 7, 1861.

General D. C. BUELL:

We have just had interviews with the President and General McClellan and find they concur fully with us in respect to the East Tennessee {p.898} expedition. Our people are oppressed and pursued as beasts of the forest. The Government must come to their relief. We are looking to you with anxious solicitude to move in that direction.

ANDREW JOHNSON. HORACE MAYNARD.

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DECEMBER 8, 1861.

Hon. Mr. MAYNARD and Governor JOHNSON, of Tennessee, Washington:

I have received your dispatch. I assure you I recognize no more imperative duty and crave no higher honor than that of rescuing our loyal friends in Tennessee whose sufferings and heroism I think I can appreciate. I have seen Colonel Carter and hope he is satisfied of this.

D. C. BUELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

WASHINGTON, December 8, 1861.

General GEORGE 117. THOMAS.

GENERAL: ... You are still farther from East Tennessee than when I left you nearly six weeks ago. There is shameful wrong somewhere; I have not yet satisfied myself where. That movement so far has been disgraceful to the country and to all concerned. I feel a sense of personal degradation from my own connection with it greater than from any other part of my public actions. My heart bleeds for these Tennessee troops. I learn they have not yet been paid and are left without either cavalry or artillery at London and not permitted to do what is their daily longing-go to the relief of their friends at home. With Nelson and the measles and blue-grass and nakedness and hunger and poverty and home-sickness the poor fellows have had a bitter experience since they left their homes to serve a Government which as yet has hardly given them a word of kindly recognition. The soldiers of all the other States have a home government to look after them. These have not and but for Carter who has been like a father to them they would have suffered still more severely. That they at times get discouraged and out of heart I do not wonder. My assurances to them have failed so often that I should be ashamed to look them in the face.

...

With renewed assurance of confidence and sympathy I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HORACE MAYNARD.

–––

LOUISVILLE, KY., December 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army.

MY DEAR FRIEND: As I informed you by telegraph I received your letters of the 3d and 5th. I have by no means been unmindful of your wishes in regard to East Tennessee and I think I can both appreciate and unite in your sympathy for a people who have shown so much constancy. That constancy will still sustain them until the hour of deliverance. {p.899} I have no fear of their being crushed. The allegiance of such people to hated rulers even if it could be enforced for the moment will only make them the more determined and ready to resist when the hour of rescue comes.

The organization of the division at Lebanon has been with special reference to the object which you have so much at heart though fortunately it is one which suits any contingencies that can arise. I shall hasten its preparation with all the energy and industry I can bring to bear. The plans which I have in view embrace that fully.

...

Truly, yours,

D. C. BUELL.

–––

HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH BRIGADE, Somerset, December 23, 1861. (Received 25th.)

Brig. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS, Commanding First Division, Lebanon, Ky.

GENERAL: Captain Fry,* Company F, Second Regiment East Tennessee Volunteers, was detailed for special service in October last by your orders and left for Tennessee in company with my brother, Rev. W. B. Carter. I fear that he has been captured by the rebels, and if not that he is so environed by them as to leave but little hope of his being able to return to his regiment. His company is of course still without a captain. I wish your advice as to whether it will or will not be advisable under the circumstances to have the position filled by a new appointment. I write at the request of the colonel of the Second Regiment.

...

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. P. CARTER, Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding Twelfth Brigade.

* See Smith to Cooper, p. 881; also, Smith to Carter, p. 882.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Washington, D. C., December 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville:

Johnson, Maynard, &c., are again becoming frantic and have President Lincoln’s sympathy excited. Political considerations would make it advisable to get the arms and troops into Eastern Tennessee at a very early day; you are, however, the best judge. Can you tell me about when and in what force you will be in Eastern Tennessee? Is Schoepf competent? Do you wish any promotions made from your colonels? Better get the Eastern Tennessee arms and clothing into position for distribution as soon as possible. I will write you fully as soon as I am well enough. Please answer by telegraph.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, U. & Army.

–––

WASHINGTON, January 4, 1862.

General BUELL:

Have arms gone forward for East Tennessee? Please tell me the progress and condition of the movement in that direction. Answer.

A. LINCOLN.

{p.900}

–––

LOUISVILLE, Ky., January 5, 1862.

To the PRESIDENT:

Arms can only go forward for East Tennessee under the protection of an army. My organization of the troops has had in view two columns with reference to that movement: a division to move from Lebanon, and a brigade to operate offensively or defensively according to circumstances on the Cumberland Gap route. ... While my preparations have had this movement constantly in view I will confess to your excellency that I have been bound to it more by my sympathy for the people of East Tennessee and the anxiety with which you and the general-in-chief have desired it than by my opinion of its wisdom as an unconditional measure. As earnestly as I wish to accomplish it my judgment has from the first been decidedly against it if it should render at all doubtful the success of a movement against the great power of the rebellion in the West which is mainly arrayed on the line from Columbus to Bowling Green and can speedily be concentrated at any point of that line which is attacked singly.

D. C. BUELL.

–––

EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, January 6, 1862.

Brigadier-General BUELL:

MY DEAR SIR: Your dispatch of yesterday has been received and it disappoints and distresses me. ... My distress is that our friends in East Tennessee are being hanged and driven to despair and even now I fear are thinking of taking rebel arms for the sake of personal protection. In this we lose the most valuable stake we have in the South. My dispatch to which yours is an answer was sent with the knowledge of Senator Johnson and Representative Maynard of East Tennessee and they will be upon me to know the answer which I cannot safely show them. They would despair; possibly resign to go and save their families somehow or die with them.

I do not intend this to be an order in any sense but merely as intimated before to show you the grounds of my anxiety.

Yours, very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

–––

CONFIDENTIAL.]

WASHINGTON, Monday, January 6, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. C. BUELL, Louisville, Ky.

MY DEAR GENERAL: ... There are few things I have more at heart than the prompt movement of a strong column into Eastern Tennessee. The political consequences of the delay of this movement will be much more serious than you seem to anticipate. If relief is not soon afforded those people we shall lose them entirely and with them the power of inflicting the most severe blow upon the secession cause.

I was extremely sorry to learn from your telegram to the President that you had from the beginning attached little or no importance to a movement in East Tennessee. I had not so understood your views and it develops a radical difference between your views and my own which I deeply regret. ... Interesting as Nashville may be to the Louisville interests it strikes me that its possession is of very secondary importance in comparison with the immense results that would {p.901} arise from the adherence to our cause of the masses in East Tennessee, West North Carolina, South Carolina, North Georgia and Alabama-results that I feel assured would ere long flow from the movement I allude to.

...

In haste, my dear general, very truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

LOUISVILLE, January 13, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army.

MY DEAR FRIEND: I did not mean to be understood in my dispatch to the President as attaching little importance to the movement on East Tennessee; on the contrary it is evidently of the highest importance if thoroughly carried out. But I believe that if the other object were attained the same result would be accomplished quite as promptly and effectually. I have taken no step thus far that has not had that in view also. ... The Tennessee arms are being unpacked and put in order and forwarded to Lebanon.

...

Truly, yours,

D. C. BUELL.

P. S.-The plan of any colonel whoever he is for ending the war by entering East Tennessee with his 5,000 men light-that is with pack-mules and three batteries of artillery, &c.-while the rest of the armies look on though it has some sensible patent ideas is in the aggregate simply ridiculous.

–––

LOUISVILLE, KY., February 1, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army.

MY DEAR GENERAL: ... It is 200 miles or thereabouts from our depots (at the terminus of the railroad) to Knoxville or the nearest point on the Tennessee railroad. At the best supplies are meager along the whole route and if they suffice for a trip or two must by that time be entirely exhausted for any distance that we can reach along both sides of the road.

From Somerset to Jacksborough we will scarcely find any at all. East Tennessee is almost entirely stripped of wheat by the enemy. In the productive region there is still a small surplus of corn and wheat. We must supply two-thirds of the ration from our depots here and we must of course depend on them also for our ordnance and other stores. It will take 1,000 wagons constantly going to supply 10,000 men. ... If the number of troops and consequently the amount of hauling is increased the difficulty is increased in a greater proportion. The limited amount of forage on the route will be speedily exhausted, as besides provisions for our men we must have forage for our animals, a thing that is not to be lightly thought of.

{p.902}

In my previous letter I set down three divisions (say 30,000 effective men) as the force that would be required for East Tennessee, two to penetrate the country and one to keep open communications. I believe that is the least force that will suffice and it ought to be able to establish itself promptly before it can be anticipated by a force of the enemy sufficient to make the result doubtful. With railroads converging from the east, west and south it ought not to be difficult for them to get a pretty formidable force in that country in ten days. ...

For the reasons I have stated I have been forced reluctantly to the conviction that an advance into East Tennessee is impracticable at this time on any scale which will be sufficient. I have ordered General Carter’s brigade to move on the Gap but I fear very much that even that will be compelled to fall back for supplies such is the condition of the roads over which they have to be hauled.

...

Truly, yours,

D. C. BUELL.

–––

Arrest of Dr. William G. Brownlow for Treason, and his Subsequent Expulsion from the Confederate States.

FRIDAY, November 22, 1861.

General W. H. CARROLL:

Having understood that you are to be placed in command of Knoxville in a few days I desire to make a statement to you the truth of which I am willing to swear to before any tribunal.

I left home on the 4th of this instant to attend the chancery court at Maryville and to go to Sevierville to collect fees due me for advertising and I in part succeeded. I have only been in Blount and Sevier Counties. I have not been in any body of armed men or in any way connected with the arming of any man or getting up any force whatever. I left home and have remained away at the earnest and repeated solicitations of my family who insisted they would be more secure in my absence. Certain troops came daily on my portico and in front of my house; drew out and flourished side-arms and sometimes presented muskets threatening my life. I was told that they were under the command of an Alabama officer by the name of Wood and that he was prejudiced against me. I don’t know how this is. As regards bridge-burning I never had an intimation of any such purpose from any quarter at any time and when I heard of the burning of the bridges on the Saturday night after it occurred I was utterly astonished. I condemn the act most unqualifiedly and regard it as an ill-timed measure calculated to bring no good to any one or any party but much harm to innocent men and to the public.

When I together with fifteen or twenty other men signed a communication to General Zollicoffer which was published in all the Tennessee papers pledging ourselves to advise peace and to oppose all attempts at rebellion and such outrages as bridge-burning I acted in good faith and I have kept that faith; and had a knowledge of any purpose to burn the bridges been communicated to me I should have felt bound in all honor and good conscience to have disclosed the fact to the chief officers of the roads; and if I were at liberty to bring out one issue of my paper I would state all these facts to the public more in detail and more nervous terms.

{p.903}

I am willing and ready at any time to stand a trial upon these or any other points before any civil tribunal but I protest against being turned over to an infuriated mob of armed men filled with prejudices by my bitterest enemies.

This communication will be handed you by my friend Col. [John] Williams who is favorably known to you.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 26, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

It is important that steam power should be secured for the purpose of driving the machinery necessary in the alteration of arms. I therefore took possession of the printing establishment of Brownlow. The steam-engine and building are suitable for our purposes and it was the only one that could be procured here. Brownlow has left and no certain information of his whereabouts can be obtained; it is however certain that he is aiding and abetting our enemies. I have assured his sons who profess to have sold the establishment to a Mr. Baxter that full indemnity for the use of the establishment would be paid by the Government. I have every assurance that the sale to Baxter was a false one and feel that Baxter is not reliable in his loyalty to our Government.

...

With high respect, your obedient servant,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier. General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 28, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have received a note from Brownlow stating that he would come in if I would guarantee no personal violence. He has not been with any armed troops. Will send copy of his letter.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, November 28, 1861.

Reverend Doctor BROWNLOW.

SIR: It is my business here to afford protection to all citizens who are loyal to the Confederate States and I shall use all the force at my command to that end. You may be fully assured that you will meet with no personal violence by returning to your home and if you can establish what you say in your letter of the 22d instant you shall have every opportunity to do so before the civil tribunal if necessary provided you have committed no act that will make it necessary for the military law to take cognizance. I desire that every loyal citizen {p.904} regardless of former political opinions shall be fully protected in all his rights and privileges to accomplish which I shall bend all my energies and have no doubt I shall be successful.

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

–––

EXCHANGE HOTEL, Richmond, Va., November 30, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va., Present, &c.

MY DEAR SIR: The object of the interview which I sought on yesterday and which was so readily accorded to me by the President and yourself in reference to affairs in East Tennessee was to impress your minds with the importance of dealing justly and generously with the Union element of that section as the best means of securing their affections and loyalty to this Government. The causes which have induced such obstinate adhesion to the Federal Government on the part of so many were frankly stated in our conversation. Until they are made to feel that they will be recognized as citizens entitled to the same consideration and protection vouchsafed to those entertaining opposite views they will not yield a willing allegiance or active and efficient support to the Confederate Government. Whilst the Government therefore with a steady purpose inflicts just punishment on actual offenders by due course of law it is essential that the Union men should be made to feel that they in common with the adherents of this Government are the objects of solicitude on the part of this Government and that they will be protected against arrests for opinions merely and against lawless exactions and unauthorized impressment of their private property by the soldiery stationed among them. This can be most successfully done by placing the civil and military power of that department in the hands of discreet men with enlarged, liberal and just views who are capable of rising above the influence and demands of local combinations and cliques, with instructions to proceed at once and discharge such prisoners as are now held without sufficient cause (for in my opinion there are quite a number of this character) and to redress the wrongs of citizens whose property has been seized or improperly taken from them by the soldiery.

This policy will tend to repress violence and conciliate favor. By degrees their strong and deeply-seated hostility to this Government can be overcome. Followed by proper efforts they can be induced to volunteer for active service and so strongly committed and identified with the South as to render them useful and effective in achieving our independence and preventing the possibility of civil war in the event a Federal force should be able to force its way into East Tennessee.

If there is no good reason of public policy to the contrary I would be pleased to carry back a passport for Brownlow to leave the country as well as a copy of the instructions under which the military and civil authorities are required to act, because it is believed that if the spirit of the Government as manifested by its executive officer was better understood by the people of East Tennessee it would exert a salutary influence and remove some of the apprehensions which are now driving them to desperation and to violence.

It is my purpose to leave in the morning and with your permission I will call at 2 o’clock to learn your pleasure in the premises.

Respectfully, &c.,

JNO. BAXTER.

{p.905}

The undersigned being charged with having and reading a letter in Maryville during the 4th and 5th days of November past purporting to say that the railroad bridges were to be burned take this method of testifying to the public that there is not one word of truth in the entire statement; that we have neither seen, handled, read or heard read any letter on that subject from any quarter whatsoever. We further state upon our oaths that neither of us has received from or addressed or conveyed to any person in Kentucky or connected with the Federal army during the entire summer and fall any private letter touching the war or the troubles growing out of the war. We also testify upon our oaths that we had no knowledge whatsoever of any purpose or plot on the part of any persons or party to burn the bridges; had we been apprised of such a movement we should have protested against it as an outrage.

Subscribed and sworn to this 2d of December, 1861.

JAMES CUMMING. W. G. BROWNLOW. W. T. DOWELL.

Personally appeared before me, an acting justice of the peace in and for the county of Blount and State of Tennessee this 2d of December, 1861, James Cumming, W. G. Brownlow and W. T. Dowell and made oath in due form of law that the allegations set forth in the foregoing statement and subscribed by them are true.

SOLOMON FARMER, Justice of the Peace for Blount County.

–––

KNOXVILLE, December 6, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

W. G. Brownlow arrested to-day for treason on a warrant issued by the Confederate States commissioner and drawn up by myself. Will write you the facts in full that prompted his arrest in a day or two. Hope you will postpone your decision until you hear them.

J. C. RAMSEY.

–––

KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 7, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America.

SIR: I heartily concur in what is said in the accompanying letter by Doctor Ramsey and Mr. Tibbs, the member-elect to the permanent Congress from the third district of Tennessee. In addition to what is therein stated I must be permitted to express my utter surprise at the fact that the Secretary of War should have ordered that Brownlow be permitted to leave East Tennessee and indentify himself more effectually with the forces of Lincoln in Kentucky. This surprise results more from the fact that but a day or two since I was in Richmond and had a full and frank conversation with Mr. Benjamin in reference to the state of affairs in East Tennessee and he did in no manner allude to the propriety of granting such a passport to Brownlow.

I have but recently been elected to the permanent Congress from this (second) Congressional district (as Mr. Tibbs has been from the third) and upon my return from Richmond I found the citizens and soldiers almost unanimously indignant at this order in Brownlow’s behalf, and to my utter astonishment the report prevailed that I while at Richmond had secured such an order.

{p.906}

My competitor, Mr. Baxter, who received not 500 votes in the district was at Richmond while I was myself there and it may be that his counsels prevailed in the matter and the order for Brownlow’s passport was induced by his arguments or persuasions. I certainly advised no such policy.

A word or two more: In one county of East Tennessee (Scott) the Stars and Stripes have been hoisted within a few days past. Our few friends there have been seized and taken into Kentucky by emissaries from the Lincoln camps and these emissaries were guided and directed by a man who was recently discharged at Nashville by Mr. Benjamin’s order at the instance of Mr. Baxter and others whose co-operation he was influential enough to secure. Will we never be done with such policy?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. G. SWAN.

[Inclosure.]

KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 7, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America.

SIR: The Confederate civil authorities here had Mr. Brownlow arrested last evening under a charge of treason. He is now in jail. It is understood that parties in this place are taking or perhaps have already taken measures to apply for executive clemency in his behalf and turn him at large or transfer him under a military escort to the enemy’s lines in Kentucky. To this course we enter our most respectful but decided protest and remonstrance.

During the whole summer and fall the civil and military power of your Government has arrested, tried, convicted and punished (in some cases capitally in others with more leniency) the poor and insignificant dupes of Brownlow’s treasonable teachings and example. A carload of these ignorant tories was sent this morning to Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and now the proposition to release the prime mover and instigator of all this rebellion against the South and Tennessee and send him, an authorized emissary, to the headquarters of the enemy dignified with an escort of our Tennessee soldiery has startled this community, embracing in the number citizens and most of the army here. The feeling of indignation at the bare effort for his release is much intensified by the fact which as it may not be fully known at Richmond we take leave to bring to your attention, viz, that the prisoner shortly before the burning of our railroad bridges and other acts of incendiarism and disloyalty had left town and visited Blount and Sevier Counties, the residence of the malcontents who are known as the incendiaries, and the suspicion is widely entertained that he prompted and instigated that and other atrocities. This peregrination into the most disloyal and disaffected neighborhoods makes him the more familiar with the extent of the disaffection-their plans, purposes, &c.

A more dangerous and more capable emissary could not be found in the Southern Confederacy to stimulate invasion of Tennessee and advise and carry into effect every kind of mischief. His arrival in Kentucky and Lincolndom generally would be hailed as a greater achievement than the capture of Zollicoffer and his brave troops.

We do not deem it necessary to enlarge further on the subject but we earnestly advise against the proposed release and transportation to

{p.907}

Kentucky. Let the civil or military law take its course against the criminal leader in this atrocious rebellion as it has already done to his deluded and ignorant followers.

We have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servants,

J. G. M. RAMSEY. WM. H. TIBBS.

–––

ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 7, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: I telegraphed you last night that I had caused Brownlow to be arrested by a warrant issued from the C. S. commissioner and I feel confident when I inform you of the grounds of his arrest you will approve of my course. I had intended to have him arrested in November last at the regular term of the Confederate court at this place but in consequence of his absence and Judge Humphreys not being here to hold the court his arrest was postponed. Shortly before the burning of the bridges Brownlow’s friends circulated a report that he was confined at home by a bleeding at the lungs. Notwithstanding this (the bridges being burned on Friday night, the 8th of November) he left home the Monday previous and has remained absent a month or more during the inclement season in the mountainous parts of the counties of Blount and Sevier among the most hostile population to the Southern Confederacy that we have in East Tennessee. Information reached me that on his way to the mountains he had made use of expressions that showed he had knowledge of the designs of the enemy to penetrate into East Tennessee and the time the attempt would be made and I was satisfied from his well-known character for years for obtaining information that he was not ignorant that the bridges would be burned. His newspaper* has been the great cause of rebellion in this section and most of those who have been arrested have been deluded by his gross distortion of facts and incited to take up arms by his inflammatory appeals to their passions and infamous libels upon the Confederate States. Under these circumstances it was the general sentiment of our people and particularly of the military that it would be great injustice to punish the ignorant men who had been deluded by one more cunning and hypocritical than themselves and suffer the master-spirit to escape with impunity. Our soldiers who have been guarding the mountain passes by night as well as by day and have endured the hardest service to detect and arrest ignorant men who were straggling over into Kentucky to assist the enemy, the dupes of his teachings, became discouraged and said they could see no use in such service when Brownlow who could do them more harm than a thousand men was suffered to pass over to the enemy to give them information and incite our enemies to invade our country. So great was their objection to this course that I understand some of the officers said it would be difficult in such a contingency to restrain their men from laying down their arms and returning home; and I also understand that there were none of the military who did not feel it would be degrading service to escort him to the Kentucky line.

But desiring not to trespass upon your valuable time longer than it is absolutely necessary I again repeat that it is the general desire of all friends to our cause in East Tennessee that his case should be investigated to ascertain if he did not possess knowledge of the bridge {p.908} burning and other designs of the enemy. Our most discreet and prudent men both civil and military familiar with the character of the man think it imprudent to send him into the enemy’s country as he is capable of doing us more injury than Johnson and Maynard both combined. I regret that he was not arrested by the military and sent to Tuscaloosa where many will no doubt be sent not half so guilty as he is; and I urge you to that course now as being the very best thing under all the circumstances that could be done. His friends cannot complain of his being sent to a more Southern climate and it is a little singular that with the disease of which he is complaining he should desire to go North at this inclement season. Under all the circumstances I have thought it best for the country that he should be detained for trial or sent to Tuscaloosa. At least he should be detained until you should hear all the facts and circumstances of the case. He was permitted to come home without being arrested as I understand upon condition that he was to be answerable to the law for any offense he may have committed and previous to his being arrested the commissioner had leave to do so from Major-General Crittenden if he thought proper the general saying he would not interfere.

Again Brownlow was aware of President Davis’ proclamation giving all that desired to leave the Confederate States forty days to do so. If he desired to go North he then had an opportunity to do so. He did not avail himself of the law but remains here after he has done all the injury he can do to our country and now asks that he be escorted to our enemies there to give such information to the North as he may desire and inflame the minds of the people more bitterly against us. If that privilege is granted to him will it not be a precedent for all others that may apply during the war? I fear that the moral effect of such a course will not only be bad in East Tennessee but may be deleterious in the whole Confederate States.

I have thought proper to present you my view of the case but will cheerfully conform to your own better judgment.

Yours, truly,

J. C. RAMSEY, C. S. District Attorney for District of Tennessee.

* See p. 911 for articles upon which Brownlow’s arrest was based.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 10, 1861.

J. C. RAMSEY, Esq., C. S. District Attorney, Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR: Your letter of 7th instant is received. I thank you for the information it contains and shall reserve your suggestions for proper consideration.

I should be obliged to you if you would give me an account of the circumstances of Brownlow’s arrest, &c., at your earliest convenience.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

–––

RICHMOND, December 13, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: I arrived at Knoxville about the 1st day of December, assumed command and established my headquarters there. At that time Mr. {p.909} W. G. Brownlow was absent from Knoxville where he resides. Very soon some friend or friends of his approached me on the subject of his return to Knoxville and I had several interviews with the son of Mr. Brownlow who was interceding and acting for his father in the premises. During several days Mr. Brownlow’s son was very importunate in calling upon me and making solicitations in behalf of his father of some sort or another. In the beginning the letter of Mr. Brownlow to General Carroll dated November 22 and received about the time of my arrival was handed to me and discussed between myself and the son of Mr. Brownlow. In this letter Mr. Brownlow stated that he was willing and ready at any time to stand a trial upon any points before any civil tribunal but sought protection from troops and armed men on a return to Knoxville, denying at the same time having had any connection with arming men or with armed bodies of men or with bridge-burners or bridge-burning. General Carroll also handed to me his reply to this letter.

In the several interviews between the son of Mr. Brownlow and one or more of his friends and myself Mr. Brownlow’s innocence of any treasonable conduct was vouched as the basis of any disposition to be made toward him and I stated to Mr. Brownlow’s son who was acting for his father that if he came to Knoxville he must submit to the civil authorities.

Finally about the 4th or 5th of December 1 think Mr. Baxter, a friend of Mr. Brownlow, together with his son called upon me and Mr. Baxter delivered to me an open letter from yourself brought by him dated November 20 and referring to Mr. Brownlow’s departure beyond our lines. Thereupon and on the solicitations made to me in behalf of Mr. Brownlow I directed my assistant adjutant-general to inform Mr. Brownlow in writing that if he would come to Knoxville within a given time I would give him a passport and send him with an escort beyond our lines. I designed this escort to convey him directly through our lines so that he could see nothing of our forces and fortifications. At the given time Mr. Brownlow came and I made arrangements with him as to the time and manner of his departure which were satisfactory to him. I designed sending him off the next day but he desired to stay over a day and on that day before his departure was arrested with a warrant by the civil authorities on a charge of treason.

Mr. Brownlow addressed a note to me stating his arrest and that he had come home upon my invitation and claimed to be under my protection. As I had stated explicitly to Mr. Brownlow’s son who acted for his father and who went after and did conduct his father into town that if he came he must submit to the civil authorities and as his innocence of any treasonable conduct was considered in the arrangements for him I directed one of my aides to reply to his note to the effect that in view of all the facts I could not interfere with the civil authorities so as to protect him from an investigation by them of charges made in their tribunals against him which I clearly understood from himself and his friends he would not seek to avoid.

Of course if the civil authorities release Mr. Brownlow I shall proceed at once to give him a passport and send him with an escort beyond our lines.

I remain, very respectfully, yours, &c.,

G. B. CRITTENDEN, Major-General, C. S. Army.

{p.910}

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KNOXVILLE JAIL, December 16, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

You authorized General Crittenden to give me passports and an escort to send me into the old Government and he invited me here for that purpose; but a third-rate county-court lawyer acting as your Confederate attorney took me out of his hands and cast me into this prison. I am anxious to learn which is your highest authority-the Secretary of War, a major-general or a dirty little drunken attorney such as J. C. Ramsey is?

You are reported to have said to a gentleman in Richmond that I am a bad man dangerous to the Confederacy and that you desire me out of it. Just give me my passports and I will do for your Confederacy more than the devil has ever done-I will quit the country.

I am, &c.,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

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ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 17, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond Va.

SIR: I received your letter dated the 10th and would have answered it sooner but have been waiting until I received a statement from Colonel Toole which came to hand to-day which I inclose to you. Colonel Toole is a gentleman of high standing and his statement can be fully relied upon. It will be seen from his note to me that the conversation was had with Brownlow on the first Monday of November and that was before the bridges were burned. It also shows that he must have had some knowledge of the intention of the enemy to invade Tennessee. I also send you a copy of his paper of May 21 [25], with the article marked. You will see from reading it that if certain things are done he advises that the railroads should be destroyed. I think he was the first man in East Tennessee that made the suggestion in regard to the destruction of the railroads. I also send you the last paper he issued with the article marked. You will see from his editorial that he retracts nothing he has said but indorses all that he heretofore had written. I also inclose you the Republican Banner marked containing a letter written after he stopped the publication of his paper. You will see from this letter that he has gone to Blount, Sevier, Cocke and Granger Counties for the purpose of collecting accounts when in point of fact he only went into Blount and Sevier and there remained with the most disloyal citizens until after the bridges were burned and did not return until the rebellion was to a great extent crushed out. So far as I have been able to learn his arrest has been approved of by the public and in my opinion it has had a good effect. As an index to public sentiment I send you the Knoxville Register* containing extracts from other papers about his arrest. I still think (as I stated to you in my last letter) that it would be proper that he should be sent to Tuscaloosa but will cheerfully dispose of the case according to your own better judgment. You will please return the newspapers when you are done with them.

Yours, truly,

J. C. RAMSEY, C. S. District Attorney.

* See p. 924 for extracts from this paper.

{p.911}

[Inclosure No. 1.]

MARYVILLE, December 17, 1861.

General J. C. RAMSEY.

DEAR SIR: At your request I state that in conversation with William G. Brownlow on the first Monday of November at the ford of Little River in Blount County I asked him for the news at Knoxville. He remarked that his son John had just returned from Nashville and that the Federals had entire possession of Missouri; that Jeff. Thompson was in Memphis; that they (the Federals) would soon have possession of Nashville and Clarksville, and Knoxville would be destroyed. The above is the purport and as well as I now recollect the language used.

Your friend,

JAS. M. TOOLE.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

MURDER WILL OUT.

[From the Knoxville Whig, May 25, 1861.]

A secret of some importance has been cautiously communicated to this city from Alabama by a man not likely to be deceived. The same facts in substance have been intrusted to a most estimable individual here under the solemn injunction of secrecy for a specified time. There are now three other gentlemen besides ourselves and they are men of high positions who know the facts and have the evidence of them. This stupendous and appalling conspiracy amounts to this:

Johnson, Nelson, Baxter, Temple, Trigg, Maynard, Brownlow and George W. Bridges are to be arrested after the election in June by a military force and taken in irons to Montgomery and either punished for treason or held as hostages to guarantee the quiet surrender of the Union men of East Tennessee.

The facts of this conspiracy against the rights of American citizens together with the names of those concerned in urging it on, all, will be left in the hands of reliable, bold and fearless men who will make them public at the proper time. The thousands of Union men of East Tennessee devoted to principle and to the rights and liberties of those who fall at the hands of these conspirators will be expected to avenge their wrongs. Let the railroad on which Union citizens of East Tennessee are conveyed to Montgomery in irons be eternally and hopelessly destroyed. Let the property of the men concerned be consumed and let their lives pay the forfeit and the names will be given. Let the fires of patriotic vengeance be built upon the Union altars of the whole land and let them go out where these conspirators live like the fires from the Lord that consumed Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron, for presumption less sacrilegious. If we are incarcerated at Montgomery or executed there or even elsewhere all the consolation we want is to know that our partisan friends have visited upon our persecutors, certain secession leaders, a most horrible vengeance. Let it be done, East Tennesseeans, though the gates of hell be forced and the heavens be made to fall.

In disclosing this bold and deep-laid plot against the liberties of freemen we have not intended a sensation article. Some may smile at its alleged senseless absurdity but we are not alone in putting forth these facts. We most solemnly implore our friends throughout East {p.912} Tennessee as they regard our welfare and as they cherish principles for which we are alike battling not to molest any person or property in advance of an attack upon any of us but to hold themselves in readiness for action, action, action. As yet the conspiracy is only partially revealed, the murder partly out; the mask will be taken off in due time. We are not in possession of the names of any confederates and abettors outside of the limits of East Tennessee though some have been closeted with East Tennesseeans and the details of their plans agreed upon. Again in the name of everything sacred we ask for ourselves and those threatened with us that no move shall be made by our friends toward injuring the person or property of any living man or existing corporation until further developments are made; and then let every brave man act and let all act together. Thanks be to God for the vigilance of some true men and for their promptness in making communications. A Union man of high character who will disguise himself and travel hundreds of miles at his own expense to serve true men to him personally unknown deserves to be immortalized and to live forever.

[Inclosure No. 3.]

[From the Knoxville Whig, October 26, 1861.]

This issue of the Whig must necessarily be the last for some time to come; I am unable to say how long. The Confederate authorities have determined upon my arrest and I am to be indicted before the grand jury of the Confederate court which commenced its session in Nashville on Monday last. I would have awaited the indictment and arrest before announcing the remarkable event to the world but as I only publish a weekly paper my hurried removal to Nashville would deprive me of the privilege of saying to my subscribers what is alike due to myself and them. I have the fact of my indictment and consequent arrest having been agreed upon for this week from distinguished citizens, legislators and lawyers at Nashville of both parties. Gentlemen of high positions and members of the secession party say that the indictment will be made because of “some treasonable articles in late numbers of the Whig.” I have produced these two “treasonable articles” on the first page of this issue that the unbiased people of the country may “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” the treason. They relate to the culpable remissness of these Knoxville leaders in failing to volunteer in the cause of the Confederacy.

According to the usages of the court as heretofore established I presume I could go free by taking the oath these authorities are administering to other Union men; but my settled purpose is not to do any such thing. I can doubtless be allowed my personal liberty by entering into bonds to keep the peace and to demean myself toward the leaders of secession in Knoxville who have been seeking to have me assassinated all summer and fall as they desire me to do; for this is really the import of the thing and one of the leading objects sought to be attained. Although I could give a bond for my good behavior for $100,000 signed by fifty as good men as the country affords I shall obstinately refuse to do even that; and if such a bond be drawn up and signed by others I will render it null and void by refusing to sign it. In default of both I expect to go to jail and I am ready to start upon one moment’s warning. Not only so but there I am prepared to lie in solitary confinement until I waste away because of imprisonment or die {p.913} from old age. Stimulated by a consciousness of innocent uprightness I will submit to imprisonment for life or die at the end of a rope before I will make any humiliating concession to any power on earth.

I have committed no offense. I have not shouldered arms against the Confederate Government or the State or encouraged others to do so. I have discouraged rebellion publicly and privately. I have not assumed a hostile attitude toward the civil or military authorities of this new government. But I have committed grave and I really fear unpardonable offenses. I have refused to make war upon the Government of the United States; I have refused to publish to the world false and exaggerated accounts of the several engagements had between the contending armies; I have refused to write out and publish false versions of the origin of this war and of the breaking up of the best government the world ever knew; and all this I will continue to do if it cost me my life; nay, when I agree to do such things may a righteous God palsy my right arm and may the earth open and close in upon me forever.

The real object of my arrest and contemplated imprisonment is to dry up, break down, silence and destroy the last and only Union paper left in the eleven seceded States and thereby to keep from the people of East Tennessee the facts which are daily transpiring in the country. After the Hon. Jeff. Davis had stated in Richmond in a conversation relative to my paper that he would not live in a government that did not tolerate freedom of the press-after the judges, attorneys, jurors and all others filling positions of honor or trust under the “permanent Constitution” which guarantees freedom of the press-and after the entire press of the South had come down in thunder tones upon the Federal Government for suppressing the Louisville Courier and the New York Day-Book and other secession journals-I did expect the utmost liberty to be allowed to one small sheet whose errors could be combated by the entire Southern press. It is not enough that my paper has been denied a circulation through the ordinary channels of conveyance in the country but it must be discontinued altogether or its editor must write and select only such articles as meet the approval of a pack of scoundrels in Knoxville when their superiors in all the qualities that adorn human nature are in the penitentiary of our State. And this is the boasted liberty of the press in the Southern Confederacy. I shall in no degree feel humbled by being cast into prison whenever it is the will and pleasure of this august Government to put me there; but on the contrary I shall feel proud of my confinement. I shall go to jail as John Rogers went to the stake-for my principles. I shall go because I have failed to recognize the hand of God in the work of breaking up the American Government and the inauguration of the most wicked, cruel, unnatural and uncalled-for war ever recorded in history. I go because I have refused to laud to the skies the acts of tyranny, usurpation and oppression inflicted upon the people of East Tennessee for their devotion to the Constitution and laws of the Government handed down to them by their fathers and the liberties secured to them by a war of seven long years of gloom, poverty and trial. I repeat I am proud of my position and of my principles and shall leave them to my children as a legacy far more valuable than a princely fortune had I the latter to bestow.

With me life has lost some of its energy; having passed six annual posts on the western slope of half a century something of the fire of youth is exhausted; but I stand forth with the eloquence and energy of right to sustain and stimulate me in the maintenance of my principles. {p.914} I am encouraged to firmness when I look back to the fate of Him “whose power was righteousness” while the infuriated mob cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him !”

I owe to my numerous list of subscribers the filling out of their respective terms for which they have made advance payments and if circumstances ever place it in my power to discharge these obligations I will do it most certainly. But if I am denied the liberty of doing so they must regard their small losses as so many contributions to the cause in which I have fallen. I feel that I can with confidence rely upon the magnanimity and forbearance of my patrons under this state of things. They will bear me witness that I have held out as long as I am allowed to and that I have yielded to a military despotism that I could not avert the horrors of or successfully oppose.

I will say in conclusion for I am not allowed the privilege to write that the people of this country have been unaccustomed to such wrongs; they can yet scarcely realize them. They are astounded for the time being with the quick succession of outrages that have come upon them and they stand horror-stricken like men expecting ruin and annihilation. I may not live to see the day but thousands of my readers will when the people of this once prosperous country will see that they are marching by “double-quick time” from freedom to bondage. They will then look these wanton outrages upon right and liberty full in the face and my prediction is that they will “stir the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.” Wrongs less wanton and outrageous precipitated the French revolution. Citizens cast into dungeons without charges of crime against them and without the formalities of a trial by jury; private property confiscated at the beck of those in power-the press humbled, muzzled and suppressed or prostituted to serve the ends of tyranny. The crimes of Louis XVI. fell short of all this and yet he lost his head. The people of this country down-trodden and oppressed still have the resolution of their illustrious forefathers, who asserted their rights at Lexington and Bunker Hill.

Exchanging with proud satisfaction the editorial chair and the sweet endearments of home for a cell in the prison or the lot of an exile,

I have the honor to be, &c.,

WILLIAM G. BROWNLOW, Editor of the Knoxville Whig.

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ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE, Knoxville, Tenn., December 19, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

SIR: Since I last wrote you I have received a letter from J. G. Wallace, esq., of Blount County, in regard to Brownlow’s recent trip. I consider the letter of importance and have thought it proper to send it to you. Mr. Wallace is a gentleman of high standing and his statements can be fully relied upon.

Yours, truly,

J. C. RAMSEY, C. S. District Attorney.

{p.915}

[Inclosure.]

MARYVILLE, December 18, 1861.

General J. C. RAMSEY.

DEAR SIR: I take occasion now to answer the inquiries contained in your letter of the 14th instant.

After Brownlow came to this county we availed ourselves of every opportunity to find out about his saying and doings but he so covered over his trail that we have been able to ascertain but little concerning him. On the first Monday of November, the Monday immediately preceding the bridge-burning, some 300 to 500 persons were in town most all of whom were Union men. It was the day of our quorum county court at which not more than a score or two of persons usually attend. We did not understand the occasion of so many persons and especially Union men assembling, and at first supposed they had mistaken the day Baxter was to speak and had come to hear him. Upon making inquiry we found that that was not the case; that they knew he was to speak the next day; and furthermore we learned for the first time that they were not going to vote for Baxter; but still we could not ascertain on what business or for what purpose they had all come to town.

About 11 o’clock Brownlow and old Parson [James] Cumming came in and put up at Rev. Mr. [W. T.] Dowel’s. Immediately after their arrival there was a general going to see them at Dowell’s by the Unionites. Caucuses and private conferences were the order of that day and night. We could learn nothing that Brownlow was saying. His companion (Cumming), however, in the course of the day told a friend of his, a Union man and a brother in the church, that the Federal Army would be at Knoxville the last of that week; that Brownlow had left Knoxville until its arrival, and that as soon as the army reached there he was going back and resume the publication of his paper. He assured his friend that this might be relied on; that he had received it from a reliable source and there was no doubt of it. Whatever might have been the occasion, of the assemblage we discovered very clearly that there was something going on that pleased the Union men exceedingly. They seemed in very good spirits and more confident and defiant than they had been for months.

The next morning the news was brought to town-at least we Southern men heard it then for the first time-that the Federal Army was at Jamestown 12,000 strong and coming on to Knoxville. About 10 o’clock that morning Brownlow and Cumming and a man by the name of Mainis left town for the mountains. They went that night to Snider’s in Tuckaleeche Cove. The next day they went into Weir’s Cove in Sevier County. There they parted, Brownlow remaining in the cove and Cumming and Mainis going over toward Waldron’s Creek. On that day Mainis told a man by the name of Waters substantially the same thing Cumming had told Jennings. I have no doubt they told the same thing to many others but we have tried them long enough in similar cases to know that the Union men will give no evidence against each other and especially against their leaders.

On the Monday morning after the bridges were burned the news was circulated in our town. Shortly thereafter Dowell at whose house Brownlow had staid left for the coves, and the next day or the day after Mainis who in the meantime had returned left also. He afterwards sent back after his family and has never returned. One remarkable {p.916} fact and coincidence is that very many of those who were in town the day Brownlow was here were engaged in the raid to Sevier County on Monday and Tuesday after the burning of the bridges.

Another circumstance I will mention. On the Monday morning the news was circulating in town of the bridges being burned a Mr. Sesler, a respectable citizen of the place, was telling the news in his family. A servant girl, a white woman living in his family, instantly remarked, “La me! Phœbe Smith told me at the spring last Wednesday that the bridges were to be burned Friday night but I didn’t believe it.” Upon inquiry of Mr. Sesler she related the following facts: She was at the spring on the Wednesday before the bridges were burned. There she met Phœbe Smith, a white servant girl living in Mr. Dowell’s family. Phœbe remarked, “They were all going to the mountain shortly.” “What for?” “The Northern Army is coming.” “How do you know?” “Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Cumming and some other gentlemen were at our house the other day and Mr. Dowell had some papers in his hand and asked me to go out of the room. I went out and they locked the door. I went back and put my ear to the key-hole and heard Mr. Dowell reading something about the Federal Army coming and about the bridges going to be burned Friday night.”

Mr. Sesler came back up in town and very foolishly made these facts public. In a short time Dowell came down the street and gave notice that the girl Phœbe Smith denied having made any such statement and in an hour or two Dowell left town as before stated. The girl Phœbe has since been seen and talked to on the subject. She continues to deny the truth of the statement of the girl at Sesler’s, the latter however still asserting most positively that they did have such a conversation. The characters of the two girls are equally good. They are both obscure, and nothing much ever having been known or said about either neither one of them I presume could be impeached. Whether there is truth in the statement it is not necessary for me to express an opinion. It is very difficult to imagine how an ignorant servant girl could instantly manufacture such a tale and make as it were a spontaneous expression of it upon hearing the news Sesler was telling while we might imagine how the other girl could be procured or induced to make a denial of it. I believe that the sentiment of our community is that the girl at Sesler’s tells the facts as they occurred. The matter is in just such a fix that no legal evidence can be made of it as I doubt not but that Dowell’s girl will deny it upon oath.

This is about all the information I can give you on the subjects of your inquiries. We have tried to get facts out of the Union men but they will not divulge and I do not believe they would tell anything prejudicial to Brownlow on oath. They seem to understand the object of all inquiries addressed to them and they also seem determined to screen their leaders.

Very respectfully,

JESSE G. WALLACE.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 22, 1861.

J. C. RAMSEY, Esq., C. S. District Attorney, Knoxville.

SIR: Your letters of the 17th and 19th instant have been received. In relation to Brownlow’s case the facts are simply these: Brownlow {p.917} being concealed somewhere in the mountains made application to General Crittenden for protection against what he called a military mob or military tribunal if he came to Knoxville, professing his willingness to undergo a civil trial, i.e. a trial before the civil court as distinguished from court-martial, and as I understand General Crittenden promised to protect him from any trial before a military tribunal. In the meantime Mr. Baxter came here and represented that Brownlow who was entirely beyond our power and so concealed that no one could get possession of his person was willing to leave the country and go into exile to avoid any further trouble in East Tennessee, and proffered that Brownlow would come in and give himself up to be conveyed out of East Tennessee if the Government would agree to let him do so and to protect him in his exit. If Brownlow had been in our hands we might not have accepted the proposition but deeming it better to have him as an open enemy on the other side of the line than a secret enemy within the lines authority was given to General Crittenden to assure him of protection across the border if he came in to Knoxville.

It was not in our power nor that of any one else to prevent his being taken by process of law and I confess it did not occur to me that any attempt would be made to take him out of the hands of the military authorities. This has been done however, and it is only regretted in one point of view-that is color is given to the suspicion that Brownlow has been entrapped and has given himself up under promise of protection which has not been firmly kept. General Crittenden feels sensitive on this point and I share his feelings. Better that even the most dangerous enemy however criminal should escape than that the honor and good faith of the Government should be impugned or even suspected. General Crittenden gave his word only that Brownlow should not be tried by the court-martial and I gave authority to promise him protection if he would surrender to be conveyed across the border. We have both kept our words as far as was in our power but every one must see that Brownlow would now be safe and at large if he had not supposed that his reliance on the promises made him would insure his safe departure from East Tennessee.

Under all the circumstances therefore if Brownlow is exposed to harm from his arrest I shall deem the honor of the Government so far compromised as to consider it my duty to urge on the President a pardon for any offense of which he may be found guilty and I repeat the expression of my regret that he was prosecuted however evident may be his guilt.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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KNOXVILLE, December 27, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Ramsey entered a nolle prosequi in Brownlow’s case. I hold him in custody by advice of Colonel Leadbetter to be sent beyond our lines or otherwise as you may instruct.

H. MONSARRAT, Captain Artillery, Commanding Post.

Approved.

D. LEADBETTER, Colonel, Provisional Army, C. 8.

{p.918}

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., December 28, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Richmond, Va.

DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 22d instant addressed to J. C. Ramsey, esq., C. S. district attorney, in relation to Brownlow’s case which appears in the Knoxville Register of this morning may make an erroneous impression on the public mind as to the part which I took in procuring a passport for him. The careless reader may suppose that the Government intended to arrest him and abandoned the purpose and consented to his leaving the Confederate States on the ground of my representation that he was so concealed as to be entirely beyond its power. So far as I know or believed no officer of the Government at Richmond contemplated his arrest. The application for him to leave was promptly assented to by you and in answer to an objection by President Davis that it appeared to be discriminating in favor of Brownlow conferring upon him a privilege not accorded to others, &c., you replied that you were willing for all to go that wanted to and you spoke of making a proclamation to this effect, showing conclusively that you were not controlled in your action upon this matter by the belief that Brownlow was beyond your power.

These impressions which may be made from a casual reading of your letter-though I presume it was not so intended-are calculated to do me injustice and I would beg you to set me right in reference to these particulars. I acted in good faith to the Government and to everybody concerned and I am willing to take upon myself all the responsibility which properly attaches to my acts or declarations. Your decision in the premises I consider wise, just and magnanimous and it is capable of a full and complete vindication. The results which will follow his departure from East Tennessee will be ample for this purpose; but I am unwilling to be placed before the country in the attitude of having induced the Government to abandon any intention of arresting Brownlow by representing that he was concealed and entirely beyond its power. Such was probably not the fact. What I stated was substantially this:

That from fear of personal violence Brownlow had left home; was supposed to be concealed in the mountains of Sevier or Blount; that I had not seen him; had no authority from him to act for him but that his wife had informed me that he desired to quit the Confederate States and that she desired me to procure a passport for him if one could be obtained.

Upon this statement your letter to General Crittenden was prepared. It was not imperative. The question was referred to General Crittenden to decide whether he should go or not. He was here on the ground; knew all the facts; was cognizant of the views and wishes of the Government; had the means of determining whether Brownlow was beyond the reach of the Government or not, and this question he decided for himself uninfluenced by any suggestion of mine whatever.

You will pardon me I hope for adding that there is no necessity for the Government to apologize for this official act. It disappointed some persons who thirsted for his blood and who had cherished the hope that he would fall a victim to this revolution and they excited some feeling among the soldiery here. But the more enlightened, liberal and brave Southern men among us take a different view. When the revolution is over you will have no occasion to regret the course which you have pursued in reference to Brownlow’s case.

Respectfully, yours,

JNO. BAXTER.

{p.919}

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, December 29, 1861.

J. C. RAMSEY, C. S. District Attorney.

SIR: In answer to your note of the 28th I state that though not aware of Doctor Brownlow’s place of concealment his letter dated November 22 (inclosed a copy and my reply) induced me to believe that he was not very distant from this city and could have been arrested.

You will also see by his letter that he seemed only to dread violence but was entirely willing to be tried before the civil tribunals for any offense of which he might be charged.

Respectfully,

WM. H. CARROLL, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, December 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: In accordance with your letter of instructions Mr. Ramsey, the district attorney, entered a nolle prosequi in Brownlow’s case. As commander of this post in order that your future instructions might be complied with I caused Brownlow to be remanded to prison. This measure was necessary even for his own safety and in order that the public peace might not be violated. I infer from your letter to the district attorney that Brownlow is entitled to a safe-conduct beyond our lines and with reference to this I await your further instructions.

I have just been appointed commandant of this post and have already discovered numberless abuses that should be corrected. Marauding bands of armed men go through the country representing themselves to be the authorized agents of the State or Confederate Government; they impress into service horses and men; they plunder the helpless and especially the quondam supporters of Johnson, Maynard and Brownlow; they force men to enlist by the representation that otherwise they will be incarcerated at Tuscaloosa; they force the people to feed and care for themselves and horses without compensation. I would gladly have instructions as to the mode of correcting these abuses and the character of punishment to be inflicted upon those guilty of such offenses.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. H. MONSARRAT, Captain, Artillery, Commanding Post.

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[Without date. Entered “Received January 2, 1862.”]

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America:

The undersigned begs leave to lay before your excellency the following statement and accompanying documents:

He had for reasons that need not here be stated opposed the secession of Tennessee and was while the question was pending and undecided before the people of the State a zealous advocate of the Union; but after the ordinance of secession had been confirmed by the vote

* See Brownlow to Carroll and Carroll’s answer, pp. 902 and 903. {p.920} of the citizens of the State and the permanent constitution of the Confederate States had in like manner been adopted the undersigned with others who had become prominent by reason of their opposition to those measures voluntarily addressed a communication to Brigadier-General Zollicoffer in which they pledged themselves to use whatever influence they might possess to promote the peace of East Tennessee and obedience to the constituted authorities, State and Confederate, on the part of her people. That pledge was made with a sincere determination so far as the undersigned was concerned to fulfill it according to its letter and spirit, and he has done so. And while General Zollicoffer remained at Knoxville with his command the undersigned and all other law-abiding citizens were protected; but after his departure he soon became convinced that the undersigned and his family were in danger of violence from the soldiers stationed at that place under the command of Col. William B. Wood. Certain of those soldiers were in the daily habit of coming to the residence of the undersigned, flourishing their knives, pointing their muskets at the windows and uttering threats to take his life. The undersigned firmly believes that the soldiers were incited to act in that manner by his bitter personal enemies who sought to make the military the instrument of their private revenge. However this may be he and his family believed that his life was in danger and that his presence at home imperiled instead of securing the safety of his wife and children. He therefore yielded to the entreaties of his friends to leave home for a time and he consented to do so the more readily as he had business in adjoining counties which needed his attention. He accordingly left his home and during his absence heard of the late burning of the bridges on the railroads in East Tennessee and also heard about the same time that he was charged with complicity in that crime and outrage. The undersigned knew that the most intense excitement prevailed in the country; that the passions of the citizens and soldiery were fully aroused; and his knowledge of the history of mankind in the past taught him that in such seasons of high excitement the innocent and the guilty would suffer together. Prudence therefore dictated that he should for a time-until the passions of men should have time to cool and reason to reassume her sway-conceal himself that no occasion-should occur for violence to his person.

The undersigned asserts his entire innocence of the several charges which have been invented by his enemies. He has not since the date of the letter to General Zollicoffer before referred to done aught inconsistent with the pledge it contains. He has not furnished guns to men in arms against the Confederate States as has been untruly charged by some of the newspapers in the country. He had no knowledge of the project to burn the bridges whatever and here declares that had such a design been communicated to him he would at once have given information of it to the proper parties. In a word he has done nothing which malice itself could strain into a crime against the laws of Tennessee or of the Confederate States. Nevertheless he did for the reason before stated secrete himself where he believes he was perfectly secure from discovery. While he was thus safely concealed he was informed that John Baxter, esq., who was on a visit to the city of Richmond applied to the War Department for permission to the undersigned to leave the territory of the Confederate States.

He is informed further that after an interview with your excellency and the Secretary of War a letter was written by the latter to Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden a correct copy of which is submitted here–marked {p.921} A, and thereupon General Crittenden directed a letter to be sent to the undersigned a correct copy of which marked B accompanies this statement. The undersigned relying upon the promise of a passport into Kentucky and the protection of a military escort which it contains and trusting to the good faith of your excellency, the Secretary of War and General Crittenden immediately upon its reception left his place of concealment, returned to Knoxville and within the time appointed called at headquarters and obtained a renewal of the promise of the passport and escort. This occurred on the afternoon of the 5th instant. The morning of the 7th was fixed upon for the departure of the undersigned from Knoxville. Before that time arrived he was arrested upon a warrant for treason issued by R. B. Reynolds, commissioner, &c., a correct copy of which marked C is herewith submitted, and bail and an examination having been refused was confined in the common jail of the county.

The undersigned has been always opposed in politics to your excellency; has resisted with his whole strength the revolution which your excellency is now conducting; but at no time has political prejudice or party feeling caused him to believe that you will sanction what he is compelled to denounce as a gross breach of faith. He has not permitted himself to believe that you would direct the military authorities to make a promise and after that promise had been accepted and acted upon would permit another set of authorities to violate it. He appeals to you as the executive of a Government representing twelve millions of people to protect the honor of that Government against so foul a stain. This application is the last resource left to the undersigned. Immediately after his arrest he addressed the note marked D to General Crittenden and received in reply the note marked E.

It is unnecessary to add that the warrant issued by the commissioner contains no charge of treason. The publication of a newspaper however objectionable its matter might be cannot amount to treason. The undersigned has therefore no reason to fear the result of a judicial investigation of his conduct; but bail though offered for any amount has been refused him. He has been subjected to close confinement in an uncomfortable jail while in weak health and in fact suffering from hemorrhage of the lungs. Until very recently he has intended to continue a citizen of the Confederate States but the events of the last three weeks have convinced him that the laws can afford no protection to himself or family. He now desires to withdraw himself and family from the jurisdiction of those States. He makes this application not as a petitioner for any grace or favor but as a demand of right and with full confidence that the public faith will in the premises be observed.

Respectfully, &c.,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

[Inclosure A.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 20, 1861.

Major-General CRITTENDEN, Cumberland Gap.

DEAR SIR: I have been asked to grant a passport for Mr. Brownlow to leave the State of Tennessee. He is said to have secreted himself fearing violence to his person and to be anxious to depart from the State. I cannot give him a formal passport though I would greatly prefer seeing him on the other side of our lines as an avowed enemy.

{p.922}

I wish however to say that I would be glad to learn that he has left Tennessee and have no objection to interpose to his leaving if you are willing to let him pass.

Yours, truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure B.]

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, Tenn., December 4, 1861.

W. G. BROWNLOW, Esq.

SIR: The major-general commanding directs me to say that upon calling at his headquarters within twenty-four hours you can get a passport to go into Kentucky accompanied by a military escort, the route to be designated by General Crittenden.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. S. CUNNINGHAM, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure C.]

DECEMBER 6, 1861.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, District of Tennessee. To THE MARSHAL OF SAID DISTRICT:

J. C. Ramsey, C. S. district attorney for said district, having made oath before me that he is informed and believes that William G. Brownlow, a citizen of said district and owing allegiance and fidelity to the Confederate States but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil and not having the fear of God before his eyes, did wilfully, knowingly and with malice aforethought and feloniously commit the crime of treason against the Confederate States by then and there within said district and since the 8th day of June last publishing a weekly and tri-weekly paper known as Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig; said paper had a large circulation in said district and also circulated in the United States and contained weekly divers of editorials written by the said Brownlow which said editorials were treasonable against the Confederate States of America, and did then and there commit treason and prompt others to commit treason; by speech as well as publication did as aforesaid commit treason and did give aid and comfort to the United States, both of said Governments being in a state of war with each other. You are therefore commanded to arrest the said Brownlow and bring him before me to be dealt with as the law directs.

R. B. REYNOLDS, Commissioner, &c.

[Inclosure D.]

KNOXVILLE, December 6, 1861.

Major-General CRITTENDEN:

I am now under an arrest upon a warrant signed by Messrs. Reynolds and Ramsey upon a charge of treason founded upon sundry articles published in the Knoxville Whig since June last. I am here upon your invitation and promise of passports; and claiming your protection as I do I shall await your early response.

Very respectfully,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

{p.923}

[Inclosure E.]

KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1861.

W. G. BROWNLOW.

SIR: Your note stating that you were under an arrest upon a war rant upon a charge of treason, &c., has been handed to General Crittenden. He desires me to say in reply that in view of all the facts of the case (which need not be recapitulated here for you are familiar with them) he does not consider that you are here upon his invitation in such manner as to claim his protection from an investigation by the civil authorities of the charges against you which he clearly understood from yourself and your friends you would not seek to avoid.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

HARRY I. THORNTON, Aide-de-Camp.

–––

Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That the conduct and treasonable movements of Andrew Johnson, Horace Maynard, Emerson Etheridge and such others of our public men as have expatriated themselves from our State are regarded as alien enemies of our people and the infamy and turpitude-of whose offenses win the sovereign contempt and perfect indignation of all good and loyal citizens, as well also as the just punishment of the law in such cases made and provided.-Found among W. G. Brownlow’s papers.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 3, 1862.

Capt. G. H. MONSARRAT, Knoxville, Tenn.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 29th ultimo the Secretary of War directs me to say that Brownlow is to be escorted out of the country by a military force sufficient to protect him from violence in accordance with the pledge given by General Crittenden.

In relation to the abuses mentioned the Secretary expects you to be vigilant and energetic in suppressing them. Colonel Leadbetter who commands on the line of the railroad and the adjacent country will give you particular instructions.

Respectfully,

A. T. BLEDSOE, Chief Bureau of War.

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KNOXVILLE, TENN., January 3, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond.

SIR: Mr. Attorney-General Ramsey the other-day in the Confederate court cited an article written and published in the Knoxville Whig before the State went out as the grounds of his arrest of Brownlow for treason. The attorney did it no doubt to justify his act of arrest under the peculiar circumstances, but it has startled the community with a new and grave question which should be understood at once.

Is it the purpose of the Government to arrest and try for treason gentlemen who may have expressed hostility to the Southern cause {p.924} before the State was formally voted out? You may rest assured if this is understood to be the policy it will be sure to involve us in renewed trouble. The reports of great excitement about the Brownlow affair are greatly exaggerated; indeed are almost wholly without foundation in fact. There is not a gentleman in or out of the army who after learning the facts of the case does not fully indorse your noble sentiment: “Better that even the most dangerous enemy however criminal should escape than that the honor and good faith of the Government should be impugned or even suspected.”

I may say with truth that all disinterested parties regard the arrest and imprisonment of the man under the circumstances as shameful and it has done more injury to the fair name of the Confederacy than a thousand Brownlows are worth. He is said to be now in a sick and dying condition. I pray you will telegraph and insist on a safe-conduct for him and his family at once across the lines and everybody else that desires to leave. If this were done it would be worth 10,000 men to the Southern cause.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. J. CRAIG.

P. S.-I inclose the paper containing the original article of Brownlow; also two copies of the Attorney-General’s organ referring to the matter.*

* The Brownlow article referred to is inclosure No. 2 with Ramsey’s letter to Benjamin of December 17, p. 911. “The Attorney-General’s organ” refers to the Knoxville Register, the cited articles from which appear herewith as inclosures.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

ARREST.

[From the Knoxville Register, December 7, 1861.]

William G. Brownlow was arrested yesterday upon a charge of treason on a warrant ordered by the C. S. commissioner and drawn up by the district attorney. He was committed to jail. His trial will come up in due course before the Confederate court-perhaps next week. The rumor of an order from the War Department for his safe conduct to the North in the last two days has created intense excitement throughout this country, especially among those who have friends and relatives now languishing in prison on account of his teachings.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

BROWNLOW.

[From the Knoxville Register, December 13, 1861.]

Why is this ringleader of all the Toryism and devilment in East Tennessee dealt with so leniently and others not half so guilty punished extremely? We insist upon it that all who have been apprehended and are now in prison ought to be released without further trouble. They have only done what Brownlow, Johnson, Nelson, Maynard, Fleming, Trigg and others who were leaders in trying to ruin the country told them to do. And now why keep any others in custody? Why weary the troops in hunting them out and bringing them to justice? Justice should be meted out to all alike; and if the principal leader is not only released but furnished a safe escort it should so be {p.925} exercised to others. We should invite Johnson and Maynard home and promise them safety while they may be disposed to remain among us and learn all the details of the Southern movement. The brave men who see that Brownlow gets safely out could certainly see that Johnson and Maynard came safely in.

But seriously we have no desire to see any man-not even Mr. Brownlow-pull Tennessee hemp or that of Missouri, nor yet that of Kentucky. But we do think that the least punishment that should be inflicted ought to be a residence at Tuscaloosa until the war closes; and then the enviable gentleman can go over by himself and see Abe Lincoln and abide with him forever. Can it be that any officer or soldier will be pleased to carry out such a tormenter as Brownlow-conduct him safely out who has all the time been seeking the ruin of every secessionist and the whole Southern Confederacy, who would “rather be in hell than with such a bogus government?” Can it be that those brave men who have left all that is dear to them to defend the country will feel themselves honored by safely conveying their most inveterate enemy over to Lincoln to do them still more damage, or will they not rather feel like they have lost more than half they have been fighting for in this State? East Tennessee has been a heavy expense to the State and to the Confederate Government in consequence of the teaching and leading of Brownlow and others; and now to let him go in peace seems to be the height of folly or we cannot see right. It will cool the ardor of many a soldier and cause the community to lose confidence in the hope that they entertained of the speedy independence of the South.

We have nothing to controvert with those at the helm of affairs but we think that we can safely say that our friends at Nashville and Richmond have been led astray and badly hoodwinked by those from East Tennessee who are better friends to Unionism or Tory ism than to the Southern interests. It has been said in the ears of authority that Brownlow was so secreted that he could not be found. But no true Southern man believes a word of that in this part of the country. He could have been picked up in three days at any time during his absence by a deputation of ten soldiers. The only wonder is that it was not done. It may be well said that enemies with fair faces have dictated and have been heard and listened to instead of those who have been faithful to the cause of the South through thick and thin. The enmity and trouble amongst Union men in East Tennessee is not rooted out, it is only covered up; while the heat with some honorable exceptions is increasing and waiting and hoping for Lincoln to send over his army, and they will “pitch in.”

[Inclosure No. 3.]

THE RELEASE OF W. G. BROWNLOW.

[From the Knoxville Register.]

We do not desire to be understood as attaching an undue or extravagant importance to the discharge of Brownlow from the custody of the Confederate authorities. The writer of this has known this individual for years. He is in few words a diplomat of the first water. Brownlow rarely undertakes anything unless he sees his way entirely through the millstone. He covers over his really profound knowledge of human nature with an appearance of eccentricity and extravagance, if any of our readers indulge the idea that Brownlow is not smart in the full {p.926} acceptation of the term they should abolish the delusion at once and forever. Crafty, cunning, generous to his particular friends, benevolent and charitable to their faults, ungrateful and implacable to his enemies-we cannot refrain from saying that he is the best judge of human nature within the bounds of the Southern Confederacy.

In procuring from the Confederate authorities a safe-conduct to a point within the Hessian lines he has exhibited the most consummate skill. Absenting himself from the immediate vicinity of Knoxville-hiding at a point where he was concealed from the observation of anyone save his particular friends, within easy communication with the military commanders at the Knoxville post-he succeeded in foiling the Confederate authorities at every point. By a hypocritical appeal to Southern generosity against what he chose to term “mob law” he succeeded in concealing his real whereabouts just long enough to accomplish his real purposes. Time was all he wanted. Cajoling the authorities here with the idea that “he was doing nothing” his emissaries were dispatched to Richmond. By a species of diplomacy and legerdemain Secretary Benjamin is induced to believe that Brownlow forsooth is quite a harmless individual. The move was made, the blow was struck and the shackles fall from the person of Brownlow. Brownlow was triumphant and Benjamin outwitted, in fact we do not know whether to laugh or get mad with the manner in which Brownlow has wound the Confederate Government around his thumb. That Brownlow is now laughing like the king’s fool in his sleeve we doubt not for a moment.

The pledge to convey Brownlow within the Hessian lines has been made by the head of the War Department of the Confederate States; and even if this promise was procured by fraud and misrepresentation as we have heard intimated yet it must be fulfilled to the exact letter. In giving Brownlow the promise the Confederate authorities have committed in our opinion what has been so often characterized as worse than a crime-a blunder. That all the authorities in this case acted in good faith we do not and will not doubt; that they have been outwitted and overreached diplomatically we can affirm with equal truth. Brownlow!-God forbid that we should unnecessarily magnify the importance of this name; but there are facts connected with the character of the man which a just and discriminating public would condemn in us did we not give them due notice. In brief Brownlow has preached at every church and school-house and made stump-speeches at every cross-road and knows every man, woman and child and their fathers and grandfathers before them in East Tennessee. As a Methodist circuit-rider, a political stump-speaker, a temperance orator and the editor of a newspaper he has been equally successful in our division of the State. Let him but once reach the confines of Kentucky with his knowledge of the geography and the population of East Tennessee and our section will soon feel the effect of his hard blows. From among his old partisan and religious sectarian parasites he will find men who will obey him with the fanatical alacrity of those who followed Peter the Hermit in the first crusade. We repeat again let us not underrate Brownlow.

–––

AT HOME, [Knoxville, Tenn.,] February 15, 1862.

Col. ROBERT B. VANCE:

I am glad to learn that you are in command of this post and I hope you may be continued while it is my lot to remain here under guard in {p.927} prison. As you are no doubt aware I have not been able to write for several days; and this hasty letter I indite while propped up in bed. But I write to give you an account of my treatment by those associated with you and preceding you.

I think I may venture to say by way of preliminary that I am not prone to utter complaints but usually exercise a good degree of patience. For the first five weeks of the last seven that a guard has been placed around and in my room I have voluntarily given them three meals in each day, seating them at my table with my family, considering it no hardship as I knew most of them to be Union men forced into the service. When even a different class of men were selected who took possession of my library and office where my two sons sleep; when I say this was seized upon and turned into a guard-house, rocking-chairs broken to pieces, carpet ruined and books damaged; when my coal and wood were taken and consumed though dear and difficult to procure; and when I have furnished their guard-house candles all the time though none are to be had in the market I have not complained. When your predecessor, Colonel Leadbetter, has refused my son John the privilege of collecting debts due me from the clerks and sheriffs of surrounding counties which they are ready and anxious to pay me and which in my broken-down condition I really need to live on I have uttered no words of complaint. When for several days past out of a family of thirteen in number only my wife, my son John and two negroes were off the sick list; when both the mumps and measles were introduced by armed sentinels standing day and night in my room and at my doors I have not uttered even a single word of complaint. When my house and especially my passage and front portico have been shamefully abused by these sentinels disfigured with mud and tobacco I have submitted in silence though conscious of the bad treatment given me. When we have all been kept from sleep by the walking, talking, singing and swearing and by a change of these guards every two hours; when they have rudely rushed into my bedchamber as they said to get warm I have submitted without one word of complaint. I have felt that there is a better day coming for me and my family if I am not assassinated which is threatened me on every hand. I have had and I still have confidence in the final success of the principles for which I am made to suffer these cruel indignities; and hence I have been silent.

But last night when my wife attempted to close and fasten a back door by which my bedroom is entered and it the only fastening to my room in the rear of the building she was insultingly notified by the sentinel, a drunken secessionist, that it must stand open all night and that such were his orders from Captain Cook to whose company he was attached. She told him that it could not and should not stand open; that there were three other sick persons in the room besides me and one of them a little daughter with fever; and she accordingly closed it upon him and locked it expecting him to break it down.

Of this treatment, Colonel Vance, I do complain and especially as threats are made that the door shall be kept open to-night. My appeal for relief is to you. To your predecessor. Leadbetter, I can make no appeal for he never had a gentlemanly emotion of soul in his life; and if he were capable of such feelings he is the willing and malicious instrument of a villainous clique here of most corrupt, vindictive and despicable scoundrels-of whom John H. Crozier, J. C. Ramsey and W. G. Swan are chief.

{p.928}

There is no call for this double guard around me. It is done to oppress me and my family. My wife and children are treated as prisoners; and all marketing is excluded from the house by a military order not to allow any persons to my door or yard. I hope for the honor of the Southern character that no other private family within the eleven seceded States is subjected to such an ordeal. Certain I am that such tyranny and oppression, such outrages and insults, will never diminish my esteem for the old United States Government or increase my respect for the Southern Confederacy. Feeble as I am I am ready and anxious to go beyond your lines as it will relieve my family of this oppression. If I cannot be removed in accordance with the pledge of your War Department. I am willing nay desirous to go back to jail if that will secure the repose of an afflicted, insulted and outraged family.

I am, very truly, &c.,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

–––

KNOXVILLE, February 27, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Satisfied upon reliable information that my personal safety forbids my going out of this Confederacy by way of Richmond I ask the justice to allow Major Monsarrat to send me through the lines either over Cumberland Mountains or via Nashville. I prefer the latter as I am not yet well enough to undergo the fatigues of traveling on horseback.

Very, respectfully, &c.,

W. G. BROWNLOW.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., March 1, 1862.

Major MONSARRAT, Knoxville:

You are authorized to send Brownlow out of Tennessee by the Cumberland Mountains or any safe road.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Knoxville, March 3, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

SIR: Your telegraphic order [of 1st instant] to transmit Doctor Brownlow out of Tennessee by “Cumberland Mountains or any safe road” was received on Saturday. This morning I sent Doctor Brownlow in charge of Col. [H. Casey] Young of General Carroll’s staff with a guard of ten men to Nashville and thence to Kentucky. I did not deem it safe to send by any of the mountain passes.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

G. H. MONSARRAT, Captain, Commanding Post.

{p.929}

–––

HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT, Huntsville, March 7, 1862.

Lieutenant O’BRIEN, Third Tennessee Regiment.

SIR: General Johnston having just learned that you have brought Doctor Brownlow to Wartrace as a prisoner expects you to return him to his home or release him where he now is as he may elect.

W. W. MACKALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, CENTRAL ARMY, March 8, 1862.

In obedience to the orders of the Secretary of War of the Confederate States the officers in charge of W. G. Brownlow will conduct him under a flag of truce to the most convenient and practicable point of the lines of the enemy and deliver him over to the Federal authorities.

By command of Major-General Crittenden:

POLLOK B. LEE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 21, 1862.

Mrs. W. G. BROWNLOW, Knoxville.

MADAM: By Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith I am directed most respectfully to inform you that you and your children are not held as hostages for the good behavior of your husband as represented by him in a speech at Cincinnati recently, and that yourself and family will be required to pass beyond the C. S. line in thirty-six hours from this date. Passports will be granted you from this office.

Very respectfully,

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 21, 1862.

Col. W. M. CHURCHWELL, Provost-Marshal.

SIR: Your official note as provost-marshal for East Tennessee ordering myself and family to remove beyond the limits of the Confederate States within the next thirty-six hours is just received and I hasten to reply to it. My husband as you are aware is not here to afford me his protection and counsel; and being well nigh in the evening of life with a family of dependent children I have to request as a matter of indulgence that you extend the time for my exile a few days longer as to leave within the time prescribed by your mandate would result in the total sacrifice of my private interests.

I have to request the further information what guarantee of safety your passport will afford myself and family.

Yours, &c.,

ELIZA A. BROWNLOW.

{p.930}

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., April 22, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

I have directed Brownlow’s and Maynard’s families to leave East Tennessee. I wish them to go via Norfolk. Can they pass that way?

E. KIRBY SMITH, Major-General, Commanding.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 22, 1862.

Mrs. W. G. BROWNLOW.

MADAM: At your request the time for your leaving to join your husband is extended until Thursday morning next. The route will be via Kingston and Sparta. Your safety will be the soldiers sent along for your protection to the lines of the enemy.

Very respectfully,

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, April 23, 1862.

Maj. B. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: Names of the following persons to go to Norfolk: Mrs. Eliza Brownlow and three children, Miss Mary Brownlow, Mrs. Sue C. Sawyers and child, John B. Brownlow. This office has had no communication with Mrs. Maynard since notifying her but understand she leaves this morning. No application has been made for passport. No officer has yet reported to go to Norfolk. Will be sent to Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith’s headquarters for instructions as soon as he reports here.

Respectfully,

[W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.]

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, April 24, 1862.

Lieut. JOSEPH H. SPEED, Twentieth Regiment Alabama Volunteers.

SIR: The major-general commanding directs that you proceed from this place to-morrow morning in charge of the following-named persons: Mrs. Eliza Brownlow and three children, Miss Mary Brownlow, Mrs. Sue O. Sawyers and child, John B. Brownlow, Mrs. Maynard and three children, whom you will take to Norfolk, Va., to be transported thence to the enemy’s lines. You will show them all proper attention on the way thither and protect them against offensive intrusion. After arriving at Norfolk you will report to the commanding officer and request that just prior to their embarkation a careful examination be made of their luggage and persons for letters or papers of a treasonable {p.931} character. If any such should be discovered you will detain Mr. Brownlow and bring him with you upon your return to Knoxville when you will report to these headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. L. CLAY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL, Knoxville, April 25, 1862.

The following-named persons are allowed (in charge of Lieut. Joseph H. Speed) to pass out of the Confederate States Government by way of Norfolk, Va.: Mrs. Eliza Brownlow and three children; Miss Mary Brownlow, Mrs. Sue C. Sawyers and child, John B. Brownlow.

W. M. CHURCHWELL, Colonel and Provost-Marshal.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, April 28, 1862.

Just received. The persons are here. Lieutenant Speed reports this order is from General Kirby Smith. I will detain the party here. Please telegraph me if I shall send them to Fort Monroe.

BENJAMIN HUGER, Major-General.

–––

RICHMOND, April 28, 1862.

Maj. Gen. BENJAMIN HUGER, Norfolk, Va.:

The Brownlow family which has been sent to Norfolk by the commanding general of the Department of East Tennessee for the purpose of being transported to the enemy’s line will be sent by you to Fortress Monroe.

By order of the Secretary of War:

A. T. BLEDSOE, Assistant Secretary of War.

Library Reference Information

Type of Material: Book (Book, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
Corporate Name: United States. War Dept.
Main Title: The War of the Rebellion:
a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies.
Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of War
by Robert N. Scott.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1880-1900.
Published/Created: Washington : Government Pub. Off., 1880-1901 (70 v. in 128).
Description: 70 v. in 128. 24 cm.
Subjects: United States. Army--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Confederate States of America. Army--History--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories.
LC Classification: E464 .U6