Documents demonstrating resistance to the
1, “It was Unnecessary;” editorial disapproval of Governor Harris’ military draft
We all feel … the vital importance of meeting the emergency in the spirit and strength of freemen, preferring death … to life in serfdom to our enemies. But, while admitting this truth, we cannot believe that these extraordinary reqirements attendant upon the existing war justify…draft upon the people as a means of increasing the strength of our armies. ….the purpose desired could no doubt sooner have been accomplished, without …. the lasting shame of a military draft….
1, “Must the Odium Endure.”
To a people so free, so high toned, so intelligent, so liberal and so patriotic as the citizens of Tennessee,-to a people so thoroughly and entirely devoted to the promised escape from the Lincoln despotism, and so freely yielding their blood and treasure to the great cause of resistance to the black Republican tyranny sought to be imposed upon the states of the South,-to a people so sensible of their rights as freemen, and so confident of their ability to sustain their late action in revolutionising [sic] against the old Federal government, and entering upon a new state of political existence,-nothing could be more mortifying, nothing more humiliating than an attempt upon the part of their authorities to fix upon them the eternal odium of drafting their citizens into the military service. No wonder, then, that our people are next to dumb with astonishment at the high handed outrage upon their constitutional rights, at the broad innovation upon a former usage, and at the direct question of their courage and patriotism, perpetrated and implied in late orders of the Governor of Tennessee. No wonder that in all quarters and among all classes of people, irrespective of politics and conditions, there is but one opinion-and that deeply and severely condemnatory-of this threatened compulsion and disgrace of those who, once had occasion to pride themselves upon being citizens of the “
3, “Volunteering;” complaints about Governor Harris’ draft in
The last call of the Governor for volunteers has been nobly responded to in this county-more than half the militia stepped forward as volunteers, and are now organizing themselves into companies, ready for marching orders.
This county was entitled to a credit for four companies, viz.,: Capt. Winstead’s, Capt. Hanna’s, Capt. Hundicutt’s, and Capt. Worley’s which recently went into camp from this county: but it seems the Militia officers were ignorant of this fact, and have therefore required half the remaining militia to go into the field. This does gross injustice to the liberal and patriotic people of Giles, and leaves her women and children almost defenseless. We call upon the proper authorities to have this matter investigated and corrected immediately.
Pulaski Citizen, as cited in the
3, Militia companies in
Last Tuesday [3rd], we made a flying trip to Palmyra….Some people are disposed to doubt the courage of the militia, but that doubt would have been removed could they have seen the fight we saw-a real fisty-cuff-between a small militiaman and one nearly double his size. Big militiamen cried-Hold! enough! “ and little militiaman was pulled off, and so ended the fight “at Cousin Sally Dillard’s.”
4, “A Weak Invention;” one editor’s support for resisting Governor Harris’ draft
Some of those who set themselves up as the apologists of the drafting party, use the argument that Gov. Harris, in making this extreme demand upon the people of his State, was governed by the advice and counsel of those higher in authority than himself. We may justly denominate this a week invention of the Governor’s friends to shield him from the storm of public indignation now breaking above his head. Even were the dangers of the times an hundred fold greater than they really are, the fact would not afford sufficient excuse of the suicidal policy adopted by Gov. Harris in regard to the militia of Tennessee.-Had all the Governors of the Confederate States united with President Davis and General Johnston in asking that Tennessee should be the first State in the Confederacy to submit to the disgrace of military conscription, the demand should have been sternly resisted. This is to-day the sentiment of an immense majority of the people of
Ours, it seems, is the only daily
Towards its contemporaries who disagree with its assumptions against abuses of official prerogatives or other public wrongs, it can afford to be charitable. Before this irresistible tide of popular opinion they have followed us on former occasions. By virtue of the same force, they may imitate our examples again.
5, “A Mistaken Haste;” anti-draft editorial from the
It must be admitted that, as far as this city is concerned, the late militia call by the Governor, made as it was and when it was, has by no means increased confidence in his wisdom nor respect for the cause, and this simply because the first order in connection with the matter, were misunderstood by our people, and for this misunderstanding Governor Harris must of necessity stand responsible. A mere order, unaccompanied by explanations, is right in a military leader; but it will never be willingly obeyed when it affects a man’s private business, denies him the right of exercising his own will, and requires of him the risking of life, liberty and property, intones so autocratic that the Czar of Russia might envy them. For whatever ill effect, morally, the cause has sustained through his excellency’s haste, as well as for the diminution of public confidence in his wisdom, he can blame but himself, and those who, after the surprise at
We are sorry the affair was so miserably managed, and the more sorry that his excellency’s real desires, and the wise ideas which he wished to realize by the call might have been gratified and realized without having caused a single murmur from any honest Southern man. Our men, women and children, our servants, will peril, will sacrifice their all in this quarrel, and think it but their duty. The Governor knows this, and is himself, probably, as true and brave a ruler as ever sat in our gubernatorial chair. Misunderstandings will occur between the best intentioned friends. Let us forget this one, forgive, and see how many of us are needed and can be used to effect, and just so many can and will be ready and proud to march for good old Tennessee.
6, Report of a draft riot in
“A riot occurred at
New York Times, December 8, 1861.
6, “What is Needed.”
The militia of
7, Observation by an L&N railroad agent on difficulties with raising troops in the
Mr. A. B. Barker, the well known railroad agent, arrived from
It will be remembered that Gov. Harris, of
He estimates the number of rebel troops between
No attention is given to the payment of the troops, and the soldiers have so accustomed to that sort of neglect, that they do not expect to receive remuneration for their services, being but to glad if they can obtain sufficient subsistence to keep their souls and bodies together. Alluding to the case of Harry Duvall, of this city, in this arms connection he says, he says that Harry arrived from
Mr. Barker was familiar with many of the boys who left this city and joined the rebel army, and relates some amusing episodes in their histories down there. He says that Blanton Duncan has fallen into disgrace there, having given up the pursuit after military fame and adopted gambling as a profession.
12, Report of negative reactions to the Confederate draft in
The Louisville Correspondent of the
“I have news from
“Gov. Harris was compelled to keep his room at the
“The writer further states that J. O. Griffith, financial proprietor of the Nashville Union and American, original secessionist, and Hugh McCrea, an Irish original secessionist, were among those drawn for militi[a] service. There wholesale dry goods merchants, Alfred Adams, Tom Fife, and W. S. Akin, had also been selected to shoulder the musket. Some wealthy persons offered as high as two thousand dollars for substitutes.”
21, The character of war in East Tennessee and resistance to the Confederate draft in
Intestine war, with savage ferocity on the part of the rebels, now rages in
The city of
On the 1st of this month a band of Union men from
 As cited in Rebellion Record, Vol. 4. p. 25.