9, "Tennessee has taken her position and has proudly determined to throw her banners to the breeze, and will give her strength to the sacred cause of freedom for the WHITE MAN OF THE SOUTH;" excerpts from the "LEGISLATIVE ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE" May 9, 1861.
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The election of a sectional President by an unreasoning appeal to numerical superiority, precipitated a crisis in the Government which many wise men anticipated and patriots would have gladly adjourned to another and far distant period. Several of the slaveholding States, upon the happening of this event, commenced preparations for leaving a Union which in their judgments, promised to become an instrument of destruction to the action constitutional rights of the South….A Peace Congress was called for, and anxious to give every evidence of a sincere desire to settle existing difficulties, prudent and discreet men were sent to confer with delegates from other States. The Congress resulted in a failure, as did the faithful efforts of Southern men in the Congress of the United States….It was believed that the masses of the Northern people would do justice to the demands of the South, if not prevented by the arts of their politicians. Subsequent acts prove that the masses are, if possible, more bitter in their hostility to the South than their leaders.
The inaugural address of the newly-elected President, however doubtful in its terms, was charitably construed into a message of peace. It was considered absurd to suppose that any President of a free country would ever venture upon the mad experiment of holding sovereign States together by means of the bayonet. No one not blinded by fanaticism, can fail to recognize the fact that a government based upon the popular will can only be maintained in its integrity by appealing to that powerful and controlling influence. Force, when attempted, changes the whole character of the Government; making it a military despotism, and those that submit become the abject slaves of power….
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Congress refused to vote a dollar for the prosecution of hostilities against the people of the South; he and his agents got the appropriation by falsehood, pretending that it was needed to pay off the Government debts, and instead of so using it, fails to pay even the maimed and wounded soldier his pension, or the hard-working census-taker his salary, but scatters it among a brutal soldiery, whom he has hired to murder Southern freemen and to desecrate Southern soil
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Tennessee, ever loyal to the Constitution, has been an advocate for peace, and has struggled to bring together the broken fragments of the Union, yet in the midst of her well meant efforts, a war is made upon her; every avenue of trade is closed up, and the people are suffering in all the privations of a blockade. Not even provisions, demanded by the necessities of the people, are allowed to be shipped into the State, and property of private individuals is made subject to piratical and illegal seizure. Boats have been plundered of their cargoes by authority of the Government, and when called on for an explanation by the Governor of Tennessee, even the honor of a reply is refused.
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Tennessee is unarmed, and the first great object was to organize the military and adopt every means of defence within our power, menaced as out country is by armies of alarming magnitude. Our western borders exposed to attack, with life, liberty and property staked upon the issue, it is not time to think of half-way measures. The money and the blood of Tennessee will be called for in no stinted quantities, if it be necessary to protect the priceless heritage of freedom that we possess, and which we hold a sacred trust to our children. The military bill is also submitted with this address to the judgment of our constituents….In conformity with these obligations of duty, the Legislature has prepared two instruments to be voted upon by the people, on Saturday, the 8th of June.
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In submitting these two grave questions to the popular judgment the Legislature dispensed with all intermediated agencies, preferring to go at once to the great source of all political power – the people themselves….
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The military league which has been formed with the Southern Confederacy is also submitted with this address…
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This league places Tennessee where she deserves to stand – in company with the old States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, whose histories are redolent with the glories of past struggles of liberty….
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It is painful to reflect that Tennessee has no representation in any national or confederate council; her gallant soldiers will go forth to battle for a common cause, and but for a short time, at least, her voice cannot be heard, only through the ballot box in June.
It is submitted that Tennessee has but one of two alternatives -- either to attempt to maintain a distinct and separate nationality, or to unite with the other States of the South. If you decide on the former, a provision should at once be made for new departments of government….
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When this body met, it determined to sit with closed doors. We are aware that this mode of legislation is object to by some. It is the first time in the history of the State that the rule had been adopted, because in that history no case had occurred to call for its exercise. The proceedings of the convent that framed the Declaration of Independence were in secret. The convention that framed the Constitution of the United States, held its secret sessions, and the Senate of the United States not unfrequently sit with closed doors. Those who have taken occasion to condemn us, may be purer than those who framed the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States; but we very much doubt whether they will have a greater hold upon public confidence. But the reasons for our course are our best justification: the country was excited, and the public demands imperious. We desired to legislate uninfluenced and unretarded by the crowds that would otherwise have attended our deliberations; but still more important than this, the western portion of Tennessee was in an exposed condition, with no military defence whatever; the towns and counties bordering on the Mississippi river were liable to be assailed at any hour by the armed forces collected at Cairo, and we desired that no act of legislation on our part, would form the pretext for such an invasion, so long as it could be avoided. Our fellow-citizens of West Tennessee, and of Arkansas, are laboring night and day to erect batteries on the river to prevent a descent of the enemy. A duty that we owed to them to the cause of humanity demanded that we should not make our action known till the latest possible moment. If some desired light, while we were at work, we equally desired to save the blood and the property of Tennesseans. Our doors have now been thrown open, the Journals will be published -- every vote is recorded, and he must be a fault-finder indeed who will complain after hearing the reasons that prompted our actions.
We have briefly touched the principal subjects that engaged the attention of the Legislature. Tennessee has taken her position and has proudly determined to throw her banners to the breeze, and will give her strength to the sacred cause of freedom for the WHITE MAN OF THE SOUTH [sic].
R. G. Payne, Chairman of the Joint Select Committee
Edmund J. Wood, S. S. Stanton, J. A. Minnis, G. Gantt, W. W. Guy, Robt. B. Hurt, Benj. J. Lea, Joseph G. Pickett.
White, ed., Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, Vol. 5, pp. 294-300.
9, Newspaper report relative to the death of a true son of the South and hero of the Confederacy in Memphis
A Boy Hero.-We this morning announce the death of Charles H. Jackson, son of Capt. D. F. Jackson, of this city. He boy was only fifteen years and eight months old, yet one year ago he entered as a private in his father's company. Young as were his years, his actions showed a many heart. His fearless bravery won for him the admiration, and his amiable traits attracted the affection of all who knew him.
We have been permitted to see the leave of absence granted him by the surgeon of his regiment, of which the following is a copy:-"Charles H. Jackson, private in company K, 2d Confederate regiment, had his right thigh fractured in the battle of Shiloh while gallantly fighting by the side of his father, Capt. R. F. Jackson. This gallant boy is hereby granted an indefinite furlough." During his agonizing sufferings he always expressed the deepest regret, because, as he said, he could not help his father to raise enough men to take the place of those who fell with him in battle. He bore the suffering from his wound with a hero's patience, and frequently he asked of his physician, Dr. Keller, who paid every possible attention, "Urge my father to hurry back to camp and be ready to fight again; I do not want him to mind my sufferings and lose time here." The boy is dead. Though but a child, there severer was a braver heart or a truer soldier.
Georgia Weekly Telegraph, May 9, 1862.
9, Affair near Caney Fork
No. 1.- Brig. Gen. George Crook, U. S. Army.
No. 2.- B. F. Weems, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.
Report of Brig. Gen. George Crook, U. S. Army.
Carthage, TENN., May 11, 1863.
SIR: I sent a scouting expedition up Caney Fork on the 9th, which captured Col. [Baxter] Smith, his adjutant and one lieutenant, with two privates, all of the Fourth [Eighth] Tennessee Cavalry, of Morgan's command. The expedition was attacked by a body of the enemy, but repulsed them, killing 2 rebels and wounding a third. I send Col. Smith down to-day. No further news from the enemy.
Brig. Gen. JAMES A. GARFIELD,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland.
Report of B. F. Weems, Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen., C. S. Army.
HDQRS. WHARTON'S CAVALRY DIVISION, Sparta, May 10, 1863.
MAJ.: I am directed by Gen. [J. A.] Wharton to say that he has just received intelligence of the capture of Col. Baxter Smith, of Fourth [Eighth] Tennessee Regt. [sic], and 26 of his men, who were on the other side of Caney Fork from his command, on a scout. It was night, and the Federals crossed the river by transports and surrounded his camp with their infantry before he was aware of their coming. The general thinks that the Federals meditate mischief in that section. Most respectfully, major, your obedient servant,
B. F. WEEMS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 329-330.
9, 'THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE."
The machine has ceased to grind. The gentlemen have closed their labors at the Capitol, and it may now be said that we are all loyal. The authorities may feel themselves highly indebted to Messrs. Knowles, Monahan, and Porter, and many others for kind assistance. The following is the official number of oaths and paroles subscribed to:
April 22 200 Day order was issued.
" 23 225 2d day
" 24 280 3d "
" 25 320 4th "
" 26 768 5th "
" 27 792 6th "
" 28 974 7th "
" 29 1078 8th "
May 1 637 9th "
" 2 305 10th "
" 4 457 11th "
" 5 507 12th "
" 6 427 13th "
" 7 547 14th "
" 8 397 15th "
This sums up a total of 7344, including 731 paroles.
Those who have not reported at Col. Martin's office in any capacity, now lay themselves liable to imprisonment. Those who have registered their names to go South will remain on parole until called for.
Nashville Daily Press, May 9, 1863.
9, Entry in Alice Williamson's Diary, Sumner County
Capt. Nicklen come back today and the "Freed pussons of cullers" commensed [sic] their school today. They were dressed in style with their white swiss hats. The citizens look for the tavern [where the school is kept] to be burnt every night.
9, A Bolivar school girl's epitome of three months of socializing with Confederate soldiers
Gracious me! Is it possible that I have not written in my Journal for nearly three months! And no wonder, for I have had such glorious times with Confederate soldiers that I forgot [the diary] and every thing else. The dear fellows were with us a good long while during which time I was never happier. Oh, what delightful times we did have, having company all day and accompanying the soldiers to parties at night. We made a great many acquaintances among them was William Polk, a dashing young flirt (all my suspicions are formed on reports and appearances). Seargt. Major Cleburn, Adjutant Pope, and Lieut. Colonel[,] all of the 7th Tennessee, Capt. Elliot and many other of the 14th. [I] am acquainted with Generals Forrest and Chalmers also. Almost all the respective staffs like the Generals better than all the staffs put together [sic].
Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.
9, Major-General C.C. Washburn issues Special Orders No. 120 concerning refugees
SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 120.
HDQRS. DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, Memphis, Tenn., May 9, 1865.
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VI. No more refugees will be sent north at public expense. The country is now quiet, and such as are here are advised to return home and do something for themselves. Rations will no longer be issued, except to the aged and helpless and young children. There is employment for all in the country who are willing to work; it is not too late in the season to make crops; millions of acres are lying waste for lack of labor; those that can work must or starve, black or white. The Government will not encourage thriftlessness or idleness by supporting those that are able to support themselves. Transportation to the country will be furnished those who wish to go, so far as the cars run, and two days' rations to all who go. Orders for rations and transportation from Lieut. Finney, superintendent of refugees, will be respected by the commissary and quartermaster.
By order of Maj. Gen. C. C. Washburn:
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 49, pt. II, pp. 692-693.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214