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The Southern States of America
Chapter III - Tennessee as a part of the Confederacy, 1861 - 1865


Tennessee's Attitude Toward Secession.

Prior to the War of Secession the attitude of Tennessee toward secession and nullification was one of opposition. The prominent position held by her in national affairs had been on the side of loyalty and devotion to the Union. The secession proposals of New England from 1812 to 1815 were regarded with disfavor in Tennessee. When South Carolina proposed the doctrine of nullification, and began to urge its adoption to such an extent as to make secession inevitable, Andrew Jackson, then President of the United States, emphatically and effectively ex pressed his opinion favoring the preservation of the Federal Union. It has been said that this unmistakable attitude of Jackson, the first President from Tennessee, "made possible the preservation of the Union in 1861-65." Granting this claim to be doubtful, the indisputable fact remains that Jackson's attitude toward disunion in 1830 may be taken as an illustration of Tennessee's attitude toward the same subject from that time until 1860. In the National convention held at Charleston, S. C, in 1860, the Democratic delegates from Tennessee by their rigid conservatism created a feeling of distrust toward themselves throughout the South. At another meeting of this convention, held at Baltimore in the same year, dissention again prevailed, and the Tennessee delegates were among those who withdrew and nominated John C. Breckenridge for President. The last Whig National convention assembled in Baltimore on May 9, 1860, and nominated John Bell, of Tennessee, for President. The platform adopted by this convention was expressed in the words: "The Union, the constitution, and the enforcement of the laws." Bell's party became known as the "Constitutional Union Party.'' In the election that followed these conventions, Tennessee voted for Bell. Slavery caused the downfall of the Whigs in Tennessee, of whom Bell had been the leader. It was the question of slavery that brought the people of the state together, and prepared for the separation from the Union that took place under the coercive influence of the event at Fort Sumter.

At the outbreak of the war Isham G. Harris, a Democrat, was serving his second term as governor of the state. He was strongly in favor of secession, while his predecessor, Andrew Johnson, also a Democrat, was equally as strong in his convictions favoring the Union. Governor Harris was elected the second time in 1859. His opponent in the race for the governorship was John Netherland. Slavery was the leading issue of the campaign, and the Democrats took the position that each state had a right to regulate slavery within its own boundaries, since, according to their belief, it was a legal institution. Many of the Whigs entertained the same opinions regarding slavery, but they were more willing to support compromise measures. Netherland was the candidate of the coalition party of the Whigs and Know-Nothings. He was defeated by a large majority. He was a citizen of East Tennessee and Harris was a citizen of West Tennessee.

In the presidential election of 1860 Abraham Lincoln, the successful candidate, did not receive an electoral vote from the slave states. In this election the sectional line was so clearly drawn as to arouse the spirit of resentment among the Southern states. At the time of the election the legislature of Tennessee was in session and considerable apprehension prevailed among the people of the state concerning the outcome. Excitement throughout the South had become intense. Southern leaders were not at all reserved in expressing their opinion that the election of Lincoln was an indication that the Federal government would abolish slavery. But the attitude of Tennessee was characterized by the greatest caution. South Carolina passed her ordinance of secession on Dec. 20, 1860, and thereby precipitated the crisis. She was soon followed by Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. In the meantime appeals came from the seceding states for Tennessee to join them, but no response was given as Tennessee still hoped for reconciliation. Other states occupying the same position as Tennessee regarding secession were Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia.

Pursuant to a call of Governor Harris, the legislature met in an extra session on Jan. 7, 1861, to consider the question that was forcing itself upon the state through the trend of affairs in the South. In his message the governor suggested the advisability of providing for an election in which the question should be submitted to a vote of the people as to whether or not a convention should be held for the purpose of considering the secession of the state from the Union. He further stated in the same message that eventually "in all human probability, the only practical question for the state to determine will be whether or not she will unite her fortunes with a Northern or Southern confederacy; upon which question when presented, I am certain there can be little or no division in sentiment, identified as we are in every respect with the South." An act was passed providing for an election to be held on February 9, to determine the question of calling the convention as suggested by the governor. In this election the people declared their opposition to the convention by a majority of 11,877 votes. Those voting for it numbered 57,798, and those against it 69,675. The opposition was mainly in East Tennessee where the Union sentiment was strongest. Middle Tennessee gave a small majority against the convention and West Tennessee gave a large majority for it. At the same time when the election was held to determine the question of holding the convention the vote was also taken for delegates, and the secession delegates received 24,749 votes, while the Union delegates received 88,803. In the meantime, on Feb. 4, 1861, the seceded states organized the provisional government of the Confederate States at Montgomery, Ala. After the February election in Tennessee it was thought that the question of secession had been finally determined so far as the state was concerned. But a sudden change occurred when, on April 12, 1861, the attack was made on Fort Sumter. Three days later President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to defend the Union, and Governor Harris emphatically refused to comply with the request from the secretary of war for Tennessee's quota. The President's call for volunteers revealed his policy of coercion, and the spirit of resentment that suddenly manifested itself in those states that had been slow to secede amounted to a revolution of opinion. Thousands who had hitherto favored the preservation of the Union now felt themselves constrained to join the ranks of secessionists. In Tennessee the change was greatest in the middle and western divisions; the eastern division adhered firmly to the Union.

On April 18, 1861, several of the prominent leaders of the state issued an address in which they expressed their approval of the action of the governor in refusing to comply with the call for volunteers, their opinion that it was the duty of the state to take sides neither with the North nor the South, and also their opinion that the state should prepare "to maintain the sanctity of her soil from the hostile tread of any party." Among those who signed this address were John Bell, ex-Gov. Neill S. Brown and Cave Johnson, formerly postmaster-general under President Polk. Governor Harris again assembled the legislature in extra session on April 25, and in his message recommended an ordinance "formally declaring the independence of the State of Tennessee of the Federal Union, renouncing its authority and reas-suming each and every function belonging to a separate sovereignty." He also recommended an ordinance providing for the admission of Tennessee as a member of the Southern Confederacy. On May 1 the legislature authorized the governor to enter into a military league with the Confederacy. The terms of agreement were submitted to the legislature on May 7, and were immediately ratified. The whole military force and military operations of the state were to be under the control and direction of the President of the Confederacy until Tennessee became a member of the Confederacy; and upon becoming a member of the Confederacy, Tennessee was to transfer to it all public property acquired from the United States precisely as other states of the Confederacy had done. It was also agreed that the Confederacy should repay all expenditures of money made by the state between the date of the agreement and the date of the admission to the Confederacy.

The Ordinance of Secession.

The Declaration of Independence and Ordinance of Secession was passed on May 6. It waived "any expression of opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession," and asserted the right of the people to change or abolish their form of government in accordance with their desires, and declared that all laws and ordinances which made the state a member of the Federal Union were "abrogated and annulled" and that Tennessee was henceforth "a free, sovereign and independent state." This ordinance was submitted to a vote of the people on June 8, and was ratified by a majority of 56,675. In East Tennessee the returns showed 14,780 for secession and 32,923 against it; in Middle Tennessee 58,265 voted for secession and 8,198 against it; in West Tennessee 29,127 voted for secession and 6,117 against it; in the military camps 2,731 voted for secession. On May 6 another act was passed authorizing the governor to raise, organize and equip a provisional army of 55,000 volunteers, 25,000 for active service and the remainder as a reserve. This army was for the defense of the state, and to defray the expenses of such defense the governor was authorized to issue bonds to the amount of $5,000,000.

The results of the election to determine the question of secession show that East Tennessee was the Union section of the state. The Union leaders in that section were Andrew Johnson, William G. Brownlow, Horace Maynard and T. A. E. Nelson. Johnson was United States senator from Tennessee when the state seceded, but he remained in the Senate. All of these and other prominent citizens of East Tennessee engaged in an active campaign to prevent secession. On May 30, 1861, a convention composed of 469 delegates, representing mainly the counties of East Tennessee, assembled in Knoxville to express disapproval of "the hasty and inconsiderate action of the General Assembly." After adopting strong Union resolutions, including an appeal to the people to vote against secession in the coming election, the convention adjourned to meet again at Greeneville on June 17. The Greeneville convention adopted a "Declaration of Grievances" and prepared a memorial to the legislature which included a request that East Tennessee and such adjoining counties of Middle Tennessee as might desire be permitted to become a separate state. This request was not granted. A large number of the citizens of East Tennessee joined the Union army, and the contest that eventually arose for the control of this section of the state resulted in a reign of terror. On the contrary, a large majority of the Union leaders in Middle and West Tennessee yielded to the overwhelming influences of those sections favoring secession. Among them were John Bell, Neill S. Brown and Gustavus A. Henry. The citizens of those sections entered the Confederate army in vast numbers. The bitterness engendered by this division of the state became exceedingly intense and has operated against harmonious relationships even to the present time.

Tennessee a Member of the Confederacy.

A proclamation issued by the governor on June 24, 1861, formally severed Tennessee from the United States, and one issued by President Davis on July 22 announced that she was a member of the Confederacy. The permanent constitution of the Confederate States was adopted on August 1, and in the following October G. A. Henry and Landon C. Haynes were elected to represent the state in the Confederate Senate.

Thus Tennessee became a part of the Southern Confederacy, and during the war about 408 battles and skirmishes were fought within her boundaries, making her territory a veritable battleground. The "provisional army" of the state, together with its equipments and stores, was transfered to the Confederacy on July 31, 1861, and made a part of Gen. Leonidas Polk's army. General Polk had his headquarters at Memphis. Before the end of the year the military organization of the state comprised about 108 regiments. The manufacture of ammunition and various army supplies was conducted in the state, and the cities of Nashville and Memphis soon became important supply centres for the South.

Tennessee's Participation in the War.

At the very outset Tennessee's position was rendered more important by the neutral policy adopted by the state of Kentucky. Had Kentucky seceded, the line of defense would have been along the Ohio River. As it was, a vigorous contest for the military possession of Kentucky became at once inevitable. The Federals gathered their forces along the Ohio River, one army under Gen. U. S. Grant taking its position at Cairo, the strategical point at the mouth of that river, and another at Louisville under Gen. D. C. Buell. Immediately after taking possession of Cairo, General Grant established fortifications at Paducah and Smithland, the one situated at the mouth of the Tennessee River, and the other at the mouth of the Cumberland River. Meanwhile the Confederates suffered no delay in fortifying the important positions along approaches to the South. General Polk advanced toward Cairo and blockaded the Mississippi River with strong fortifications at Columbus, about twenty miles below Cairo. The Mississippi was also guarded by fortifications at Island No. 10 and Fort Pillow. Fort Donelson guarded the Cumberland River while Fort Henry guarded the Tennessee.

Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston was placed in command of the western department of the Confederate army on Sept. 10, 1861, and under his direction the Confederates established their first line of defense along the Cumberland River, from Cumberland Gap on the east to Columbus on the west. As has already been indicated, General Polk was in command at the western end of this line; Gen. S. B. Buckner was in command at Bowling Green, the central fortification, and Gen. George B. Crittenden was in command at the east. Preparations were made by the Federal forces to break through this line. General Grant attacked the Confederates at Belmont, Mo., a small fortification opposite Columbus, on Nov. 7, 1861. After receiving reinforcements the Confederates succeeded in repelling the attack. The next effort was directed toward the right flank of the Confederate line. On Jan. 19, 1862, Gen. George H. Thomas, in command of the Federal army, attacked and defeated the Confederates under the command of Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer at Fishing Creek or Mill Springs, near Cumberland Gap. In this battle General Zollicoffer was killed and the Confederate forces withdrew beyond the Cumberland River, and Cumberland Gap was won by the Federals.

On Feb. 2, 1862, General Grant again left Cairo with a force of 17,000 men and a fleet of seven gunboats under the command of Commodore Foote, and advanced toward Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. This fort was defended by Gen. Lloyd Tilghman with a force of 2,610 men. As soon as he realized that he could not maintain his position, General Tilghman surrendered on the 6th after a severe battle lasting over two hours, by which the transfer of most of his troops to Fort Donelson had been secured.

Fort Donelson was the next objective point and the place where the main struggle was to occur. Here one of the most important battles of the war was fought, Feb. 12-16, 1862. The capture of Forts Henry and Donelson meant the opening of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and the final breaking of the first line of the Confederate defense. General Grant with a large body of troops, aided by a fleet of gunboats under Commodore Foote, began to surround Fort Donelson on the evening of the 12th. He was aided by Generals J. A. McClernand, C. F. Smith and Lew Wallace. The Confederates were under the command of Gen. John B. Floyd, who was aided by Generals Pillow and Buckner. The number of Federal troops is estimated at from 27,000 to 50,000, while the estimated number of Confederates varies from 12,000 to 20,000. The Fort was completely surrounded on the second day, but the resistance was at first so successful as to make Grant doubtful about the possibility of capturing the garrison at that time. A fatal mistake was made by the Confederates when they failed to take advantage of the opportunity for escape toward Nashville offered by the road cut through the ranks of the enemy on the 15th. This opportunity lost and all hope of saving the fort gone, Generals Floyd and Pillow gave the command of the troops to General Buckner and escaped. Col. N. B. Forrest, the celebrated cavalry leader, also escaped after having protested against the surrender of the garrison. General Buckner surrendered on the 16th. The Confederate loss, including prisoners, is estimated at 15,067, and the Federal loss in killed and wounded is estimated at 2,331.

Thus the Confederate line of defense was broken and the way toward the South was open. After the defeat of the Confederates at Mill Springs, Johnston had retired from Bowling Green to Nashville, and now he evacuated Nashville, fell back to Murfreesboro, and eventually took up his position at Corinth, Miss. General Polk also evacuated Columbus, strengthened the defenses along the Mississippi and retired to Corinth. The Federals under General Buell took possession of Nashville and began to gather forces at Savannah on the Tennessee River near the southern boundary line of the state and not far distant from Corinth. They also occupied the position at Pittsburg Landing not far from Savannah, and Grant assumed command on March 17. These reverses lost to the Confederacy nearly all of Middle and West Tennessee and left the government of the state in the hands of the Federals.

Meanwhile the results of operations in East Tennessee served to intensify the bitterness of feeling between the factions. The Confederates had secured control of that section of the state early in the war. Generals Zollicoffer and Crittenden were at first in command of the Confederate troops. Early in 1862 Gen. E. Kirby Smith assumed command with headquarters at Knoxville. On Nov. 8, 1861, an attempt was made by the Federals to burn all the railroad bridges between Stevenson, Ala., and Bristol, Tenn. Five out of nine bridges were burned and communication with Virginia was thereby interrupted. Six of the men accused of the bridge-burning were captured and five of them were hanged. The sixth was pardoned by President Davis on December 26 in response to the following telegram from Elizabeth Self: "Honorable Jefferson Davis: My father, Harrison Self, is sentenced to hang at four o'clock this evening on a charge of bridge-burning. As he remains my earthly all, and all my hopes of happiness centre on him, I implore you to pardon him."

With the Confederate troops concentrated at Corinth, and the Federals at Pittsburg Landing, a memorable contest would certainly occur before any considerable delay. The control of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was of great importance to both sides. Grant evidently intended to attack the Confederates at Corinth. His immense army of about 40,000 troops was in six divisions and was soon to be reinforced by troops under General Buell. General Johnston, in command of the Confederate army, which was equally as large as Grant's, determined upon an early attack and consequently moved his forces toward Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh, where on Sunday morning, April 6, he opened fire. On the first day the Federals were repulsed, but the Confederates suffered an irreparable loss in the death of General Johnston, who was killed early in the afternoon. Gen. G. T. Beauregard assumed command, but the confusion that followed the fall of General Johnston proved fatal, and the next day, after having received large reinforcements, the Federals inflicted a crushing defeat and forced the Confederates to retreat to Corinth where they were reinforced. The Confederates lost about one-fourth of their army while the Federals lost 13,573. Anticipating an attack by an overwhelming force of Federals under General Halleck, General Beauregard evacuated Corinth on May 30.

After the evacuation of Columbus on the Mississippi, Island No. 10 became the important point of defense. It was attacked by Commodore Foote and General Pope on March 16, and surrendered on April 7 after a strenuous resistance lasting through three weeks. After the evacuation of Corinth, Fort Pillow was abandoned on June 1 and the city of Memphis fell into the hands of the Federals on June 9. Thus the entire line of the Confederate defense had been destroyed and the Mississippi was open to Vicksburg.

Meanwhile, General Beauregard was succeeded by Gen. Braxton Bragg who, in command of the Army of Tennessee, proceeded toward Chattanooga. General Buell also advanced toward the same goal, intending to invade East Tennessee. Bragg succeeded in arriving at Chattanooga first and prepared to invade Kentucky. The cavalry raids of Morgan and Forrest prepared the way for this invasion. On August 16 Gen. E. Kirby Smith moved northward from Knoxville through Kentucky, captured Richmond, threatened Cincinnati and joined Bragg on October 4. Bragg was followed by Buell, who defeated him in battle at Perryville on October 8. He retreated south and concentrated his forces at Murfreesboro, Tenn., on December 2. The second contest for the control of Tennessee was soon to begin. On October 30 General Buell was superseded by Gen. W. S. Rosecrans, who gathered the Federal forces at Nashville, whence he advanced toward Murfreesboro on December 26. Here he attacked Bragg on the 31st, and the two large armies struggled in a fierce battle for three days, the fortunes shifting from one side to the other. Finally Bragg withdrew to Shelbyville, whence Rosecrans forced him to retreat towards Chattanooga in June, 1863. Meanwhile, brilliant but destructive cavalry raids were made through Middle and "West Tennessee by Gen. N. B. Forrest. Thus, with the retreat of Bragg to Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee was left in possession of the Federals.

In July, 1863, the Confederate forces under General Bragg were concentrated at Chattanooga, but in September they were .withdrawn and marched into Georgia to unite with the forces under General Long-street. Upon the approach of Gen. A. E. Burnside to East Tennessee General Buckner had withdrawn from Knoxville to join Bragg near Chattanooga. General Rosecrans continued his advance and took possession of Chattanooga on September 9. The two armies came together at Chickamauga on the 19th, and for two days engaged in one of the most desperate battles of the west. The Confederates succeeded in driving the enemy into Chattanooga and besieged them there. Each side suffered a loss of more than 15,000 men. After the battle of Chickamauga, General Longstreet was sent against the Federal forces at Knoxville under General Burnside. Meanwhile General Grant came to the rescue of the Federals at Chattanooga on October 24. In the battles of Lookout Mountain, Orchard Knob and Missionary Ridge, he repulsed the Confederates, forcing them to retreat toward the south. Upon hearing that Federal troops were advancing to the relief of Burn-side at Knoxville, Longstreet attacked him on November 29 and was repulsed. The siege of Knoxville was raised on Dec. 4, 1863, but the Confederate troops were not withdrawn from East Tennessee until the spring of 1864.

During the Atlanta campaign Gen. John B. Hood succeeded Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in command of the Confederate army. After the fall of Atlanta General Hood moved toward Tennessee, crossing the Tennessee River on Nov. 21, 1864, and advancing toward Nashville. He encountered the enemy under General Schofield at Spring Hill and drove them in retreat to Franklin. On Nov. 30, 1864, he attacked the strong Federal entrenchments at Franklin and was repulsed in a terrific battle in which both armies suffered severe losses. Schofield hastened to Nashville to join General Thomas while Hood followed in pursuit and strongly fortified himself near the city. On December 15 General Thomas attacked the Confederate entrenchments and for two days the battle was waged with stubborn severity. On the first day the Federals were repulsed, but on the second day the Confederates were utterly defeated and began their retreat south, finally withdrawing from Tennessee to northern Mississippi. This was the last important battle in Tennessee, and the state was secure in the possession of the Federal authorities. Tennessee's record in the "War of Secession fully sustains the reputation which she had acquired by her participations in previous wars. To both Southern and Northern armies she contributed a large number of officers and privates. More than 115,000 of her citizens served in the Confederate armies, and more than 38,000 served in the Union armies. Besides these, the number of colored troops that enlisted in the service of the Union from Tennessee is estimated at nearly 18,000. In the number of battles fought within her boundaries she was surpassed by no other state except Virginia, and some of her best troops served in the defense of the Confederacy in other states.

Civil Government.

The civil government of the state was centered at Nashville until the fall of Fort Donelson. At the state election held Aug. 1, 1861, Governor Harris was again reelected. The legislature elected at the same time was largely favorable to the Confederacy. The state was also represented in the Provisional Confederate Congress, and after Nov. 6, 1861, in the Permanent Confederate Congress. The legislature convened in Nashville, and on December 21 adjourned to Jan. 20, 1862. On February 15, while the attack was being made on Fort Donelson, the legislature adjourned to meet at Memphis, where it convened again on February 20 and adjourned again on March 20, 1862, sine die. Governor Harris joined the Confederate army.

On Feb. 22, 1862, the civil government of the state was suspended and martial law was established by General Grant. Andrew Johnson was appointed military governor by President Lincoln on March 3 of the same year, and assumed his duties at Nashville on the 12th. He adopted a policy by which he hoped to restore a state government in harmonious relations with the Union. He assumed an attitude of severity against all opposition to reconciliation with the National government. He established a provisional government, exacted of public officers, the Nashville city council, teachers, preachers and prominent citizens the oath of allegiance, and filled all vacancies with Union men. But he could do very little in the execution of his plans during the strenuous contest between the opposing armies in the state before the latter half of 1863. The Confederates of the state held a convention at "Winchester in Middle Tennessee on June 17, 1863, and nominated Robert L. Caruthers for governor. At the same time candidates for the Confederate Congress were nominated. The entire ticket was elected and the congressmen took their seats at Richmond, but Caruthers was never inaugurated as governor.

Restoration to the Union.

The restoration of Tennessee to the Union was strongly urged by a delegation of citizens in consultation with President Lincoln after the repulse of the Confederate army in Middle Tennessee in 1863. Consequently, on September 19 of that year the President authorized Governor Johnson to use such powers as might "be necessary and proper to enable the loyal people of Tennessee to present such a republican form of state government" as would entitle the state to the guarantee and protection of the United States. On December 8 the President issued his celebrated Amnesty Proclamation, which included an oath of allegiance and a plan of reconstruction. According to this plan the Confederate states were to establish a republican form of government by a vote of not less than one-tenth of the vote cast in each state in the presidential election of 1860. In compliance with a request from the Union citizens of the state, Governor Johnson issued a proclamation on Jan. 26, 1864, ordering an election of local officers on March 5 in those parts of the state under the control of Federal authorities. He also prescribed an oath for voters which was more exacting than that of the President, but it was not accepted as was shown by the fact that the election was a failure.

There were two factions among the Unionists of the state, and the dissentions which divided them increased with the efforts to restore the state to the Union. They were the Radicals and the Conservatives, and these names sufficiently indicate the meaning of the division. A meeting of prominent Union leaders was held at Nashville on Aug. 12, 1864, which resulted in the calling of a convention to be held in that city on September of that year, to consider the rehabilitation of civil government and to arrange for participation in the approaching presidential election. The convention met at the appointed time, but only a small number of counties sent delegates. However, a resolution was adopted by which all Union men favoring any measure for crushing the rebellion were admitted. Dissention prevailed, but the Radicals gained control and nominated electors on the Lincoln and Johnson ticket. Resolutions were adopted requesting the governor to require a strong oath like that prescribed in the preceding March election, and favoring an amendment of the state constitution abolishing slavery. An executive committee composed of five citizens from each grand division of the state was appointed. In compliance with the request of the convention the governor issued a proclamation on September 15 for the enrollment of the state militia and ordering those who failed to serve without plausible excuse to be expelled from the state. On September 25 he ordered the presidential election to be held in November, and authorized all white citizens who had resided in the state for six months prior to the election and had been loyal to the Union to vote. He also demanded the oath prescribed by the convention. President Lincoln was requested to relinquish the rigid franchise qualifications, but he declined to do so stating that he would not interfere with any presidential election "except it be to give protection against violence." The McClellan and Pendleton electors withdrew and the Lincoln and Johnson ticket was elected, but the vote of Tennessee was rejected by Congress.

In November, 1864, a convention was called by the executive committee, appointed in September, to meet at Nashville on December 19 of that year to consider the methods by which Tennessee could be restored to the position which it formerly occupied in the Union. General Hood's invasion of the state, and the close proximity of his army to the city of Nashville, prevented the meeting in December. Pursuant to a second call by the committee, the convention met on Jan. 9, 1865, and, in comparison with the September convention of 1864, was likewise composed of a small number of regularly elected delegates. There was considerable discussion as to whether or not the convention should propose changes in the organic law of the state instead of providing for a regular constitutional convention. Following the advice of the governor, the delegates proceeded to propose amendments to the state constitution abolishing slavery and forbidding legislative enactments "recognizing the right of property in man." Then follows a schedule of proposed alterations and changes providing for the repeal of the section of the constitution forbidding laws for the emancipation of slaves, and of the military league made with the Confederacy May 7, 1861; for the suspension of the statute of limitations and the annulment of all legislative enactments after May 6, 1861, and of all state bonds issued after the same date. It also declared the ordinance of secession and the military league acts of "treason and usurpation" and ratified the civil and military acts of Governor Johnson. These proposed amendments and changes were to be submitted to a vote of the people on Feb. 22, 1865, and if adopted an election was to be held on March 4 of the same year for governor and members of the legislature. A resolution was passed prescribing the "iron-clad" oath for all voters except those who had been "unconditional Union men." This oath contained the following statement: "I am an active friend of the government of the United States and the enemy of the so-called Confederate States; I ardently desire the suppression of the present rebellion against the government of the United States; I sincerely rejoice in the triumph of the armies and navies of the United States, and in the defeat and overthrow of the armies, navies and of all armed combinations in the so-called Confederate States."

At the election held on Feb. 22, 1865, the proposed changes were ratified, the vote being 25,293 for and 48 against them. Consequently Governor Johnson issued a proclamation on February 25 declaring the amendments to the constitution and the annexed schedule ratified and confirmed. He also ordered an election for governor and legislators on March 4. In the same proclamation he stated that the people of Tennessee, "by their own solemn act at the ballot-box," had formally stricken the shackles "from the limbs of more than 275,000 slaves in the state." In the Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863, President Lincoln did not mention Tennessee either in the list of rebellious states or in the list of exceptions. (See Emancipation Proclamation, Vol. III.) It was through the influence of Governor Johnson that this omission was made and the abolition of slavery in Tennessee was left to the state. This was the only instance in which abolition was left to a seceded state. The state election was held on March 4 and William G. Brownlow, the noted Whig and Union leader, was elected governor. He received 23,352 votes out of a total of 23,387. The vote for legislators was the same as that for governor. Thus, according to the two elections of February and March, 1865, Tennessee had complied with the requirements of President Lincoln's Amnesty Proclamation. The legislature met at the appointed time, April 2, 1865, and inaugurated Governor Brownlow on the 5th of the same month. Governor Johnson had already been inaugurated as Vice-President of the United States on March 4. The legislature ratified the Thirteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States by a unanimous vote. President Lincoln was assassinated on April 14. This sad and most unfortunate event intensified the partisan feeling in Tennessee.

Bibliography.—Burgess; The Civil War and the Constitution; Caldwell: Constitutional History of Tennessee; Garrett and Goodpasture: History of Tennessee; Humes; The Loyal Mountaineers of Tennessee; Jones; Reconstruction in Tennessee (in Why the Solid South?); Porter: Tennessee (in Confederate Military History); Rhodes: History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850; Temple: Bast Tennessee and the Civil War; Acts of the Tennessee General Assembly, 1861-65.

James Dickason Hoskins,
Professor of History and Economics, University of Tennessee.


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