It is a singular fact that nearly two-thirds of the able-bodied white men of East Tennessee
enlisted in the Federal
army and fought the war through on the side of the Union
Singular, I say, because northward, in Kentucky
, the Southern
cause had more aid and encouragement than in East Tennessee
; while Virginia
, on the eastern boundary, was nearly unanimously Confederate, as well as Georgia
upon the southern border and Middle Tennessee
upon the west.
How is this to be accounted for?
What strange freak made East Tennessee
so loyal to the government, while upon all sides, North, East, South, and West, she was surrounded by the hosts in rebellion?
was partially loyal, we can account for only because of her geographical position, making her more a Western than a Southern State; but here is East Tennessee
, bordering upon the Cotton States
, and allied to them by every interest, yet taking up arms for the Union
with as much alacrity as though she bordered upon Lake Erie
instead of the Cotton States
For illustration, take the two counties of Marion
, lying together, the former in the division of the State
known as East Tennessee
and the latter in Middle Tennessee
bordering upon the Georgia
line and Franklin
upon that of Alabama
The people of these two counties were identical in interest, and no argument could reach one that did not apply to the other.
Yet, when the issue came these two counties stood as far apart as the poles.
voted for the Union
until the last, when ballots were superceded