by bullets, while Franklin
unanimously voted to take the State
out of the Union
Indeed, at the June election, 1861, there was but one vote cast for the Union
in that county!
And so furious were the people in the cause that they held a sort of convention, passed a so-called ordinance of secession, and declared Franklin county
out of the Union
in advance of the State
The first regiment raised upon Tennessee
soil was raised there — that of Colonel Peter Turney
--which hurried off to Virginia
, twelve hundred strong, before the State
had formally “seceded.”
A capital command was this, going forth amid the huzzas and plaudits of the people, but never returning again as a regiment.
A fragment came back-that was all. But in the adjacent county of Marion
, how different was the feeling of the people!
A majority were for the Union
, and neither the firing upon Sumter
or the President
's proclamation could shake their allegiance to the old government.
And when it came to the test and every able-bodied man had to go into one army or the other, a majority of the citizens of Marion
made their way northward and entered the Federal
Although East Tennessee
had a population of only about two hundred and fifty thousand, she put twenty-one cavalry regiments into the Union
army and eight infantry regiments.
Of this number twelve were organized as cavalry and the rest as mounted infantry, which is the same.
In this there is no account taken of the Tennesseeans who enlisted in Kentucky
, and Illinois
regiments, of whom there were thousands.
The policy of the government in mounting so large a proportion of the Tennessee
troops was to get the benefit of their gallant horsemanship.
Accustomed from early youth to horseback exercise they excelled in that branch of service.
Some of the best cavalry in the service was from Tennessee
troops in the Union
army are without a historian.
There has been no extended narratives of their battles and exploits.
And to this day it is not generally known in the North
how great the aid the national cause received from the strong arms of the Tennessee Unionists
Had all the border slave States taken the course of East Tennessee
, the war would not have lasted a year.
But south of the Ohio
and the Potomac
there was no territory, not even Eastern Kentucky
or Western Virginia
, the population of which was as loyal to the government as that of East Tennessee
proper, lying eastward and northward of this section, was so true to the Confederacy
that the whole State did not furnish five hundred white men to the Union
Of course, in this estimate, I do not include what is known as Western Virginia
, or any part of it. For the year