Tennessee, waiving an expression of opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession, but asserting the right, as a free and independent people, to alter, reform or abolish our form of government in such manner as we think proper, do ordain and declare that all the laws and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee became a member of the Federal Union of the United States of America are hereby abrogated and annulled, and that all obligations on our part be withdrawn therefrom; and we do hereby resume all the rights, functions and powers, which, by any of said laws and ordinances, were conveyed to the Government of the United States, and absolve ourselves from all the obligations, restraints and duties, incurred thereto; and do hereby henceforth become a free, sovereign and independent State.
Second: We, furthermore, declare and ordain that Article 10, sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee, which requires members of the General Assembly, and all officers, civil and military, to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, be, and the same are hereby, abrogated and annulled, and all parts of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee making citizenship of the United States a qualification for office, and recognizing the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of this State, are, in like manner, abrogated and annulled.
This Ordinance, with a pendant providing for the adoption of the Confederate Constitution
, was nominally submitted to a popular vote of the State
, to be taken on the 8th of June ensuing; but such a submission, after “all the public property, naval stores and munitions of war” and the whole “military operations, offensive and defensive, of the said State,” were placed “under the chief control and direction of the President
of the Confederate States
,” was, of course, a farce.1
The network of railroads checkering the State
, and especially the great line connecting Virginia
, through Knoxville
, with the Cotton States
, was instantly covered with Rebel soldiers, and all freedom of opinion and expression, on the side of the Union
, completely crushed out. Gov. Harris
, on the 24th of June, issued his proclamation, declaring that the vote of the 8th had resulted as follows:
But a Convention of the people of East Tennessee
--a region wherein the immense preponderance of Union sentiment still commanded some degree of freedom for Unionists
— held at Greenville
on the 17th, and wherein thirty-one counties were represented by delegates, adopted a declaration of grievances, wherein they say:
We, the people of East Tennessee, again assembled in a Convention of our delegates, make the following declaration in addition to that heretofore promulgated by us at Knoxville, on the 30th and 31st days of May last:
So far as we can learn, the election held in this State on the 8th day of the present month was free, with but few exceptions, in no part of the State, other than East Tennessee.
In the larger portion of Middle and West Tennessee, no speeches or discussions in favor of the Union were permitted.2 Union papers were not allowed to circulate.
Measures were taken, in some parts of West Tennessee, in defiance of the Constitution and laws, which allow folded tickets, to have