Doc. 171.-Zollicoffer's proclamation. August 8, 1861.
To the People of East Tennessee:In assuming command of the military forces of this division, I cannot forbear an earnest appeal to all who have preferred the old Union no longer to resist the recent decisions at the ballot-box by overwhelming majorities of the people of Tennessee. The military authorities are not here to offend or injure the people, but to insure peace to their homes, by repelling invasion and preventing the introduction of the horrors of civil war. Treason to the State cannot, will not, be tolerated. But perfect freedom of the ballot-box has and will be accorded, and no man's rights, property, or privileges shall be disturbed. All who desire peace can have peace by quietly and harmlessly pursuing their lawful avocations. But Tennessee having taken her stand with her sister States of the South, her honor and safety require that no aid shall be given within her borders to the arms of the tyrant Lincoln. We have asked of the North a recognition of our political equality, and have been refused. We have asked for terms merely under which we could enjoy a sense of safety to our property and time-honored institutions, but in vain. Under such circumstances the States of the South resolved to submit no longer to long repeated and vexatious intermeddling with our rights. The North was deaf to justice, because they believed they had the power to crush us if we rebelled. With terrific threats they moved great armies upon us. Those armies have been driven back, with havoc and consternation. Heaven has smiled upon the South--blessing her with rich harvests and heroic sons. The North is already shaken as with a palsy — her late arrogant soldiers filled with apprehension — her late boasted revenues dwindled to a stern necessity for direct taxation. Can there be recreant sons of Tennessee who would strike at their brothers while thus struggling for Southern honor and independence? or who would invite the enemy over the border, to inaugurate war and desolation amid our own fair fields? There can be but few such. If any, it were better for their memory had they perished before such dishonor. Let not the Union men of the late contest at the ballot-box, among whom I personally know so many to be patriotic and true men, be carried along by excitement or passion into so deplorable an extreme. Though differing upon the late political questions we are all Tennesseeans. For the honor and glory of Tennessee let us be, as heretofore, shoulder to shoulder in battle, or peacefully at home, not sorrowing when victory perches on the standards of Tennessee regiments.
F. K. Zollicoffer, Brigadier-General Commanding.