Hon. John Bell
spoke for about three-quarters of an hour, stating in effect that so far as present duties and responsibilities are concerned, the past is a sealed book.
The time for action and unity of action in the South
had arrived, and he was for standing by the South
, and defending the South
, all the South
, against the unnecessary, aggressive, cruel, unjust, and wanton war which is being forced upon us. He recounted at some length the efforts which he had made in the past, and especially with the present Administration, to avert this war, and the hopes he had cherished for the preservation of peace; but those hopes had now vanished, and our duty was to defend ourselves and to make common cause with all our sister slaveholding States against a common invading foe. He advocated a strong and effective military league or union among all slaveholding States for the successful prosecution of the war. He declared that Tennessee
had, in effect, dissolved her relations with the Federal Union, and though he had hoped and labored to the last to preserve the Union
first, and second, if separation was inevitable, to make it peaceable, he now abandoned all such hope, and his voice was clear and loud to every Tennesseean — to arms I to arms!
He counselled the most effective and energetic public measures to secure the best organization possible of the military strength of the State
was followed by Hon. Edwin H. Ewing
, who declared that in his opinion the Union
between the North
and the South
was at an end forever, and he had no hope of its restoration.
He regarded this as a war of subjugation, and he would never consent to such a domination as was attempted to be established over us. He was for a most vigorous prosecution of the war. He denied that the Federal Administration
is the United States of America
, or that Washington
was the rightful seat of Government.
The District of Columbia was carved out of Southern territory, and they ought not to be permitted to hold an island in our own country.
He was therefore for taking it. He was for unity of action among all the
States of the South
under any military leader who was best qualified to lead them.
He said that though Mr. Jefferson Davis
had not been a favorite with him as a politician, he believed him to be as able and competent a military commander as there is in the South
, and lie was for marching under him, or any other man, against the invaders of Southern soil.
His cry was, “To arms!
not only to resist the invasion of our own soil, but that of any of the Southern States
He had no thought of accepting the poor privilege of being swallowed up at last.
Hon. Andrew Ewing
followed, declaring, in the strongest and most emphatic terms, for resistance to the attempted subjugation of the South
He was for the whole South
standing as a unit.--Nashville Banner
, April 24.