War of the Rebellion: Serial 023 Page 0894 Chapter XXVIII. KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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Proclamation to the People of East Tennessee.


Knoxville, Tenn., September 30, 1862.

The undersigned has been ordered to the command of this department. he enters upon the duties with the earnest desire and firm purpose so to administer the trust confided to him that no detriment shall result to our country within his department. He will rigidly enforce military discipline, and require of all under his command a scrupulous regard for the rights of persons and property of citizens. It has come to his knowledge that persons acting without authority of law have seized the property of citizens under the alleged pretext that it was needed for the public service or that the owners were disloyal citizens or alien enemies. No such pretest will avail in future to shield the offender from punishment. The law of the eland prescribes the mode of dealing with the property of alien enemies and the law must be obeyed. The exigencies of the service may sometimes demand that private property be taken for public use. In all such cases the authority to impress must emanate from these headquarters and just and reasonable payment be made. The right of the citizen to the protection of the Government is conditional on loyalty and obedience to that Government. However much many people on this section of the country may regret the separations of Tennessee from the old Union that separation is a fixed fact, and so lang as they remain within the limits of the State they must yield obedience to its laws. May persons have permitted their attachment to the old Government and their adherence to party leaders to blind them to the true object and purpose of the war which our enemies are making on us. They have been told that the war is waged to restore. "the Constitution as it and the Union as it was." President Lincoln's Government seems to have exercised its ingenuity to dispel any such delusion. Its acts demonstrate clearly that the purpose is to subjugate us, confiscate our property, sand emancipate our slaves. To attain this end the plainest provisions of the Construction have been disregarded. In truth, the Constitution is a dead letter and the old form of Government has ceased to exist. It has been superseded by the most odious despotism. If doubt can have lingered in the mind of any on this point it must be removed by President Lincoln's proclamation of the 22nd instant. He not only declares his purpose to emancipate our slaves, but commands his officers, civil, military, and naval, to recognize and maintain their freedom.

Heretofore his Army and Navy have invaded and laid waste our country; robbed and burned our houses; stolen and carried off our property, and one at least of his general officers has authorized and invited his soldiers to the commission of such acts for brutal violence on hapless women as to expose him to the contempt and detestation of the civilized world. He now commands his Army Navy to add to other wicked and savage work the crime of instigating and aiding in a servile insurrection. Against all aiders and abettors in that wicked purpose the law of the land provides a penalty. If there are those within this department who even contemplate any disloyal or treason able combination against the Government of the Confederate States, or the giving of secret aid and comfort to the enemies of our country, they are emphatically warned to desist from their treasonable purposes while it is yet time. It is to be hoped that no such persons will be found within this department, but that East Tennessee will now array themselves heartily on the side of the Government.