you copy it in your paper, which I presume you will do without any request from me, and give it a wide circulation; and I shall be pleased if you will give it a complimentary editorial notice in a way that will be agreeable to Mr. Nelson and calculated to encourage others to follow his example. This is no time to permit party feelings to drive from our support any who are able to serve our cause by bringing about a more loyal and better feeling in East Tennessee. Of course I do not want my name to appear in connection with it.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE,
Knoxville, Tenn., October 4, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: After being a few days in command here and finding the disloyalty and disaffection to the Government much more general and bitter than I had expected, I became satisfied that much good might result to our cause by putting myself in communication with a few of the most influential Union men. Without knowing any of them personally I selected Honorable Thomas A. R. Nelson and invited him to meet me here. On the receipt of my note he came very promptly, and after a long and very full private interview he, on my suggestion, wrote and placed in my hands, to be used as I thought proper, an address to the people of East Tennessee. I will have it published and widely circulated and hope it will be productive of good. I will send a copy of it with this. You will perceive that a Union tone runs through the address. Mr. Nelson would, I think, have modified it if I had so desired; but he thought (and I agreed with him) that it would be more likely to produce a salutary effect on his party in its present form than if more extreme ground had been taken.
I expect in a day or two to converse with a few other influential men whom I have invited to meet me, and I hope they may be brought to see the propriety of following Mr. Nelson's example. I believe there are Southern men in East Tennessee, small politicians generally, who do not desire that influential men who have heretofore been strong Union men should change their course and come out in support of the Government. They are actuated by petty party jealousy, and have done much mischief by denunciatory articles in the public prints on men who if let alone would gladly have abandoned their hostility and opposition to the Government. I think that bad policy, and have so indicated in very decided terms to the editor of the only newspaper published in this place. While I shall endeavor by a conciliatory but firm course to bring the leaders of what is known as the Union party and through them the mass of the party to the active support of the Government, I shall not fail every means in my power to suppress everything like open hostility or secret treachery. I regret to believe that much of such hostility and treachery exists in this department. I have a detachment out now in an adjoining county to kill, capture, or disperse a party of some 200 or 300 armed men collected together in the mountains to join the enemy in Kentucky; and I hear there are other such bands. It may be well to arrest and send out of the country a few of the most obdurate and perverse Union men.