East Tennessee, and I have strong hopes of succeeding. I informed you of my interview with Mr. Nelson, which resulted in his publishing an address to the people, a copy* of which I inclosed to you. Since then I have had interview with other gentlemen, who have heretofore been firm supporters of the old Union, and am encouraged to believe that the most prominent men of the party will soon give public and cordial support to the Government. I send with this copies of letters from Judge Lucky and Mr. N. G. Taylor, both of whom were represented to me as possessing great influence, which they have used to the prejudice of the Government. To-day I had a most satisfactory interview with John Netherland, esp., a prominent and influential politician of the Union party. He is prepared, I believe, to support the Government cordially. I am told that he and Mr. Nelson are the most influential men in East Tennessee, and I have good reason to believe that in a few days they will both be addressing the people in public meetings in various places, urging them to give their hearty and active support to the Government. In my conversation with Mr. Netherland I took occasion to say that I thought the time had passed when such an organization as a Union party could be tolerated in this country. He admitted it without hesitation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure No. 1.]
JONESBOROUGH, TENN., October 11, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL JONES:
DEAR SIR: In a pleasant and free conversation with you a few days since on the state of the country, and more especially the condition of things in East Tennessee, among other topics the recent proclamation of President Lincoln came under consideration. I remarked that I thought the act of Congress on which it was precidated and the proclamation itself were totally unconstitutional, and equally abhorrent to my feelings and judgment as they were illegal and mischievous in their design and tendency. I have uniformly entertained and expressed the opinion that it was the duty of our citizens to yield obedience to the constituted authorities of the country. This sentiment I have repeated to all with whom I have conversed. I need scarcely say that the recent act and proclamation of the Federal authorities give additional force and emphasis to these opinions, and that all good citizens should cheerfully yield their support to the Government under which they live and offer no factious opposition to the constitutional enactments and laws of the Confederate authorities. The peace and security of person and property require this of every one.
I am gratified to learn that, while you are exercising the high authority as commander of the Department of East Tennessee, in enforcing the laws of the land it is your purpose to protect every class of citizens with energy and promptness from oppression and wrong. I believe a just and firm administration of the laws upon every one will soon produce a tranquil state of feeling in the public mind.
Should the opinions I have expressed in this brief note be esteemed of any value in aiding you in restoring harmony and quiet you are at liberty to use it in any way you may choose.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
SETH J. W. LUCKY.
* See p.909.