of 15,000. Arms and ammunition they had none, nor officers skillful to organize and instruct men as soldiers.
Very early Governor Johnson and others of our citizens came here to obtain assistance for our people, and though from that day to this importunity and entreaty have been increasing, we have received neither soldiers, nor arms nor ammunition, nor aid in any from, nor any recognition of the great obligation of the Government to extend protection everywhere to its loyal citizens. In the mean time our people have been left exposed to enormous cruelties, disgraceful to any Government which fails to restrain them. There is abundant evidence, independent and concurring, to establish the general fact that they have been ravaged and pillaged, and driven from their homes and imprisoned, both near home and in the far South; their wives and daughters ravished and themselves put to death, under circumstances of cruelty and ignominy. Nearly 10,000 in hopes of being relieved of their oppression at home, have sought the flag and taken service under it. Thousands of others, refugees from home and family and property, are scattered over the country. Individual instances of peculiar hardships might be given, but the general statement in this connection is enough. Hitherto the Government has not been unmindful of a duty to protect its citizens. The case of Martin Koszta, in the harbor of Smyrna, and of the settlers of Minnesota, exposed to the vengeance of the mistreated savage, are to the point, with this difference, that these parties had no special merit beyond that of being American citizens, inchoate at least, while the people of East Tennessee have suffered precisely because of their loyalty to the Government and their refusal to be disloyal. From the first, promises have been made to them, through their representatives and agents, most encouraging. Whether they were intended to be kept or not, one thing is certain, they have not been kept in a single instance. Early in July, 1861, a large supply of arms was sent to Cincinnati, avowedly for the Union men of East Tennessee. Beyond that point, we have never been able to trace them. Again, in November following, a second lot was ordered to Louisville, for the same destination. That is the last of them, so far as we are concerned. In August, 1861, a force was organized at Camp Dick Robinson, in Kentucky, professedly for a movement into East Tennessee, and composed in part of troops from that region. They advanced as far as London, some 50 miles from the Tennessee line, and then were moved back to Somerset. There they remained until after the battle at Mill Springs, in January last, when they were marched to Cumberland Ford, some 12 miles from Cumberland Gap, and left in the mud for several months. On the 18th of June last, by a skillful but very arduous flank movement, they got possession of Cumberland Gap. In reply to a request from their general (Morgan) for permission to advance into East Tennessee, and a small re-enforcement, to insure success to the movement, the War Department refused the re-enforcement,and informed him that he would be expected only to hold the gap. So he remained there exactly three months, a greater protection to the rich rebels in the neighborhood than to the poor Union men. The information of the rebel movements which he communicated was disbelieved as "physically impossible;" his military suggestions were disregarded as "weak;" his action in strengthening his artillery was rebuked, and finally he was forbidden to report to the War Department.
In the mean time the Government suffered him to be surrounded and his supplies cut off, so that he conceived it his duty to evacuate and retreat across an impracticable bed of mountains, a distance of nearly 250