War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0169 Chapter XXXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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miles. How this step is regarded by military authorities does not appear; no inquiry, it is believed, having been ordered touching it. From the 18th of September, the day of the evacuation, no forces have been anywhere within protecting distances of East Tennessee; but the people have been left to the tender mercies of rebels, a fate which they understand, if others do not. Up to this time, the proximity of Union troops had given some moral support, however slight at times, to the loyal people, by infusing a hope of success and a fear of retribution to their enemies. Every since, now nearly three months, the Government has been practically as remote from them as the Government of Russia. Whether indifference to their fate or inability to give them relief be the cause of this abandonment, the result to them is the same, and the evidence equally conclusive either that the Government is effete or rotten or that its administration has fallen into corrupt or incompetent hands. The effect of such neglect upon the citizen's obligation of allegiance will occur intuitively to the lawyer.

These suggestions relate solely to the civil obligation of the Government to extend protection to all its loyal citizens against all enemies, domestic as well as foreign. There is a military view of the matter that has been looked upon as not without importance. From Cleveland, the county seat of Bradley County, in East Tennessee, to Lynchburg, in Virginia, a distance of over 400 miles, is a single railroad track, carried over large streams and through mountains by means of deep cuts, tunnels, and many bridges. Along this road, from the very outset of the rebellion, have been transported large numbers of troops and immense amounts of supplies and material of war. Indeed, it is the great arterial communication of the Southern Confederacy. The magnitude of this great transit was brought to the notice of the Government as early as May, 1861, in less than one month from the outbreak of arms. Men of some pretension and high reputation for military judgment have been of opinion that the possession by the Government of that vital thoroughfare was an object not less in strategic importance than the occupation of Richmond; that it should be in our military movements a cardinal object. The General-in-Chief ought to know, and it is to be presumed does know, the soundness or unsoundness of this opinion. Yet, with a single exception, to which reference will again be made, this long line of road, through a rugged region of country, most favorable for sudden and daring enterprises, and in the midst of a friendly population, longing to rush to the aid of the Government, has not only not been interrupted, but no attempt has been permitted to interrupt it. A more significant and suggestive fact could not, perhaps, be pointed out in the whole history of the war. The want of transportation, the lack of supplies, the impracticability of the country, in short, the impossibility of reaching the charmed region, assigned by military authorities as the reason for this deplorable lack of enterprise, has been demonstrated to be false by Generals E. K. Smith and Bragg, in their late march, respectively, from Knoxville and Chattanooga to almost the suburbs of Cincinnati and Louisville. There is the best possible evidence that much less energy than ordinary men exhibit in their private affairs would long since have placed that whole route under our control, and rendered it wholly useless as a line of communication for the rebels. Perceiving the neglected condition of East Tennessee, application was made to the War Department to erect it into a separate military department, under the control of a general, whose authority should be restricted to it. The application was met by dividing one part of the State on a line drawn indefinitely north and south through Knoxville, giving the eastern part to the