War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0591 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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the Federal lines. If the second cause (slavery) were placed upon a basis not inconsistent with the position of the Administration it is confidently believed that the rebel cavalry in North Alabama would be disintegrated by desertion or acquiescence in Federal authority. The instantaneous emancipation of 500,000 slaves would be so abrupt a charge as to destroy the life of the community by convulsions and a total derangement of the entire order of things political, social, moral, and economical. A plan for a gradual emancipation would avoid those evils and tranquilize Alabama. The four northern tiers of counties in Alabama across the State from Mississippi to Georgia, by majorities ranging from three-forts to fourteen-fifteenths, voted for the Union; not one for secession. Much of the military strength of those counted was put in the rebel army by popular appliances and political management, but much the largest portion was forced in by conscription after the act passed, or went in to avoid conscription. The loss of our young men in war, the destruction of property, the absence of mail facilities, presses, schools, commerce, the suspension of church service, scarcity of food, the falsification of rebel promises, have failed to convince men that secession was the rightful remedy. Some have become embittered by loss of property, friends, &c., but those feeling are founded on momentary passions that will soon pass by. Ever since the acts of the Federal Government have disclosed a serious intention to exert all its power at any cost to preserve the integrity of the Union, there has been a general conviction in Alabama that the rebellion must come to grief. Candid secessionists of intelligence have admitted it privately. Devoted Union men have looked for this as the Jews looked for the coming of Shiloh. On the north side of the Tennessee River the leading and rabid secessionists not in the army have mostly fled the country.

Those four counties, it is believed, can be easily managed, for the opinion is universal that slavery is deal. Its moral power is broken; the lordly voice of the master has lost its spell of power. The sweets of freedom have been tasted by the slave, and his stay with his old master is relieved of the details of antecedent slave management. The same sentiments prevail on the south side of the river. Franklin, Lawrence, and Morgan are Tennessee River valley counties on that side. These counties embrace some secessionists. The valley proper, from six to twelve miles in breadth, contained most of the secessionists. The central and southern portions of these counties were almost unanimous for the Union. Their voice has been silenced. Many of them and their sons are in the rebel army, mostly by conscription. Numbers have fled the country, and not a few have been murdered in cold blood as obstinate deserters and resolutely disobedient conscript orders. Murdered, I mean, by the conscript and provost guards under orders from conscript officers. These people only ask to be freed from rebel terrorism to avow their sentiments and show their faith by their works. The other counties, embracing the four northern counted, lie in rolling, mountainous lands, embosoming rich gorges and small valleys, with but few slaves, and were and are (obstructions being removed) Union men by sentiment, education-I had almost said by nature. In the convention nor in the popular feeling had they nor can they have any sympathy with secession, its causes, hopes, nor aims. This is true of all the counties until you strike the cotton region proper, south of the mountains, where the streams emptying into the Gulf widen into large valleys. We have information through many channels that the feeling for reconstruction in South Alabama is prevalent and strong, and, as some