War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 1104 KY.,S. W. VA.,TENN.,N. & C. GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W. FLA.

Search Civil War Official Records

few counties no election was held, the people not having had an opportunity of being registered in pursuance of that law. While it is claimed by the local press and asserted generally that their is an almost universal willingness on the part of the people to submit, it is yet apparent that submission is that of a military necessity, not a cordial response to the claims of the Government upon the allegiance of its citizens; not the candor of those who, having at laser recognized the enormity of their crime against the Union, with the ardor and alacrity of true repentance avail themselves of the beneficence of an outraged Government. The feelings of the people toward the Government are not of a kindly character generally, but now that the Confederacy is broken, the very necessities of living compel them to be quiescent. Weary of war, impoverished in house and bereaved in family, many desire to live in peace and quietness the remainder of their days; others, in the hope of avoiding the penalties and forfeitures of treason, or wishing the gifts at the bestowal of their lately despised Government, are seized with a conversion, the suddenness and zeal of which may well excite suspicion of this sincerity. A few less prudent and less influential still proclaim aloud the doctrine of Southern rights in a spirit which, if general, must awaken apprehensions of future discord. Some there undoubtedly are who propose to give an active and energetic support to the Government, accepting the new condition of affairs, never having entertained for themselves, or abandoning forever, the idea of revolution, [who] are laboring to cement anew the Union of the States and the fraternity of the people. Of all classes by far the greater number are unwilling to take part in State restoration. The chivalry of the South, it has been confessed, has been discomfited in war, but here people still retain the pride and the arrogance of caste. The master race are obliged to acknowledge the annihilation of African slavery, but they cannot conquer their love for and the adherence of habit to the peculiar institution. Covertly they purpose, knowing not how and abiding a time they know not when, to again make color the badge of servitude and of oppression. It seems to me to be hardly otherwise to be expected. The prejudices of education and association are not easily eradicated. While the armed soldiers of the Union overawe insubordination by their presence, maintaining the sovereignty and enforcing the policy of the Government, the people of the South will despair of successful resistance in any form; but the disloyal elements are as dominant as ever; the leaders of Southern opinion, using, with the politician's craft, the disguise of conservatives, await but opportunities to prove themselves the still relentless foes of the Government. an opportunity would sooner or later be followed by another political revolution, not to speak of speedy social chaos and the prostration of law at the feet of crime. It is my opinion, which lengthening observation confirms, that the safety of the Union requires that the armies of the United States should hold, occupy, and possess the territory lately in rebellion for a yet indefinite period. These remarks are offered as applicable to people residing within the limits of my command, a general statement of the condition of which, from every point of view, I have conceived it proper for me to make.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General.