RICHOND, November 19, 1861.
Colonel D. LEADBETTER Jonesborough, Tenn.:
Send all the prisoners known to be criminals or to have born arms against the Govenrment to Nashville to be tried for high treason. Discharge the others on their taking oath of allegiance. Ihave ordered a regiment fromNorht Carolina to report to you at Jonesborough.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
Knoxville, November 20, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.
SIR: The rebellion in EastTennessee has been put downin some of the counteis and will be effefctually suppressedin less than two weeks in all the ounties. Their camp in Sevier and HmiltonCounites have been broken up and a large nubmer of them made prisoners. SOme are cnfined in jail at this place an otehrs sent to Nasville. In a former comuniaiton I inquired of the Departmetn what I should do with them, It is a mere farce to arrest them and turn them over to the courts. Instead of having the effect to intimidateit really gives encouragement and emboldens them in their traitorous conduct. We have now in custody some of their leaders- Judge [David T.] Patterson, the son- in- law of Anderw Johnson; COlonel [Samuel] Pickens, the sentaor in the legislature from Sevier and other counties, and several members of the legislature, besides others of influence and some distintion in their counties. These men have encuraged this rebellion but have so managed as not to be found in arms. Neverthless all their actions and words have been unfriendly to the Govenrment of the Confederate States. The influence of their wealth, position and connections has been exerted inf avoer of the Lincoln Govenrment and they are the parties most to blame for the troubles in East Tennessee. They rally deserve the gallows and if consistent with the laws ought speedily to receive their desets; but there is such a gentle speirit of conciliation in the Suth and esepcially here that I have no idea that one of them will recieve such a sentence at the hands of any jury impanelled to try tehm.
I have been here at this station fort three months, half the time in command of the post, and I have had a good opportunity of learning the feeling pervading this country. It is hostile to the COnfederate Government. They will take the oath of allegiance with no intention to observe it. Theyare the followers and sslaves of Johnson and Maynard andnever intend to be otehrwise. When arrested they suddenly become very submissive anddeclare they are for peace and not supporters of the Lincoln Government but yet they claim to be Union men. At one time whilst our forces were at Knoxville they gave it out that great changes were taking place in East Tennesee and the people were becoming reconciled and loyal. At the withdrawl of the army from here to the Gap and the first intimation that the Lincoln army was like to penetrate the State they were in arms, and scarcely a man with only a few honorable execeptions but what was ready to join them and make war uopon us.
The prisoners we have tell us that they had every assurance that the army was already in the State and would join them in a very few days; that the property of to bec onfiscated ndd divided amongst those who would take up arms for Lincoln.