was here committed of again rallying as a party under the cry of Union for the purpose of preventing men who had advocated the separation of the State from the Federal Union from being elected to office. Step by step (many steps taken in consequence of the rashness, not to say wickedness, of the men who claimed to control South whole counsels in East Tennessee) the people were led on until as a whole they took what they felt they had the right to take, the ground of neutrality, so far as active hostilities were concerned. This I tell you was the actual condition of East Tennessee when it was proposed to enforce the conscript law. I told you that they wouldngth against whichever Government attempted to force them from their position; that if the effort was made to enforce the conscript it would ruin us and greatly damage the Confederacy; that we would get no soldiers; that it would cause a stampede to Kentucky in part and a hiding out in the caves and mountains, and in the end the destruction of our section; that where we would get one man as a recruit we would send three to Kentucky and require the withdrawal of two soldiers from the army to protect East Tennessee; that we would send 10,000 men to Kentucky to the Federal lines clamoring for assistance to recover for them homes, from which they claim to have been driven; and that in all probability another effort would be made to invade East Tennessee. What I then predicted is now in part the history of this unhappy country. If you will require a report from the enrolling officer at Knoxville you will find that he has not added to the strength of the Army. He has not mustered into service as many men as have been taken from the ranks to hunt up conscripts and guard exposed points, the guarding of which has been rendered necessary by the excitement incident to this false move.
In addition to this a raid has been made upon our railroad, and every day the enemy receives full information of the state of our forces, and unless you can get the President to interpose and arrest the evil every man of the old Union party will leave. The expenses of the department are very heavy, an officer for every district in each county, any number of braided and brass-buttoned gentlemen who ought to be with their commands taking their ease as recruiting officers, besides the soldiers that are detailed to police the county and hunt up conscripts. It is now apparent to all (except a special few whose notions of a cleansing of the political sanctuary urge to seize upon the opportunity to drive from the country all who are not active political friends) that the effort to conscript East Tennessee is not only a failure, but a disastrous calamity to our cause. East Tennessee has been regarded as one of the most important sections of the Confederacy, not only on account of her geographical position and her connecting railroads, but on account of her stock and grain. Our Union men of East Tennessee did more to further our cause in 1861 by the supplies furnished than they could have done had they been zealous secessionists ad in the Army, and so in 1862, though greatly interfered with by the State draft. And so now we need the labor of the farmers of East Tennessee upon their farms more than we need their unwilling service in the field, could we even get them into the Army. They are willing to work, and under the influence of General Smith's proclamation of last spring were beginning to become interested in the success of our cause, as it gave to them so advantageous a market freed from the hitherto almost overpowering competition of Kentucky and the Northwestern States. When Governor Harris attempted to
24 R R-SERIES IV, VOL II