WITH the exception of Virginia alone, Tennessee was the chief battle ground of the Civil War. Four hundred and fifty-four battles and engagements were fought out within her borders.1 Much of the fighting took place in Eastern Tennessee. The armies of the Union and of the Confederacy marched and countermarched through her mountain passes and availed themselves of her principal railroad as a medium of communication and supply.
The mountaineers suffered much for their loyalty to the Union cause, yet they never faltered in their steadfast courage. In August, 1861, Confederate soldiers overran this region. Loyal men were impressed into the Southern ranks, the Confederate conscription law was executed, so as surely to include those of known loyalty to the Lincoln government. Any who offered resistance were certain to await the fate of traitors. Crops were confiscated and sent South while uncontrolled groups of mounted men burned barns and houses and drove off the cattle before them. Special objects of plunder were Johnson's old supporters.2 "Parson Brownlow's book" is a Jeremiad of these sufferings.
It was with no docility that the hardy mountaineers submitted when they had to, to these indignities, and always they saw the vision of a Union army coming to their aid. "They look for the reëstablishment of the Federal authority," wrote a Southern sympathizer to Jefferson Davis on November 12th, 1861, "with as much confidence as the Jews look for the coming of the Messiah, and I feel quite sure when I assert that no event or circumstance can change or modify their hope."3 But these Unionists had a spokesman within the Senate of the United States in Andrew Johnson. On January 31st, 1862, he again laid before the country