An Enemy's Country
Confederate policy from May through November 1861 had been characterized by leniency and restraint. Rather than harshly suppressing dissent, Confederate authorities attempted to persuade Unionists voluntarily to accept Confederate rule. This policy was temporarily abandoned after the bridge burnings. Angered by the failure of leniency, Confederate authorities threw off most restraints. Employing military force, mass arrests, and confiscation, the Confederate government attempted to destroy Unionist organizations and terrorize the population into submission. A third phase in Confederate policy opened in February 1862, when the War Department sent Major General Edmund Kirby Smith to East Tennessee to restore order. The new commander sought to balance conciliation and coercion. He attempted to soothe loyalist fears, but he was also determined to force East Tennessee to function as a part of the Confederacy. The failure of Kirby Smith and his successor, Major General Sam Jones, to end loyalist dissent led to a final shift in policy. Beginning in late 1862, Confederate authorities more and more referred to East Tennessee loyalists not as Confederate citizens but as enemies, and they employed increasing force in an attempt to subdue, imprison, or drive out rebellious Unionists.
Where Zollicoffer had been a volunteer, Kirby Smith was a professional officer with a superior record. He had graduated from West Point in 1845 and had seen extensive service in the Mexican War, including action at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Veracruz, and Mexico City. After the war he had taught mathematics at West Point for two years and then spent four years on the Texas frontier with the Fifth Infantry, skirmishing with Native Americans and Mexican raiders. In 1855 Captain Edmund Kirby