Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Civil War in Tennessee-- Part 1: A Divided State

From the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.

In 1861, when the nation divided, so did Tennessee.  West Tennesseeans, led by Governor Isham G. Harris, cast their lot with the new Confederacy.  Meanwhile, in East Tennessee, most residents remained loyal to the United States.  In the middle section, it was about equally split. There was a lot of neighbor-versus-neighbor guerrilla warfare.

In February 1861, a referendum was held, and, as expected, the East was against secession, West for it and Central equally divided.  However, the firing on Fort Sumter in April and President Lincoln's call for 75,000 state militiamen to put down the rebellion started a push to secession.

East Tennessee threatened to secede from the state if that happened.  In May, Governor Harris and the legislature made a military alliance with the Confederacy and began raising an army for defense against Union invasion.

--Old Secesh

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