this has frequently been illustrated in English history, when the
vestal fires of freedom were only kept burning amid the High¬
lands of Scotland. And to day, surrounded by the tyrannies
and despotisms of Europe, a gallant and chivalric people, whose
territory, reaching above the clouds, penetrates
" Where fields of light and liquid ether flow,"
maintain their love of freedom pure and spotless as the snow
upon their native Alps.
In every contest of the past where the honor, integrity and
renown of the United States have been involved, no people
have displayed greater alacrity in upholding and maintaining
the Government of the United States than the people of East
Subjected to a terrible conscription by the confederates when
in possession of that section of the country, it is almost entirely
■destitute of white male population. The slaves of that region
having also sought protection within the Federal lines, the
women and children are without the common necessaries of life.
As each rebel conscription has been enforced in this section
of the Union, the loyal men of East Tennessee, shrinking
from the turpitude of fighting against a government which, in
the past, had guai'anteed to them so many blessings, have fled
to their native mountains, preferring to encounter the wild
beasts of the forest rather than their still more inhuman neigh¬
bors who have yielded to the foul spirit of secession.
The importance in which the region has been held by the
rebels as a strategic point for military operations is thoroughly
illustrated by the tenacity with which they have struggled to
hold their grasp upon it. They fully realize that the sentiments
of its population are thoroughly imbued with an inherent love
of constitutional freedom. Consequently, the rebel authorities
nave exercised over it from the first the most tyrannical rule,
boping to erush the spirit of its free people.
But all these circumstances convince us that this part of Ten¬
nessee should have been occupied, at the commencement of the
struggle, as a basis for military operations in the South. And
it 18 now, as it was in the beginning, the dictate of wise states-