A Yankee Opinion of East Tennessee

More from the Charleston Mercury newspaper of Charleston, South Carolina, this item from its Dec. 21, 1863 edition:

“A Yankee Opinion of Their Friends in East Tennessee–Among the letters captured by our forces around Knoxville was one from D. G. Griffin to his father in New York.  The opinion expressed must be very flattering to the Unionists of East Tennessee:

“Our Union friends have fanaticism and enthusiasm enough, but they are so ignorant and ill bred as to disgust any gentleman.  The women know how to make “corn dodgers” and dirty little Federal flags, “ginger cakes and the like,” and to curse and point out their superiors–rebel ladies and rebel gentlemen–and that is about all.

“The rebel ladies are intelligent, well bred, and good looking–dignified and bold in their demeanor.  But they won’t talk to us–consider themselves our superiors, simply from the fact that we are fighting for their inferiors, the Union ladies.  They are not to blame.  I often blush when I think of the common herd that I am perilling [sic] my life for.  God save me from such ignorant trash.

“You have often heard of majorities for the Union in East Tennessee; but I must confess, taking into consideration, if the rebels are entitled to any country, it is this.  Their friends are many, strong in their fidelity, and seem to have some plausible reasons for their rights, &c.

“The name of tory seems to suit them very well.  I don’t wonder at the promotion of Gov. Johnson, Horace Maynard and others.  Such a people can be easily demagogued.  All they know is to be “Union folks.”

“I can’t think that we shall remain here very long, even the rebels permitting.  The rebel Gen. Faughn and others are continually annoying us, so much so that we cannot see any peace for them.  We didn’t expect to fight the rebels when we came here, but find that our personal safety will force us to fight them hard and often.”

Via University of Texas at Tyler & Poore Boys in Gray

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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