The Tennessee House responds to New York’s offer of men and money to the Federal Government “to be used in coercing certain sovereign States of the South into obedience to the Federal Government” by saying “It is the opinion of this General Assembly, that whenever the authorities of that State shall send armed forces to the South for the purpose indicated in said resolutions, the people of Tennessee, uniting with their brethren of the South, will ‘welcome them with bloody hands to hospitable graves.’” The resolution passes by a vote of 59-7.

“Yes, we are all for fighting. Everybody is willing—even the ladies. . . . I think there is enough patriotism & bravery in this state to sustain the Southern confederacy against the United States troops and all the Yankees who dare accompany them. . . .The South will never unite with the North again—never.” [from a January 24, 1861, letter of W.W. Fergusson, Riddleton, TN]


Skirmish at Tazewell.


Writing in her journal, Tennessean Lucy Virginia French considers some of the rumors that are circulating within the state: “There is a contraband camp [near McMinnville] where … poor wretches literally freeze to death by dozens during this severe weather—they have no clothes scarcely—bedding, shelter, and food the same, while their friends the Yankees curse and abuse them for everything low and vile and no account. Of course, who expected anything else? The papers at present are full of Peace rumors. I think the Yanks are becoming quite as weary of the war as Rebs are reported to be…. A more important rumor is the old one revived—Intervention of England and France. It is stated that they will … recognize Mr. Lincoln as President only of the States which elected him—thus recognizing the Confederacy.”