Monday, July 08, 2013

"In violation of our sacred bill of rights, which guarantees to all the privilege of bearing arms"

"...Look beyond the mountains--the proud crested mountains of East Tennessee. I know you have had a hard time, a trouble-some time, here in the middle division, where secession had its origin. But go with me beyond the mountains. When the State was voted out by four to one the people up there, who knew the wickedness of disruption, held a convention, and appealed to be let alone to the enjoyment ot their honest political opinions. What was the response? The threatening hoof of the cavalry. This request was repeated over and over again. The dastardly reply was the bayonets of a myriad of infantry. What followed? Columns of riotous soldiery pressed along the railroads, committing every offense in the catalogue--insulting our wives and daughters, plundering our dwellings, scattering haystacks, pillaging the drawers of poor and honest laborers, without a shade of respect to their wants and suffering. We were to be subjugated and coerced. In violation of our sacred bill of rights, which guarantees to all the privilege of bearing arms, our arms were taken away. We were left at the mercy an intoxicated rabble, who knew not the feelings of humanity. They came to my own little village, during my absence in Washington. My wife, with her young child, being there and unprotected, was turned into the street, and my house converted in to a hospital.

   "What wrongs have we committed? We have shown our faithfulness to the flag of our country--have upheld its imperishable laws, and protested against rebellion. This is our crime, the cause of our proscription and suffering. After my wife, with her child, had fled to the protecting roof of a neighbor, and while confined in a bed of sickness, the act of sequestration was enforced to wrest her dwelling, leaving her houseless and the unregarded victim of insult. Even her two servants, who ministered to her wants while helplessly ill, were stolen from her. This is secession. Great God! can it go on unarrested in its career of violence and shame? Is there no justice to reach or crush it? Will not some bolt of wrath descend from heaven to avenge the wrongs of innocent men, women and children?"

- Belmont Chronicle, St. Clairsville, Ohio, April 10, 1862. New Series--Vol. 2, No. 10. "Affairs In Nashville, Speech of Gov. Gen. Andrew Johnson*, Delivered on Saturday At The Capitol." Pg. 1.

* - Andrew Johnson, Dec. 29, 1808 - July 31, 1875, Johnson was born in poverty in Raleigh, North Carolina. Apprenticed as a tailor, he worked in several frontier towns before settling in Greeneville, Tennessee. He served as alderman and mayor there before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1835. After brief service in the Tennessee Senate, Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843, where he served five two-year terms. He became Governor of Tennessee for four years, and was elected by the legislature to the Senate in 1857. In his congressional service, he sought passage of the Homestead Bill, which was enacted soon after he left his Senate seat in 1862. Johnson was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president since he was Abraham Lincoln's vice president at the time of Lincoln's assassination. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. The first American president to be impeached, he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

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