Item description: Entry, 28 November 1861, from the diary of Thomas Bragg (Attorney General of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1863), written while Bragg was in Richmond, Va.
We have no news today. Mr. Smith called at my office and shewed me a letter from John Baxter formerly of N.C. now of Knoxville, Tenn. He represents East Tennessee, as in a very disloyal State, which he says is owing to the improper courses pursued towards the population, that he could tranquilize things if the Government here would give him its confidence and adopt his suggestions, and that he would come on & make known his plans to the Gov’t if it would receive him kindly and hear his proposal – What he intends he did not say. I went with Mr. Smith to see the President on the subject, who stated that he had been heretofore induced to deal mildly with the Union men of East Ten. but they had abused his confidence, burnt the Rail Road Bridges on the East Ten. Road and that in consequence he had been compelled to change his policy – that Gen’l Zollicoffer and others had informed him that the time had passed by for mild measures &c. But consented to see Mr. B. if he would come to Richmond and hear what he had to propose and that he greatly preferred a resort to mild measures if he could thereby tranquilize the people. Mr. Benjamin was present – he referred to the late hostile attitude of the people of East Ten. said he had issued orders to capture those in arms and hold them as prisoners of war, sending them to Tuscaloosa, where a number of Yankee prisoners now are, and that if any were taken burning bridges & destroying the property of loyal citizens, they were to be treated as outlaws amenable to military law, tried by a drum head Court Martial and shot.
Col. Wheeler is here and called to see me tonight. He is engaged in publishing the Journal of the celebrated Fanning of North Ca. a tory, famous in the revolutionary war, for boldness and daring as a partizan chief. Wheeler has lately got a copy of it. Only a few copies will be published, with notes by himself & Ex Gov. Swain.