In doing some follow-up reading for my recent ‘state of Scott’ post I discovered an interesting counter-balance to that story. It seems that Franklin County was impatient with the Tennessee’s delay in leaving the Union and joining the Confederacy. It came to the point where they actually voted in favor of leaving the state of Tennessee and becoming part of Alabama since Alabama joined the Confederacy five months before Tennessee. The citizens of Franklin County ended up forgiving the rest of the state when Tennessee joined the Confederacy before they could make good on the plan to join Alabama.
I haven’t been able to find as much supporting evidence online for this as I did for Scott County. But I did find the above photo of a historic marker in Winchester, TN. I also found what purports to be the petition from Franklin County to the legislatures of Tennessee and Alabama (scroll down to mid-page). I recommend reading the entire thing, but I clipped a few choice bits below: (emphasis added by me, I particularlly love the part where they call President Lincoln a mental dwarf)
1. Resolved, That the action of the State of Tennessee, on the 9th inst., is to us a source of unfeigned mortification, and regret, as we hoped that her course would have been so different, as to have, by the 4th day of March next, divorced Tennessee forever from her present bonds of political union, and have united her fate-for weal or woe, with her seven proud and gallant sisters of the South, which have so divorced themselves.
3. Resolved, That we hope that the Northern fanatics have read the speeches of the Presidents- DAVIS and LINCOLN, (Made enroute for their respective seats of government) and see the difference, and from it learned a lesson of common sense, which will cause them to hush their insane croaking about the ignorance of the Southern people, since, they must see that while the Confederate States have for their representative a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, the Federal Union has a wag, a mental dwarf.
Reading that resolution leads me to doubt all the current pundits who claim partisan politics are more combative now than ever before.
The resolution was passed on February 24, 1861 but it was never carried out because Tennessee voted to secede on June 24, 1861. There are quite a few reports that Confederate recruiting was going on in the county before Tennessee voted to leave the Union, and Isham Harris, the Confederate governor of Tennessee, was from Franklin County.
The county by county turmoil wasn’t limited to Tennessee and I ran across reports of a lot of different counties and regions attempting to pick a side other than the one their state picked. It seems West Virginia was the only one that was really successful at it.