Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 9, 1861 (Thursday): A Capitol Idea

The Tennessee Capitol

                                                                        Nashville, May 9, 1861.
General Walker:
      Dear Sir: I send a copy of the offer of the capitol of Tennessee to the Southern Confederacy.  You will consider this a proposition from Tennessee that this may become the permanent seat of government for the South.  Give us arms if you can possibly do so.  The whole State is ready for the field.  We intend to stand by Kentucky and bring her in.  She is now under duress.  When Tennessee and Kentucky are armed, they are a nation in the battle-field.  Save our men as much as possible, they are the flower of the land.  Our independence is now certain.  Our army is invincible, and if we can avoid the sacrifice of our men we will have nothing to regret.
        With high regard, yours,
                                                                               S.R. COCKRILL


Cockrill was a citizen of Nashville given to wild imaginings.  In 1863 he proposed detailing 10,000 soldiers as fishers so that the army might be sustained by a diet of fish.  The location of the Confederate capitol was, however, a serious matter.  It was desirable to be near to the seat of action, but not so near as for its defense to become an all-consuming factor.  Nashville, like Richmond, was too close to the front.  But Richmond, which became the capitol, ultimately had to be given top consideration due to the number of troops the state was providing to the cause.

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