Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


History, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Pete Kuryla

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


This paper explores the East Tennessee Unionists of the Civil War era and their connection to southern honor culture. Though East Tennessee technically seceded in June 1861, the citizens of the region refused to acknowledge that in their daily proceedings and some of the most prominent citizens of the region, such as William G. Brownlow, Horace Maynard, and Andrew Johnson, actively refused to participate in Confederate governance. The guiding force behind these men was the principle of honor that all southern men- Union loyal or not- held dear. This paper tells the story of the secession crisis in East Tennessee and links the events of this period to the premise of honor culture.