July 31, 1863
---The New York Times publishes an editorial arguing that the state of Tennessee, now almost entirely in Union hands, ought to be ready to be re-admitted to the Union:
The public attention has not, for some time, been called to the civil condition of the State of Tennessee, which, since BRAGG’S retreat, is peculiar and anomalous. There is now no large army, either rebel or Union, planted on its soil. The army of Gen. ROSECRANS, though nominally still in the State, is pressing upon and felt by Alabama and Georgia more than by Tennessee. While the State is therefore delivered from the presence of military rule, it has no civil government anywhere erected or respected. There are no courts, no laws, no civil administration, no body politic, no taxation nor representation. The population of the State, reduced by the war to perhaps 800,000. is in utter social and political chaos.
The time is propitious for reorganization, and the work has fairly commenced. A State Convention met at Nashville on the 1st inst., and continued in session till the 7th. Between forty and fifty counties were represented, (about half of the State,) by about two hundred members. The Convention recommended the election of a Legislature in August, to form a civil Government, reestablish Courts and laws, and restore the State to the Union. This programme will be carried out. The expulsion of the last strong body of rebels from the State has made it practicable, and the people are already absorbed in the consideration and discussion of the issues presented in this new phase of affairs.