In 1895 Swan published the article "The Over-mountain Men: Some Passages from a Page of Neglected History" on the large number of Union sympathizers in East Tennessee during the Civil War.
"Of the luxuries of life there was a total absence; of the ordinary comforts there were only a few, and at times the common necessities were wanting, and yet of these deprivations no word of complaint was ever uttered. The success of the Union arms was the one absorbing desire in which every other feeling was lost. To the furthering of this they gave of every thing they had. They spared nothing, neither their possessions, their lives nor their loves, and it is a matter of record that more than 20,000 of them were enrolled in the Union army, aside from the large number that served as scouts and in other independent capacities, and whenever the opportunity offered they proved themselves the equal of any in courage, endurance and the other qualities of good soldiers.
"When at the end of the four years the survivors returned to their homes, they found a desolated country in which to make once more the start in life. But this did not daunt them and, thankful that peace had once again spread her white wings over the land under the stars and stripes, they set forward with cheerfulness to mark out the lines on which to build anew those homes they had been forced to leave, with heavy hearts and forbodings only of evil. But their country was no longer the same. It had lost its essential character of isolation, and had become a recognized interger in the new and redeemed republic. Having been the theatre of war for four years, soldiers from every State in the North and West had at some time served among them, and many, attracted by its agreeable climate and natural resources returned, after the declaration of peace, to make it their home."
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