During the Civil War, East Tennessee was by far one of the most Unionist regions in the South (next to West Virginia, North Alabama, Texas Hill County, Free State of Jones, Free State of Winston and other areas) even though it was under Confederate control for the most part until at least 1863 though historically speaking there were East Tennessee Confederates. In its history East Tennessee was a largely mountainous region settled by yeomen with few blacks (free or slave) living there and there even had been a emancipationist movement there though even that died out in the 1840s it also voted for the Whigs (who were not secessionist supporters and were fairly nationalistic) in contrast to the rest of Democrat Tennessee. In 1861, while Middle and West Tennessee voted for Confederate secession post-Fort Sumter most East Tennessee counties rejected it (with the exceptions of Meigs, Monroe, Rhea, Sequatchie, Sullivan, and Polk who were pro-secession) in fact most of the Eastern counties were so opposed to secession (such as Scott, Servier, Carter, Campbell, and Anderson for example) that they actually decided they wanted to be their own state and on May 30 1861 representatives from 26 East Tennessee counties met in Knoxville to discuss splitting off from Confederate-controlled Tennessee though there were at the very least decided to stay neutral they would meet again in Greeneville on June 17 this time to actually discussing making East Tennessee a Union state and met for the final time on April 12, 1864 about the Reconstruction plan. There were even plans to host a meeting in Kingston to form the Union state of East Tennessee but Confederate troops under Felix K. Zollicoffer would capture one of the planners T.A.R. Nelson was arrested after attempting to flee to Washington, D.C. and agreed to stay neutral. During "Reconstruction", these Unionists would serve various positions in Tennessee government. So it makes me wonder what if East Tennessee had split off from Confederate Tennessee and was admitted into the Union state as its newest state? Well it would have some major implications as to how the Civil War progresses for starters the Union Army would control the important railroad hub city of Chattanooga earlier than it did than in OTL and might even encourage nearby aforementioned North Alabama (another Unionist region) to split from Confederate Alabama and become its own state or even join East Tennessee to become the state of Nickajack, East Tennessee (or Nickajack if its linked with North Alabama) as a Union state would also allow an earlier Georgia campaign to occur speeding up the end of the conflict and additional manpower from a Unionist region with the formation of "East Tennessee (or Nickajack)" regiments. A "Reconstruction" East Tennessee (or Nickajack) also means the Republican Party gains a reliable region in the South to attract East Tennesseean (or Nickajacker) Southern whites to support them and even when Jim Crow does come it wouldn't as nearly bad here when compared to Mississippi and Alabama. But for this scenario to succed let's just say either A. the Knoxville or Greeneville meetings lead to East Tennessee Unionist leaders not only adopt the "Declaration of Grievances" but announce its split from Tennessee and its intent to join the Union without the Confederates coming in at the right time as a new state instead (for Knoxville) just declaring neutrality or B. Don Carlos Buell does a better job in taking the region and with the help of loyal white Unionists forming a West Virginia-style "Restored Government of Tennessee" separate from the Tennessee state military government that leads to the formation of the state of East Tennessse and (for the Nickajack option) by the time Union forces occupy North Alabama it decides to vote to join up with their Tennessee bretheren to form the "State of Nickajack". In today's day and age, East Tennessee (or Nickajack) would be nicknamed the "Great Smoky State" for being home to the Great Smoky Mountain and its scenic mountains.