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out 'a tower of strength to the the heart of the loyal Millions never Unionists. In the hours darkened faltered, nor was their faith shaken by shameful defeat and needless dis- that, in spite of present reverses, the aster, when the Republic seemed flag of their fathers would float once rocking and reeling on the very brink more over Richmond and Charleston of destruction—when Europe almost and Montgomery, over Raleigh, Atunanimously pronounced the Union lanta, and Houston, the symbol of Nairretrievably lost, and condemned the tional authority and power, accepted, infatuation that demanded persist- beloved, and rejoiced in, by a great, ence in an utterly hopeless contest - | free, happy people.
THE Virginia Convention of 1861, whole military force and military operations, of which a majority assumed to vote wealth, in the impending conflict with the
offensive and defensive, of said Commontheir State out of the Union, as we United States, shall be under the chief con
had been elected not only trol and direction of the President of said as Unionists, but under an express basis, and footing, as if said Commonwealth
Confederate States, upon the same principle, stipulation that their action should were now, and during the interval, a membe valid only in case of its submission ber of said Confederacy." to and indorsement by a vote of the
Thus it will be seen that the UnionPeople. How shamefully that con- ists of Virginia were liable, that day dition was evaded and circumvented, and every day thereafter, to be called we have seen. The vote to secede, out as militia, and ordered to assault taken on the 17th of April, and al- Washington, seize Pittsburg, or inready anticipated by acts of hostility vade any portion of the loyal States, to the Union under the authority of as Davis and his subordinates might the State, was, so far as possible, kept direct; and, having thus involved secret until the 25th, when it was
themselves in the guilt and peril of proclaimed by Gov. Letcher that the flagrant treason against the Union, Convention had, on the preceding they were to be allowed, a month day, adopted the provisional Consti- later, to vote themselves out of the tution of the Confederate States, and Confederacy and back into the Union placed the entire military power of again! The stupendous impudence the State under the control of Jeffer- of this mockery of submission was so son Davis, by a 'convention,' whereof palpable as almost to shield it from the material provision is as follows:
the reproach of imposture; and, as if 1st. Until the union of said Common- to brush aside the last fig-leaf of diswealth with said Confederacy shall be per- guise, Letcher, nine days thereafter, fected, and said Commonwealth shall be issued a fresh proclamation, calling come a member of said Confederacy, according to the Constitutions of both Powers, the out the militia of the State to repel
May 3d, 1861.
apprehended invasion from the Gov- was held at Wheeling on the followernment at Washington," and desig- ing day, whereby adherence to the nating twenty points throughout the Union was affirmed, separation from State—five or six of them westward Eastern Virginia demanded, and a of the mountains at which the mili- / determination evinced to render no tia from the adjacent counties res- further tribute, whether military or pectively were required to assemble pecuniary, to the Rebel rule at Richforthwith, for organization and ser- mond. Hon. John S. Carlile was vice; and, only three days later- especially decided and zealous in adstill seventeen days prior to that on vocacy of separation. Another great which the people were to vote for or Union meeting was held at Wheeling against Secession—the State was for- on the 11th, which was addressed in mally admitted into and incorporated the same spirit by Mr. Carlile, as with the Confederacy, and Gen. also by Francis H. Pierpont. The Robert E. Lee put in chief command response of the masses was unaniof the Confederate forces in Virgi- mous and enthusiastic. On the 13th, nia-by this time, largely swelled by a Convention of delegates, representarrivals. from South Carolina, Geor- ing thirty-five counties of West Virgia, Alabama, and other Rebel States. ginia, assembled at Wheeling, to re
The people of West Virginia, thus iterate more formally the general desummoned, in the name of their mand that Secession be repudiated, State, to fight against the country they and West Virginia severed from the loved for a Rebellion they abhorred, Old Dominion. This Convention saw the toils closing fast around adjourned on the 15th, after calling a them, and realized that they must provisional Convention, to assemble awake and resist, or they would soon on the 11th of June. The delegates be helpless under the feet of their be- were to be chosen on the 26th of trayers. Rebel officers, appointed May; on which day, about forty from Richmond, were busily at work, Counties held regular elections, and enlisting and mustering their young chose delegates in accordance with men for the uses of treason, under the call-usually, by a heavy vote. the guise of obedience to lawful and The provisional Convention met constitutional authority. On the 4th, on the designated day. Arthur J. a strong and spirited Union mass Boreman
chosen permanent meeting was held at Kingwood, Pres- Chairman; and John S. Carlile, on ton county, near the north line of the 13th, reported, from the Committhe State, at which the most deter- tee on Business, a Declaration, demined hostility to Secession was nouncing the usurpation by which avowed, and the separation of West- the Convention at Richmond had ern from Old Virginia demanded. pretended to sever Virginia from the The meeting further resolved to vote, Union, repudiating the idea of alon the appointed day, for a member legiance to the Southern Confedeof Congress-not that of the Confede- racy, and vacating the offices of all racy, but that of the Union. A like who adhered to the Rebellion. In meeting, impelled by a similar spirit, | the debate which followed, Mr. Car
· May 6th.
3 Late a Colonel of Cavalry in the U. S. regular Army.
ORGANIZATION OF WEST VIRGINIA.
"President Lincoln and his Cabinet have
lile opposed an immediate division of from the Republic they thus cling to the State; but Mr. Dorsey, of Mo- and uphold. Congress, after duo nongahela, who urged it, being sup- deliberation, assented to and ratified ported by Pierpont and others, ob- this claim, admitting the new State tained, on the 20th, a unanimous of West Virginia“ into the Union as vote in favor of ultimate separation, the equal of her elder sisters; her Yeas 56. The Convention had voted, people being henceforth under no two days earlier, by 57 to 17, that other obligation to the authorities of the separation of Western from Old Virginia than are the people of Eastern Virginia was one of its para- that State to the authorities of her mount objects. In the afternoon of young sister across the Alleghanies. that day, Francis H. Pierpont, of Of course, neither the Rebels in Marion county, was chosen Governor, arms, nor their sympathizers anyDaniel Palsley, of Mason county, where, were delighted with this apLieutenant-Governor, with five mem- plication of the principle of secesbers to form an Executive Council. sion. Gov. Letcher, in a Special MesThese elections were all unanimous. sage, treated it as one of the chief The Convention, it will be noted, was sources of his general unhappiness. a Convention of Virginia, wherein He says: the loyal counties and loyal people were represented, so far as the Re- willfully and deliberately proposed to violate bellion did not prevent; and all this every provision of the third section of the action was taken, not in behalf of
fourth article of the Constitution, which each
one of them solemnly swore or affirmed, in West Virginia as such, but of loyal the presence of Almighty God, to ' preserve, Virginia. The Legislature, which protect, and defend.' That section is in these met soon after at Wheeling, was a
"New States may be admitted by the ConLegislature of Virginia, elected on gress into this Union ; but no new State shall be the regularly appointed day of elec- Other State, nor any State formed by the junction
formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any tion
as well as western of two or more States or parts of States, withcounties being represented therein ; out the consent of the Legislatures of the States
. and this Legislature, as well as the Convention, heartily assented to the The answer to this is ready and formation of the new State of West simple: President Lincoln and his Virginia. This action was taken, Cabinet do not regard John Letcher throughout, on the assumption that as Governor of that State of Virginia the loyal people of a State constitute which is a member of our Federal the State; that traitors and rebels, Union. The Governor of that Virwho repudiate all respect for or loy- ginia is Francis H. Pierpont; and its alty to the Constitution and Govern- Legislature is that which, elected by ment of the country, have no right to loyal Virginians, assembled at Wheelcontrol that Government; and that ing, and gave its free, hearty, and althose people of any State who heartily most unanimous assent to the division recognize and faithfully discharge of the old and the formation of the their obligations as loyal citizens, have new State. All this must be as plain a right to full and perfect protection to Letcher as to Lincoln. Those who * First named Kanawha, after its principal river.
6 January 6th, 1862.
hold that Letcher and his fellow-con- falsely, to the presence of a Union spirators had a legal right to precipi- force. The Virginians who voluntate their State into treason, so as to teered were mustered in and organbind her loyal, Union-loving citizens ized at Camp Carlile, in Ohio, oppoto follow and sustain them therein, site Wheeling, under the command will echo his lamentations; but those of Col. Kelly, himself a Virginian. who stand by their country and her George B. McClellan, who had been Government take a different view of appointed a Major-General and asthe matter.
signed to the command of the De
partment of the Ohio, remained at All direct communication between Cincinnati, his home. Three days Western Virginia and Washington after the election aforesaid, he issued was, and remained, interrupted for from that city a spirited address “ To some weeks after the primary'Rebel the Union men of Western Virginia, foray on Harper's Ferry. The Reb- wherein he says: els remained in force at that point, “The General Government has long completely controlling travel and enough endured the machinations of a few
factious Rebels in your midst. Armed traitransportation on the Baltimore and
tors have in vain endeavored to deter you Ohio road. They finally obstructed from expressing your loyalty at the polls. that road altogether by destroyingo deprive you of the exercise of your dearest
Having failed in this infamous attempt to several bridges farther west; con- rights, they now seek to inaugurate a reign tinuing to hold and to strengthen of terror, and thus force you to yield to their their position at Harper's Ferry. torous conspiracy, dignified by the name of
schemes, and submit to the yoke of the traiTwo companies of Confederate or the Southern Confederacy. They are desState militia entered the village of troying the property of citizens of your State,
and ruining your magnificent railways. The Clarksburg, the capital of Harrison General Government has heretofore carecounty, on the 20th, but found them- fully abstained from sending troops across selves speedily outnumbered by the the Ohio, or even from posting them along
its banks, although frequently urged by Union militia of that place, on whose many of your prominent citizens to do so. demand they surrendered their arms
State election, desirous that no one might be and dispersed without a contest.
able to say that the slightest effort had been Although some thousands of West made from this side to influence the free exVirginians had volunteered to fight pression of your opinions, although the many
agencies brought to bear upon you by the for the Union, none of them were en- Rebels were well known. You have now camped on the soil of their State shown, under the most adverse circumuntil after the election held to ratify Western Virginia are true and loyal to that
stances, that the great mass of the people of or reject the Ordinance of Secession. beneficent Government under which we and The Government, assured that West
our fathers have lived so long." ern Virginia was overwhelmingly for A brief and stirring address to his the Union, doubtless chose not to soldiers was issued simultaneously have that unanimity attributed, even with the above; and, both being read
* A Union soldier who, having been taken Westpointer; “then you ought to be fighting on the prisoner by the Rebels and paroled, was, in the other side.” Of course, this patriot will naturally Summer of 1862, in camp on Governor's Island, be found among those who consider the division New-York, was asked by a regular army officer of Virginia a usurpation and an outrage. "What is your regiment ?"
Night of April 18th. "The 6th Virginia." “ Virginia ?" rejoined the May 16th.
“It determined to await the result of the