Virginia at War, 1864

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William C. Davis Editor ; James I. Robertson Editor ; Richard J.

Metal Detecting Virginia - 1864/65 Civil War Cavalry Camp at NDL

Allow Cookies. Virginia at War, [Hardback] William C. Qty: Add to Basket. Details It is said of just about every state: "If you don't like the weather, stick around. It'll change. Weather and its vagaries are an obsession in the state, not only because the commonwealth relies heavily on weather-sensitive industries such as agriculture, transportation, and tourism, but also because weather changes are indeed frequent and often abrupt. In Kentucky Weather, meteorologist Jerry Hill explains how the atmosphere creates Kentucky's weather, and he provides insights into what conditions affect temperature, precipitation, storms, drought, and other aspects of the state's climate.

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He links the state's volatile weather history to the creation of its rich coalfields and explains how past ice ages helped form Kentucky's fertile farmland. Additionally, the book examines tools and techniques for measuring and predicting weather and recounts the lore and superstitions associated with weather phenomena. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion, following the capture of Fort Sumter , and the Virginia convention voted to declare secession from the Union.

A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war. In May, it was decided to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery , Alabama , to Richmond, Virginia , in part because the defense of Virginia's capital was deemed vital to the Confederacy's survival.

On May 24, , the U. Army moved into northern Virginia and captured Alexandria without a fight. Most of the battles in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War took place in Virginia because the Confederacy had to defend its national capital at Richmond, and public opinion in the North demanded that the Union move "On to Richmond!

Lee in defending Richmond are a central theme of the military history of the war. Lee , responded and quelled the raid. Subsequently, Brown was tried and executed by hanging in Charles Town on December 2, In the Democratic Party split into northern and southern factions over the issue of slavery in the territories and Stephen Douglas ' support for popular sovereignty : after failing in both Charleston and Baltimore to nominate a single candidate acceptable to the South, Southern Democrats held their convention in Richmond, Virginia , on June 26, , and nominated John C.

Breckinridge as their party candidate for U. When Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected as president, Virginians were concerned about the implications for their state. While a majority of the state would look for compromises to the sectional differences, most people also opposed any restrictions on slaveholders' rights. On November 15, Virginia Governor John Letcher called for a special session of the General Assembly to consider, among other issues, the creation of a secession convention. The legislature convened on January 7 and approved the convention on January President John Tyler , to be held in Washington, DC on February 4, the same date that elections were scheduled for delegates to the secession convention.

The election of convention delegates drew , voters who elected, by county, representatives. Thirty of these delegates were secessionists, thirty were unionists, and ninety-two were moderates who were not clearly identified with either of the first two groups. Nevertheless, advocates of immediate secession were clearly outnumbered.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

According to one Virginian teacher, William M. Thompson, who would later become a Confederate cavalryman, the declaring of secession by the slave states was necessary to preserve slavery as well as prevent marriages between freedmen and the white "daughters of the South", saying that civil war would be preferable:. Better, far better! Endure all the horrors of civil war than to see the dusky sons of Ham leading the fair daughters of the South to the altar. One of the convention's first actions was to create a member Federal Relations Committee charged with reaching a compromise to the sectional differences as they affected Virginia.

In addition, there were hopes that the Peace Conference on January 19 led by former President John Tyler , might resolve the crisis by guaranteeing the safety of slavery and the right to expand slavery into the southwest territories.

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At the Richmond convention in February , Georgian Henry Lewis Benning , who would later go on to join the Confederate army as an officer, delivered a speech in which he gave his reasoning for the urging of secession from the Union, appealing to ethnic prejudices and pro-slavery sentiments to present his case, saying that were the slave states to remain in the Union, their slaves would ultimately end up being freed by the anti-slavery Republican Party. He stated that he would rather be stricken with illness and starvation than to see African-Americans liberated from slavery and be given equality as citizens:.

What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession?


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This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction, a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North-was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery. If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished. By the time the north shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything.

Civil War in Virginia, The American

Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that? It is not a supposable case That is the fate which abolition will bring upon the white race. We will be completely exterminated, and the land will be left in the possession of the blacks, and then it will go back to a wilderness and become another Africa Suppose they elevated Charles Sumner to the presidency?

Suppose they elevated Fred Douglass , your escaped slave, to the presidency? What would be your position in such an event? I say give me pestilence and famine sooner than that. Unionist support was further eroded for many Virginians by Lincoln's first inaugural address , which they felt was "argumentative, if not defiant. The fourteen proposals defended both slavery and states' rights while calling for a meeting of the eight slave states still in the Union to present a united front for compromise. From March 15 through April 14 the convention debated these proposals one by one. Lewis Edwin Harvie of Amelia County offered a substitute resolution calling for immediate secession.

This was voted down by 88 to 45 and the next day the convention continued its debate. Sir, the great question which is now uprooting this Government to its foundation — the great question which underlies all our deliberations here, is the question of African slavery. Mississippian Fulton Anderson told the convention that the Republicans were hostile to the slave states, accusing the Republican Party of having an "unrelenting and eternal hostility to the institution of slavery. At the same time, unionists were concerned about the continued presence of U.

Secretary of State William Seward that it would be abandoned.

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

At Lincoln's invitation, unionist John B. Baldwin of Augusta County met with the president on April 4. Baldwin explained that the unionists needed the evacuation of Fort Sumter, a national convention to debate the sectional differences, and a commitment by Lincoln to support constitutional protections for southern rights. By some accounts, Lincoln offered to evacuate Fort Sumter if the Virginia convention would adjourn. On April 6, amid rumors that the North was preparing for war, the convention voted by a narrow to send a three-man delegation to Washington to determine from Lincoln what his intentions were.

However, due to bad weather the delegation did not arrive in Washington until April They learned of the attack on Fort Sumter from Lincoln, and the president informed them of his intent to hold the fort and respond to force with force. Reading from a prepared text to prevent any misinterpretations of his intent, Lincoln told them that he had made it clear in his inaugural address that the forts and arsenals in the South were government property and "if Richmond reacted with large public demonstrations in support of the Confederacy on April 13 when it first received the news of the attack.


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Hardly less than ten thousand persons were on Main street, between 8th and 14th, at one time. Speeches were delivered at the Spottswood House, at the Dispatch corner, in front of the Enquirer office, at the Exchange Hotel, and other places. Bonfires were lighted at nearly every corner of every principal street in the city, and the light of beacon fires could be seen burning on Union and Church Hills.

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The effect of the illumination was grand and imposing. The triumph of truth and justice over wrong and attempted insult was never more heartily appreciated by a spontaneous uprising of the people. Soon the Southern wind will sweep away with the resistless force of a tornado, all vestige of sympathy or desire of co-operation with a tyrant who, under false pretences, in the name of a once glorious, but now broken and destroyed Union, attempts to rivet on us the chains of a despicable and ignoble vassalage.

Virginia is moving. The convention reconvened on April 13 to reconsider Virginia's position, given the outbreak of hostilities. War Department, Washington, April 15, To His Excellency the Governor of Virginia: Sir: Under the act of Congress for calling forth "militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, repel invasions, etc.