Tuesday, April 19, 2011

150-years-ago -- SECESSION OF VIRGINIA

The Richmond Daily Dipatch
April 19, 1861

War spirit in Virginia.

A Virginia voluteer wearing a secession badge,
looks ready to defend SouthernIndependence.
(Library of Congress)
Accounts from the country represent the war spirit in the interior of Virginia as most intense and enthusiastic. The whole population is in arms, and the only difficulty is in restraining them till the proper moment arrives. Never, even in the war of the Revolution, was there anything approaching the unanimity and the deep and determined character of the war spirit in Virginia. The general disposition is not to stand on the defensive, but to make the enemy pay at his own fireside the cost of his ferocity. There are means of reaching the seaboard and interior cities of the North and West of which they little dream.

Secession of  Virginia

The announcement that the Convention of Virginia (April 17)  had passed an Ordinance of Secession was received with the most universal and profound satisfaction. There are no longer in Virginia two parties. The Union men and the Secessionists are arrayed in a solid band of brotherhood under the Flag of Virginia.--The only rivalry is which shall do and suffer most in defence of our common honor against the monstrous despotism at Washington.--Lincoln's Proclamation has accomplished the union of all parties in Virginia and the South. The Ordinance of Secession is the answer of the Convention to that Proclamation, and the action of the Convention is but the echo of the People's Will.

The old Union, for which our fathers fought and bled, has been willfully sacrificed by a Black Republican despot, and he now seeks to wrench from us our Liberty and Independence. Virginia, which led the van in the war of 76, now meets him on the threshold. She has been slow to act, but she will be slower still to retrace her steps. The Union has lost its brightest planet, but it will henceforth beam as a star of the first magnitude in the purer, brighter and grander constellation of the Southern Cross.

The Torchlight procession to-night — Secession excitement.

It was proposed by the people that when the Convention did anything definite to honor the embodied wisdom of the State, that they should be treated to an exhibition of pyrotechnics. . . . Having attained the enviable distinction of doing a thing eminently worthy of the name and fame of representatives of the sovereignty of the Old Dominion, it was resolved that their ears should be assailed with rapidly-recurring explosions, from the feeble torpedo to the immense Chinese cracker, with an occasional report from a pocket pistol or revolver. There was also to be, on the happening of the contingency above related, a pleasing demonstration in the illumination of the horizon by balloons, rockets, Roman candles, and similar projectiles. It was also determined that an imitation of the brilliantly-colored Aurora Borealis, which occasionally spans the vault of heaven, illuminating it with a weird glow of unnatural beauty. should pale its ineffectual fires before the might of Roman candles, sky-rockets, mines of stars, volcanoes, triangles, tourbillions, flower-pots, scrolls, pin-wheels, serpents, chasers, grasshoppers, blue and Bengal lights, which appeared to signalize the deed. In accordance with this preconceived intention on the part of a patriotic people, an immense gathering of persons, old and young, will take place to-night at 8½ o'clock, in front of the City Hall, among whom will be many citizens from Petersburg and other places, whose uncontrollable inclination leads them to pay this testimonial to the late but gallant action of the Convention and the resumed sovereignty of Virginia. These will all be supplied with torches and every species of pyrotechnics, and it is supposed the utmost enthusiasm, amounting almost to a wildness of exultation, will pervade the immense gathering, which we are certain will number many thousands. Let all fulminate who can, and let those who cannot do so. testify their respect to the cause by joining in the procession. The demonstration will be the largest one that has ever taken place here. Depend on that.

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