Extract from an unsigned letter, dated at Shiloh, King George County, May 16, 1861, printed in the Alexandria Gazette, May 22, 1861.
An unnamed correspondent of the Alexandria Gazette described preparations for the defense of King George County, in the Northern Neck. He noted that local citizens had hoped there would be a compromise to preserve the Union, but that after President Abraham Lincoln called for militiamen to put down what he called a rebellion, King George County residents "have been tireless in their movements towards defensive preparation. They are now fully aroused. There is no division of sentiment to embarrass their operations. All are animated with the spirit of determined resistance to Northern vandalism. Our old men vie with the young and middle aged in expressing their ready purpose to resist to the death any effort made to subjugate the South." The district consisting of the counties of King George and Stafford had elected an opponent of secession to the Virginia Convention in February 1861. He voted against secession on April 4, when the motion failed, but for secession on April 17, when the motion passed. At the May 23, 1861, referendum on the Ordinance of Secession, the voters of King George County ratified it by a vote of 478 to 1.