Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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Union or Secession
  • "We must fight"
On April 17, 1861, James B. Dorman, of Rockbridge County, explained to the Virginia Convention why he would vote for secession that day.
Related Biographies:
  • James Baldwin Dorman (1823–1893)
    James Baldwin Dorman
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"We must fight"

Speech of James Baldwin Dorman, of Rockbridge County, in the Virginia Convention on April 17, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 4:119.

On April 17, 1861, James B. Dorman, of Rockbridge County, in the Valley of Virginia, explained to the Virginia Convention why he would vote for secession that day even though he had voted against secession on April 4. Like many other men who had originally opposed secession, Dorman changed his mind after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. Dorman concluded, "The issue is now upon us; we must fight; and the question is, which side will we take. . . . That side is the South."

Speech of James Baldwin Dorman, of Rockbridge County, in the Virginia Convention on April 17, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 4:119.

Mr. President, the issue is now upon us; we must fight; and the question is, which side will we take. I have not heard from my people and have therefore no positive information as to how they would vote. I will, however, undertake to decide for them on which side they will vote, and that side is the South.