Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Union or Secession
  • "Now on the verge of a bloody civil war"
The Charleston Kanawha Republican advocated unity in Virginia following the Virginia Convention's vote to secede on April 17, 1861.
« Return to Virginians Prepare for War

"Now on the verge of a bloody civil war"

Undated paragraph from a lost issue of the Charleston Kanawha Republican reprinted in the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, May 9, 1861.

The Charleston Kanawha Republican advocated unity in Virginia following the Virginia Convention's vote to secede on April 17, 1861. When Charles William Button, editor of the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, reprinted the paragraph on May 9, he described the paper as "heretofore a strong Union paper." In spite of what the editor of the Kanawha Republican wrote, Kanawha County and many of the other counties in the mountains of western Virginia were not united, and he failed to convince his readers. In the May 23, 1861, referendum on ratifying the Ordinance of Secession, fewer than one-fourth of the county's voters approved secession, with only 520 votes for secession and 1,697 against. Charleston's most distinguished citizen, George William Summers, had represented Virginia in the national Peace Conference in February 1861 and was the leader of the Unionists in the Virginia Convention, where he twice voted against secession.

Undated paragraph from a lost issue of the Charleston Kanawha Republican reprinted in the Lynchburg Daily Virginian, May 9, 1861.

A VOICE FROM KANAWHA COUNTY.— The following is from the Kanawha Republican, heretofore a strong Union paper:
"Amid all the doubts and anxieties, in this trying crisis of our country, about what is to be done, there is happily but one sentiment among our people, and that is with united hands and hearts to defend the honor and soil of our good old Commonwealth against every foe. The conservative Union people throughout the State utter but one voice on this subject. No matter whose fault it may be that our late united prosperous Republic is now on the verge of a bloody civil war, the sin can not be laid to Virginia. She stood nobly erect holding out the olive branch of Peace to the contending parties till the appearance of that insane proclamation of President Lincoln. Everybody is disposed to lay aside past party acrimony—party crimination and recrimination for the common peace and protection of the State."