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    Description

    Confederate Broadside: "To the People of Western Virginia." One printed page measuring 6.75" x 13". Following Virginia's secession from the United States, a convention was held in Wheeling, Virginia, to organize a new government and form a new state loyal to the Union. The new state of West Virginia applied for admission into the United States and was formally admitted on June 20, 1863.

    This broadside was issued at the command of Maj. Gen. William W. Loring from the headquarters of the Confederate Department of Western Virginia in Charleston, Virginia (the capital of West Virginia) on September 14, 1862. It reads, in part:

    "The Army of the Confederate States has come among you to expel the enemy, to rescue the people from the despotism of the counterfeit State Government imposed on you by Northern bayonets, and to restore the country once more to its natural allegiance to the State. We fight for peace and the possession of our own territory. We do not intend to punish those who remain at home as quiet citizens . . . but to those who persist in adhering to the cause of the public enemy, and the pretended State Government he has erected at Wheeling, will be dealt with as their obstinate treachery deserves. . . . Until the proper authorities shall order otherwise, . . . Martial Law will be administered by the Army and the Provost Marshals. . . . The Commanding General appeals to all good citizens to aid him . . . and to all able-bodied men to join his army . . . The Government expects an immediate and enthusiastic response to this call. Your country has been reclaimed for you from the enemy by soldiers . . . and you will prove unworthy to possess so beautiful and fruitful a land, if you do not now rise to retain and defend it."

    West Virginia was the site of major guerrilla activity during the war, but, by 1863, Unionists were losing faith in their new government to protect them. The guerrilla war was only ended with the surrender of Lee at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

    Condition: Moderate water staining is seen throughout the lower three-quarters of the document, however, the text remains unaffected. The right edge is chipped near the upper right corner and there are scattered spots of foxing.

    Reference: Parrish & Willingham, 1529.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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