VA Gov. blasts Union supporters: A WV Sesquicentennial Moment
June 25, 2012 ·
Days after the U.S. Senate began debating West Virginia’s quest for statehood, Virginia Gov. John Letcher issued a call for 10,000 men to defend western Virginia from enemy occupation.
doing, he blasted Union supporters for their disgraceful constitutional
violations, and what he described as their utter perversions of truth, their
reckless disregard of justice and of the rights of property, and their
departure in numerous instances from the usages of civilized warfare.
accused Union sympathizers of invading people’s homes and murdering peaceful
said Union supporters violated Virginians’ constitutional rights against
baseless searches and seizures, as well as denied them their rights to a free
press, freedom of religion and trials by jury.
actions, he said, rendered any hopes of reconciliation – quote -- “odious to
our sense of honor and abhorrent to our feelings.” – end quote.
the resulting estrangement would be as lasting as if there was an impassable
gulf between the two regions.
governor urged citizens to redeem Virginia from the hands of the oppressor and
heed his call for arms.