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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
January 29, 1861


Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia passed in 1861
Richmond: William F. Ritchie, public printer, 1861

Chap. 5. –An Act appropriating one million of dollars for the Defence of the Commonwealth.

Passed January 29, 1861.

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, that the colonel of ordnance be and is here by authorized and required, under the direction of the governor, to procure such arms, equipments and munitions of war as may be necessary for the defence of the state. The said officer is also authorized to contract, under the direction of the governor, for the manufacture in this state of equipments and munitions of war, and may buy materials to be used in the manufacture of the same, and may contract with parties for altering and improving in this state, cannon and small arms, or may, in his discretion, purchase machinery and materials for such purpose, if the same cannot be done by contract upon as reasonable terms: provided, that not more than eight hundred thousand dollars shall be expended for such purposes; which sum in hereby appropriated out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. The arms so to be purchased shall be so distributed that the militia of the state along and near the border of the non-slaveholding states and along the borders of the Chesapeake bay, and the navigable streams tributary thereto, shall be put on equal footing, in the supply of arms, with the militia of any other part of the commonwealth.

2. Be if further enacted, that the governor is hereby authorized and required to employ forthwith a competent engineer for the purpose of planning and constructing such coast, harbor and river defences as are immediately needed for the protection of the commonwealth: provided, however, that said engineer shall first submit his plans, with the cost of executing the same, to the governor for his approval; and if such plans be approved by him, the same shall be executed: and provided, that for the defence of the western and northwestern frontier and the Valley, the sum of fifty thousand dollars is hereby directed to be applied to the construction of three arsenals: one at or near the Baltimore and Ohio rail road, or the Northwestern Virginia rail road; one at some point upon the Great Kanawha river; and one in the Valley of Virginia, at or near the town of Winchester: the precise locations of which shall be determined by the governor, upon the report of the engineer hereby authorized to be employed; and he is further authorized and required to acquire for the state, by purchase or condemnation, such sites as may be required for the defensive works aforesaid. If condemnation be necessary, it shall be conducted as in the proceedings by a company, county or town to take land without the owner’s consent.

3. The sum of two hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated for the purposes as mentioned in the preceding section, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

4. This act shall be in force from its passage.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1861

West Virginia Archives and History