Wayne County for the Union.
June 4, 1861
WAYNE COUNTY, VA., May 25.
Wayne County for the Union.
Eds. Intelligencer: Our election passed off very quietly last Thursday. It was the most peaceable one we have had for years. At one precinct there was some excitement in the morning, on account of the statement by one of the Commissioners of Election that the polls would not be opened if the votes for member of Congress were to be put in. As the voters only asked that the votes should be received and counted, they were very indignant that the inspectors should refuse to open the polls. The votes were received, however, and preserved and counted. K. V. Whaley is elected to Congress from this District, it [sic] there was no voting for any other candidate in the other counties of the District.
We cannot get the exact returns from all the precincts, as the clerk and commissioners are slow to tell the result. From what we have obtained, it appears that the majority against the ordinance of secession is about 520 out of less than 800 votes; it may be larger. It is certainly as much as that. There are eight voting precincts in the county. At two no disunion votes were cast; at another 1, at another 5, at another 9.
The strongest secession vote was at the Court House, but no precinct gave a majority for the ordinance. At the Ceredo precinct, the Union men generally voted against the amendments to the Constitution. At the other precincts it was voted for generally. The large majority for Union was rather unexpected, although some work had been done. There were a great many uninformed on the matter in issue, who were inclined in their hearts to stick by the Stars and Stripes, but who have been made to believe that everything in the South was going for secession, and it would, therefore, be for their interest to vote for the ordinance. They got a little light, and votes Union, or not at all on the ordinance.
We are to have a mass meeting on Tuesday, to nominate delegates to the Convention of the 11th of June, and shall at that time choose a Corresponding Committee, as requested by the Central Committee. There is considerable enthusiasm on the subject of a division of the State. The honest and conscientious farming population are, some of them, deterred by the secession threat of vengeance for acting in such a treasonable scheme.
Cable [sic] county, adjoining us, goes 650 majority for the Union. The county usually polls eight to nine hundred votes - Guyandotte, the river town of that county, has for weeks been a foul nest of hot-headed secessionists, and they have had things pretty much their own way. The wisest and most violent ones are Northern men by birth.
There was a Union convention of the citizens of Lawrence and Boyd counties, Kentucky, to-day, fifteen miles up Big Sandy. A steamboat run up to take a crowd. Men, women and children on both sides of the river, all the way up, cheered heartily for the Union. The meeting was very enthusiastic and harmonious. One who went that trip would think a secessionist was never known in that part of the country. The Kentucky citizens are loyal and true in this vicinity. Only now and then a secessionist is found on the border of Kentucky near this point.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1861