August 2, 1861
UNION MEETING IN MARION CO.
Patriotic Resolutions Adopted.
A Union meeting was held at Bethel School House by the citizens of Marion county, Va., on Saturday, July 27th.
The meeting was organized by calling Col. Richard Pitzer to the chair, and appointing J. F. McDougal Secretary. Elias Dudley, Davis Richard, Esq., and A. F. Ritchie were appointed to prepare resolutions for the meeting, and after a Union address had been made the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, The Government established by our fathers has subserved all and every purpose for which it was created, the nation enjoying under it unexampled prosperity in trade, commerce, manufactures, agriculture, and all the industrial pursuits which have flourished beyond any precedent in any age of the world; the arts and sciences, civil, literary and religious institutions having all been fostered, and been made to keep pace with every other interest; and an amount of peace, happiness, and prosperity having been enjoyed under our civil and religious institutions not known to any other people in any age of the world. And,
WHEREAS, We now find all those great interests, not only paralyzed but jeopardized as to their very existence, by an unholy conspiracy to overthrow the Government in which all our earthly hopes of peace, prosperity and happiness are centered. The conspirators having assumed to themselves the fearful responsibility, have by fraud, tyranny and usurpation, inaugurated the so-called Southern Confederacy; and by the same unjust, unholy, tyrannical means the Richmond Convention did, on the 17th day of April, 1861, pass an ordinance of secession in violation of the Constitution of the United States Government, in violation of the Constitution of Virginia, and in contempt of the sovereignty of her people, and by the same did attempt to transfer our allegiance to the so-called Southern Confederacy in opposition to our expressed will. Now we, citizens of Marion county, in mass meeting assembled, do protest, and
1. Resolved, That we regard the acts and doings of the Richmond Convention, assembled February 13th, 1861, as a violation of the Constitution of the Federal Government, a violation of the Constitution of the State of Virginia, and a usurpation of the sovereignty of her people, and that we now, as we have done heretofore, repudiate and condemn said Convention, with all its acts and doings, as revolutionary in its character, and subversive of all our dearest rights, and that we will resist the same to the last extremity.
2. That we hail with joy the reconstruction of the Government of Virginia, by the late Convention assembled at Wheeling, and that we will give it our hearty and cordial support as the only legitimate government of the State.
3. That we recognize in our Executive, Hon. F. H. Peirpoint, a man eminently qualified for the discharge of the high and responsible duties imposed upon him, his firmness of principle, his undying devotion to the Union, his talents, his moral and Christian character, all combined, make the man for the times.
4. That geographically, politically and socially, we have no affinity with the Eastern portion of the State, but from former and present grievances and oppressions we have every reason and just cause to desire a division of the State, and will at the proper time approve and aid in procuring said division; but that we deprecate any and every measure looking to said division at the present time, as inopportune and unwise; that the agitation of the question at the present juncture of our national difficulties, would have a deleterious effect on the great cause in which we are all so heartily engaged the integration of the whole Union.
5. That the Union party is strictly a national party; it knows no North, no South, no East, no West; its duty is plain and imperative, to integrate, to build up, and restore the civil power throughout the seceded States; ignoring all minor questions, and frowning down indignantly, every attempt to alienate from or prejudice one portion of the Union against the other, by invectives, epithets, &c., small in themselves, but powerful weapons in the hands of traitors, as our bleeding country now evinces.
6. That in our opinion, a dissolution of this Union would be the death knell to human liberty, not only on this continent, but throughout the world; that the mighty issues and interests involved in this unholy war, which has been forced upon the Government, for its own preservation, are of such vast moment that it should arouse, nerve and fire the hearts of all freemen throughout the whole land, to deeds of valor and self-sacrifice, as worthy descendants of noble sires.
7. That we regard the Federal Government, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, as the supreme law of the land, and to it we owe our supreme allegiance, and for its preservation with all its sacred and hallowed association, in this its hour of peril and gloom, we mutually pledge to each other and to our country, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
8. That from the geographical position of this continent; there never can exist two nations upon it; hence, for this as well as other reasons, we are unalterably opposed to any compromise with the rebels, short of laying down their arms and returning to their allegiance to the United States Government; in the Constitution of which is found security for every interest in every section of the country, and out of it in safety for some.
9. That notwithstanding our county has been overrun by secessionists, we pledge that we will furnish our full quota of men and means for the support of the Government, and that we will use our utmost influence to fill up the companies now forming, at the earliest moment.
10. That we recommend every neighborhood in the county to meet at an early day, and organize themselves into Home Guards, armed with such arms as they may be able to procure, and stand by the Government in the spirit of the language of Andrew Jackson, that the Union must and shall be preserved.
11. That we will ever cherish with sentiments of gratitude, a remembrance of the timely aid sent to our relief by the Administration at Washington, in the stout brave hearts and stalwart arms of our Northern brethren, in the very hour of danger.
12. That the thanks of this meeting are due, and are hereby tendered to General McClellan and his gallant Army, for his short, brilliant and successful campaign in Northwestern Virginia.
13. That we have unabated confidence in the military skill of Gen. Winfield Scott, and that we regard him as the Hero, Patriot and Military Chieftain of the age.
14. That these proceedings be published in the Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling Daily Press and Morgantown Star.
RICHARD PITZER, Ch’mn.
J. F. McDougal, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861