Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 30, 1862

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series 1, Vol. 12, Part III, p. 947

A Proclamation by the Governor of Virginia.

Under a special act of the Legislature on June 27 last I issued a proclamation calling for a State force of 10,000 men, to be commanded by Maj. Gen. John B. Floyd, to be employed chiefly in the defense of Western Virginia. In consequence of the large force which had previously volunteered for service and of the addition number called for by the conscription act the amount asked for was not raised with the rapidity desired. I therefore on the 4th instant issued orders calling for the militia between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five years for the counties of Washington, Smyth, Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Pulaski, Wythe, Montgomery, Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Alleghany, Greenbrier, Monroe, Giles, Mercer, Bland, Tazewell, McDowell, Wise, Buchanan, Lee, Scott, Russell, Raleigh, Wyoming, Logan, Boone, Wayne, Cabell, Putnam, Kanawha, Mason, Clay, Nicholas, Fayette, Braxton, Webster, Pocahontas, and Randolph.

Surely it is not necessary to appeal to the people of these counties to rally to the standard raised by their own State for their own defense. Surely Virginians will prefer a draft made under the constitution and laws of Virginia to one made by the detestable tyranny now characterizing the Government of the United States. Our object is to expel from our soil its invaders, who are waging against us a warfare of destruction, of confiscation, and robbery with a bitterness and fury rendered desperate by defeat and by the enormous expenditure which flows from their attempt at our subjugation. It is our duty to effect our purpose in the shortest possible time. The enemy is raising an immense force to overwhelm us if possible. We must meet him with adequate resistance. While the Confederate Government is exerting its energy for the general defense it becomes Virginia not only to contribute her quota for that object, but to put forth her special exertion to free her population and their homes from the desecration of an unscrupulous foe. I therefore once more call upon the people promptly to obey the orders which have been issued. I appeal to the officers of the militia in the counties mentioned to exert their energies in summoning and forwarding the detachments under their command without loss of time, that the general selected by the legislature may be afforded an opportunity speedily to take the field and to strike the enemy with rapid and efficient blows. I emphatically call upon all officers of the State, civil and military, to give the necessary aid to expedite the raising of these troops and to contribute whatever may be proper to render them effective. I appeal to all those in Western Virginia, and particularly in the northwest, who are liable to draft under the Lincoln Government, to come out from among the common enemy and unite themselves, as becomes true sons of Virginia, to the force here called for, under the firm hope and belief that by doing do they will once more restore themselves and their posterity to that united Virginia which it has been the pride and glory of our whole people to uphold and defend.

Given under my hand as Governor and under the seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this 30th day of August, 1862, and in the eighty-seventh year of the Commonwealth.

John Letcher.

By the Governor:

George W. Munford,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1862

West Virginia Archives and History