Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
July 09, 1861

Richmond Daily Dispatch
July 9, 1861

Virginia traitors.

It is undebatable {sic} that the worst enemies Virginia has had to encounter in this war have been found among her own people. Up to the time of Lincoln's Proclamation there was room for an honest difference of opinion, but, after that Proclamation, and more especially after the sovereign voice of the Virginia people had proclaimed their independence, every man within her borders who sympathized with her enemies, or affected to remain neutral, proved himself a traitor, and deserved, if not a traitor's doom, instant expulsion from the State. Who ever heard of a citizen of a country, when his country had declared war, proclaiming himself a neutral? A neutral in such a war is only another name for an enemy, who has not the courage to redeem bad faith. The amount of treason developed in some portions of Virginia, is enough to bring the scarlet blush of humiliation on every check. Threatened by Lincoln with the annihilation of every political and civil right, with the defilement of households, and the very extermination of our race, our soil trampled down by the footsteps of the invaders and the midnight air made light as day by the flames of our burning dwellings, there are yet miscreants in Virginia who not only refuse to come to her rescue, but who add to her afflictions by striking at the venerable bosom of their mother the open hand of rebellion. Lavish what terms of just reprieval {sic} and scorn we may upon the Yankee invaders, there are none of them as despicable and depraved as the native-born Virginian who turns his hand against her in this war.--Even in this war of aggression, this wicked and unprovoked invasion of the South, the Yankees stand by their own section to a mai {sic}, the Democrats, who oppose Lincoln and who labored to avert the war, having furnished most of the soldiers. When war began they all stood by their section, and not a single soul was allowed to be neutral. What shall we say, then, of men who in a war of defence {sic} against invasion, when their own homes are threatened with devastation, when the hand is raised to crush to the earth the Virginia that gave them birth, refuse to come to her aid, or even assist the assassin in his bloody work? We never heard of but one Yankee (Benedict Arnold) who was not a gentleman in comparison with Carlile & Co. It must be admitted that Virginia has been peculiarly unfortunate in giving birth to Winfield Scott and John C. Fremont, but they were not citizens at the time of her secession, and the latter is at the best an astray and cross-breed, upon whom she has no peculiar claims. There is no glory, however, without its drawback; the sun even has its dark spots; the most beautiful climes are infected with dangerous serpents, disgusting vermin and fatal diseases. The land which gave birth to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Jas. Madison, John Marshall, George Mason, Patrick Henry, and : but we shall never know when to stop if we begin the interminable role of her immortals : has also produced such abortions as John S. Carlile and other political and moral lepers, more insignificant though not more corrupt. Let us hope that their punishment will be as signal as their crimes. We have on the Capitol Square a great national monument, a glorious shrine, which future generations will visit and pay homage to public virtue and genius.--Near that monument we should construct a pillory, where the Virginia traitors should be exposed in contrast, and pelted with the scorn and execrations : if nothing worse : of all mankind.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: July 1861

West Virginia Archives and History