Tensions are running high in Virginia. On April 4th, 1861, the Virginia state legislature had voted not to secede from the union, but Fort Sumter was fired upon eight days later. This set in motion a chain of events that led to President Abraham Lincoln to not only call up thousands of volunteers but directly ask for three militia regiments from Virginia to join the army being raised in Washington. Virginia’s governor, John Letcher, felt that this was unconstitutional. When the legislature voted again on April 17th, the vote to secede carried, it has been two weeks since that vote, and now a delegation from the Confederate Congress has traveled to Richmond to negotiate the role Virginia will play in the upcoming conflict. Will she join the newly formed confederacy under President Jefferson Davis, or will she stand alone? Will she declare herself an independent republic just as Texas had done 25 years before?  What if Virginia had declared herself a republic and stood independently in the face of the federal government? 

 

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The Republic of Virginia: Brothers and Battlelines of 1861

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