"Our North Western border"
Staunton Vindicator, June 7, 1861.
Early in June 1861, the editor of the Staunton Vindicator reflected on the causes and consequences of a large vote against secession in the northwestern counties of Virginia. The editor's first sentence referred back to the referendum conducted in February 1861 on whether to require a ratification referendum if the Virginia Convention voted to secede. The February vote was almost two-to-one in favor of requiring a referendum. The incomplete returns from the May 23 referendum indicated that 125,950 Virginia men had voted for secession and 20,373 against; and from unofficial information not identified in the official records the governor estimated that another 2,934 men, mostly in eastern or mountain counties, voted for secession, and 11,761 men, mostly in western and northwestern counties, voted against secession. On June 3, 1861, volunteers from Ohio and Indiana met and defeated volunteers from several western Virginia counties at Philippi, in Barbour County. The editor's references in the last two sentences to the "War Department" were to the Confederate States of America Department of War. Late in May and early in June the principal officers of the Confederate government arrived in the new nation's new capital, Richmond.