"Union Meeting—Organization of Military Companies."
Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, April 16, 1861.
On April 15, 1861, two days after the surrender of Fort Sumter in South Carolina and two days before the Virginia Convention adopted the Ordinance of Secession, a Union meeting in the northwestern city of Wheeling voted to form "a Union Guard." The men "Resolved, that it is our unalterable determination to stand by the stars and stripes at all hazards," and about thirty young men pledged to join the guard. During the climactic weeks of April and May 1861, men in Virginia joined military companies, some to fight for the United States and others to fight for Virginia or the South.