ably follow the Virginian lead; the recently elected president had not yet been inaugurated; taken wholly by surprise, the North was divided in sentiment; the loyal spirit of the country was not aroused.
It was thus an even question whether, on March 4, the whole machinery of the de facto government would not be in the hands of the revolutionists.
All depended on Virginia.
This is now forgotten; none the less, it is history.
The Virginia election was held on the 4th of February, the news s came like a gleam of sunshine in a storm.
The disunion movement was checked, perhaps would be checkmated.
Well might Seward, with a sigh of profound relief, write to his wife: At least, the danger of conflict, here or elsewhere, before the 4th of March, has been averted.
Time has been gained.
（Seward at Washington, Vol.
I, p. 502.) Time was gained; and the few weeks of precious time thus gained through the expiring effort of Union sentiment in Virginia involved the vital fact of the peace