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John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion, Chapter 14: Manassas. (search)
Chapter 14: Manassas. On the 23d of May, 1861, according to the conspirators' programme, Virginia was put through the dumb show of indorsing the Secession Ordinance by a nominal popular vote; and almost immediately thereafter, about June 1st, the Confederate seat of government was transferred from Montgomery to Richmond. The reasons for this course were palpable; it gratified the local pride of the Old Dominion secessionists; it gave the reins of local military domination definitely into Jefferson Davis' personal grasp; it placed him on the most advantageous frontier to meet the expected Union advance from Washington. This, as previously related, had already seized upon Alexandria and Arlington Heights, which were now being extensively fortified. Making a short speech to a serenade on the evening of June 1st, the rebel chief announced that Virginia was to become the theatre of a great central camp, from which will pour forth thousands of brave hearts to roll back the tide of