between Eastern and Western Virginia
, which had probably caused many of them already to look forward to the organization of a separate State.
In this conjuncture, a convention of the people of Western Virginia
was called to assemble at Wheeling
on the 11th of June, to consider the alarming condition of public affairs.
Early in May, General McClellan
received applications for protection from the people of this region, but was not then prepared to accede to their wishes.
Afterwards, however, it became evident that the Virginia
authorities contemplated occupying this country, and to secure, by so doing, the command of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the importance of which was appreciated by both parties.
had already called out the State
militia, and not only Western Virginia
, but Southern Ohio
also, might soon be invaded by them.
A small body of Virginia
militia had actually advanced, and were encamped at Grafton
, on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
On the 24th of May, the Secretary of War
and General Scott
telegraphed to General McClellan
, informing him of this camp, and asking him whether its influence could not be counteracted.
replied in the affirmative.
This was the sole order which he received from Washington
regarding a campaign in Virginia
had formed his principal rendezvous at Camp Dennison
, near Cincinnati
; while bodies of troops were also at Gallipolis
, and Marietta
, on the Ohio River
, opposite Virginia