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 The answer to this call for troops to coerce the Southern States, on the part of Virginia, through her assembled convention, was given two days afterwards, on the 17th day of April, by the passage of the ‘ordinance of secession.’ The vote in convention stood 88 ‘for’ and 55 ‘against’ secession. The convention, after the passage of the ordinance of secession, adopted a resolution agreeing to submit the ordinance to the popular vote of the State on the fourth Thursday of May following, and after conditionally adopting the Provisional Constitution of the seceded States, which condition depended upon the ‘ratification’ or ‘rejection’ of the secession ordinance, adjourned to meet on the 1st day of June, proximo. Two days after the passage of this ordinance Mr. Lincoln issued his second war proclamation, the tenor of which was an open declaration of war against the seceded States, a blockade of the seaports of these States, and declaring any act on the part of these States on the high seas to be piracy. Such was the status of political affairs in Virginia in April, 1861. Prior to this time the conservative leaders of the State of thought and action had earnestly hoped and, nay, even fervently prayed that all national troubles might be amicably settled. So thoroughly were people of Virginia of this opinion that practically no preparations for war had been made, and when the events that have just been narrated occurred in such rapid succession, and ‘the pen naturally yielded to the sword,’ and the whole country was precipitated into war, the State of Virginia was totally unprepared for war, and many a volunteer company, when the first call was made by the Governor, started to the border of the State without a single gun. And while this was literally true of Virginia, it was not the case with the Northern or Western States. Even after the John Brown raid on Harper's Ferry there had been an increased manufacture of arms and munitions of war in these States, and when the spring of 1861 dawned the Northern people were ready for the war. Their time, as the record now shows, was not taken up in discussing ‘peace resolutions’ or ‘peace measures,’ but, with dogged persistence, had been preparing for
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