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Augusta County: John B. Baldwin to George M. Cochran, May 12, 1861

Baldwin stresses the importance of an upcoming election. He encloses a copy of his letter to G. B. Manley in which he discusses secession, revolution, and Southern unity against Northern aggression.

Col. Baldwin's Position Col. Baldwin's Letter to G.B. Manley, Esq. RICHMOND, VA.

May 12, 1861May 10, 1861


Geo. M. Cochran, Esq-- MY DEAR SIR:DEAR SIR:

I have received yours of the 10th inst., and I concur very fully in your views as to the importance of presenting an undivided front at the election.

Our only hope now is in making ready for the biggest fight that is in us. The Union is gone forever, and we may as well admit the fact and so deal with it.

I am so busy that I have only time to say that I have written a letter to a gentleman in Pennsylvania, a copy of which I send you, and which you may have published in the newspapers.

I have received your letter and hasten to reply in the same spirit of kindess which, I doubt not, prompted you to write.

1st. As to the popular vote on the Ordinance of Secession.

There is not a shadow of doubt as to the [unclear: verification] of the Ordinance by a vote which, for unanimity, has no example in the history of popular elections.

Many of our people do not believe in what is called the "right of Secession," but they all maintain the right of revolution, and they are all agreed that the time has come to exercise it.

In the midst of their efforts for Union and Peace, war has been thrust upon them, and they have no idea of calling for "quarter," either by vote or otherwise, before the fight begins.

2nd. As to the course of the Union men in Virginia.

There are no Union men left in Virginia.

The moment it appeared beyond question that the people of the North, without distinction of party, were clamorous for a war of invasion and subjugation against us, our people accepted disunion as a fixed and irrevokable fact, and we stand this day a united people, ready with one mind and one voice, with one heart and one arm to make good the eternal separation which we have declared.

The issue of peace or war is in the hands of the North. We only ask to be let alone, and to be allowed to consult our interest and our safety in peace. If this is denied to us, mark the prediction, we will give you a fight which will stand out upon the page of history an example for all time of the determination with which a people can make war when they are conscious of having exhausted all honorable means of pacification.

In great haste, yours truly,I am sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient serv't


G.B. Manley Esq.

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