Press Kit: Discovering the Civil War
Discovering the Civil War
Virginia Ordinance of Secession
"the oppression of the Southern slave holding states"
Virginia’s strategic location, economic significance, and symbolic position as the home of heroes of the American Revolution like George Washington made its decision to withdraw from the Union crucial to the success of the new southern confederacy. Virginia initially refused to go along with the seven Deep South states that left after Lincoln’s election, but by mid April 1861, Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina had fallen, and President Lincoln had called for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion. In response, the Virginia convention reversed course and passed this Ordinance of Secession on April 17, by a vote of 88 to 55. A state-wide vote held a month later confirmed its decision. 04/17/1861. National Archives, General Records of the Department of State