The First Battles: April 1861 to February 1862
One Special Young Man
When did the Old Dominion make its first move?
On April 17, 1861, the Virginia convention voted to secede from the Union, making Virginia the eighth state to join the Confederacy.
“We, the people of Virginia, in the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June in the year of our Lord 1788, having declared that the powers granted them under the said constitution, were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed when-soever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the federal government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.
“Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this state in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified … is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.”