April 20, Charlestown. – To-day we received confirmation of the passage of the ordinance of Secession by the Virginia Convention. This was followed by news of the riots of the 19th in Baltimore, and the destruction of the Navy-yard at Norfolk.
Under these accumulating proofs of the inability or unwillingness of the general Government to defend itself the arrogant confidence of the Secessionists continued to increase, while the Unionists exhibited a corresponding depression. Every hour brought accessions to the forces at Harper’s Ferry. The volunteer companies from the adjoining counties were gathered in without the slightest regard to the political views of officers or men. The Border Guard of Martinsburg, a fine company, whose captain and seven-eighths of whose members were decided Union partisans, at first made some difficulty about obeying the Governor’s order; but at length, mystified by subtle counsels, they agreed to march to Harper’s Ferry with the United States flag flying. As may be supposed the flag was soon furled after their arrival; by the opinions it typified rankled for some time after and bore troublesome fruits.
Strother, April 20, 1861