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The Dismemberment of Virginia.
his home in Hampton county, and planted short staple cotton with some measure of success in difficult times.
This too imperfect tribute of respect is finished. Would it were worthier. I could do no less in memory of one "gone before," who filled my eye in early life as a public-spirited, forceful citizen, and later a gallant soldier.
It had been my privilege to know him, to feel the radiant atmosphere which habitual courtesy and sparkling conversation generated around him, and when the sad news of his death came to me I realized that a kind, hopeful and brave spirit had passed from earthly view, which for so many years had shone conspicuously, as well in the sweet amenities as in the stern realities of life!
William A. Courtenay.
Innisfallen, October 22, 1898.
THE DISMEMBERMENT OF VIRGINIA.
An article with this title was printed in the Publications of the Southern Historical Association, January, 1898. It has since been revised by the author and, as now presented, is much amplified.—Ed.
Rightly considered, all narratives of past events are, or should be, "written for our instruction," and there are few in the long and varied annals of the English-speaking race more pregnant with warning and suggestion than the one which it is the purpose of these pages briefly to recall. The circumstances attending it are plain matter of record, and the time which has elapsed since their occurrence is favorable to an impartial examination of their nature and tendency, while, imbedded as they are in official archives, it has in no degree impaired their historical certainty. Nevertheless, though not forgotten, more than three decades of trying and eventful years have not passed without pushing them sensibly into the background, and obscuring to a considerable extent their true importance. An attempt will here be made to present them with as much brevity as may be consistent with clearness, and at the same time to direct attention to their real character and significance.In April, 1861, after hostilities between the North and South had actually commenced, and Virginia had been called upon by the Federal Executive to furnish troops to be used against the seceding