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 irrevocable 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.
John B. Baldwin
During the war, John B. Baldwin served as colonel of the 52nd Virginia Infantry and colonel of the Augusta Reserves. He also represented Augusta County in the Confederate Congress.
Source: Augusta County: John B. Baldwin to George M. Cochran, May 12, 1861. News Clipping, John Hartwell Cocke. Papers, Accession #640, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia.