1861 January 30 Clover Pasture

Col. Philip St. George Cocke

My Dear Sir

A few minutes ago, and for the first
owing to the dissarrangements in our post office, I saw
the account of the meeting at Hoburn Chapel.

Had I known the character of that meeting, and
the manner in which you then and there recd the nomina
tion, as I learned it from a friend who was present, on
Monday last, I should certainly not have written my
brief address to the people of Cumberland, declaring myself
a candidate, which you doubtless heard read by Mr. Thornton,
at Cumberld. Ct.Ho. on Monday.

I have already, after learning the facts
in reference to said meeting, and after learning from
several friends, both in Cumberland & Powhatan, that
my continuing in the field, would inevitably operate
to your defeat, & the election of Scott, written to the Editors
of the Whig. Enq, Examr, & Dispatch, my withdrawal from
the canvass. The card will appear in all the papers on friday
in full time to be seen & known over the two counties long
before Monday.

Events occurring since the last Powhtn Ct.
such as the “going out”‘ of Alabama, Georgia & Louisiana, &
the grave & solemn letter of Mason, Hunter, & our Representatives

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in Congress–all proving that the Union is already gone and that
delay on the part of Va. now, would be both futile & dangerous,
have brought me up to your speed, and satisfied me that
the promptest action we can take as a State, and the sooner
we place ourselves in line with the seceding states, the
better both for ourselves, for them, and for the prevention
of civil War. I do not, & never died, wish Va. to delay action
until Lincoln came in — unless suitable guarantees were
given us. Mason & Hunter tell the people. “there is no hope
from Congress — you must look for safety to yourselves in
Convention assembled.”

I shall take great pleasure in giving
you not only my vote on Monday next, but
shall go early in the morning, and work for you,
until the sun goes down.

I think I can do you some
good, as I know nearly every voter in the county, and
many look to me for guidance, & were anxious to
vote for me.

You will get, I understand a good vote
in that part of Cumberland, where my continuance
in the field would have injured you, viz in all that
part of the County from the Ct.Ho. to James River,
approaching Cola. & Fluvanna, the precinct of
which is “Fork of Willis’ Church.”

I fear you will loose some votes in
and around Cartersville, owing to the influence of

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F. D. Irving, who is strongly for Scott.

You will also loose votes from a rumor
that is floating in some parts of Cumberlandd, as I learn,
that you are & have been a disunionist per se, and
that the present condition of affairs is not the cause of
your position, but that like Rhett of South Carolina,
you have been for breaking up the Union for years,
which they say, Scott is the great conservative & friend
of the Union now & always.

This I trust will influence but few, if
you have active friends in Cumberland, to correct
the falsehood. Your letter is enough, but than the igno
rant don’t read. However, the cuckoo cry of Union
is fast loosing its charms, even with that class.

Did you see Jack & Ranny & Carter Harrison
at Ct. How will they go? They could carry their precinct
if they would work for you. If you did not see them,
had you not better write to one or other of them?

I think you fairly, honorably entitled to
the place, from the nomination, I agree with you, and
I do not wish you to leave any thing undone, which
honorably you can do, to secure your election. The
friends of Scott are working hard for him. Be assured
I shall do all I can for you until the last minute
of the last hour. You shall have every vote
this way, except Swann of Jefferson, who is immo
-vable for Scott. With sincere wishes for your success

I am yr. firend. Ro. Iv. Cocke

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