Cochran Family Letters, 1860-1861, MS 92-032
Civil War Collections, Special Collections Department, Virginia Tech
April 14th 1861
Your letter was received several days ago. But owing to the mail communications being cut off I did not think it worthwhile to write to you before there was some news to write. All of the rail roads to the north were very much damaged so much so that we had no northern mail for several days. The river rose so high that it formed a connection with the dock and at one time looked like it would flood the lower part of the city entirely. Boats were rowed about in the lowest parts of Main and Cary streets. The river has subsided considerably and is fast resuming its [unclear: wanted ] bounds.
If I go south it will be for the double purpose of taking up arms and of attending to the business connected with my grandfathers estate. But I shall wait in Virginia until all hopes of secession or revolution ar killed. The feeling is growing here that we will have to disperse this convention drive Letcher out of the eastern part of the state divide the state and declare Eastern Virginia free of the West and of the Black Republican Union. News of the surrender of Fort Sumpter was received here yesterday after a bombardment of nearly thirty hours (not counting the time that both parties ceased firing during the night.) We fired a salute of one hundred guns in honor of the victory on the square under the very noses of the Traitors to the state who hold their daily "pow wow" in the capitol. After which we hoisted the flag of the Confederated States upon the capitol where it remained until removed in the darkness of night by the order of Letcher. Bonfires blased in main streat until 12 Oclock at night and the city looked like an immense hive.
Things ar growing warm here and members do not scruple to say in debate that they will divide from the west rather than remain in this disgraced position which the west has made Virginia assume.
I can not have the stock transfered to my name even with an order you will have to do it in person or send a power of attorney. I think it had better remain as it is until you come down.
Enclosed I send you a piece taken from the Examiner by th paper in which it appears.
I hope that you have recovered and that all are well. Give my respects to all and believe me
your affectionate son
J. H. Cochran
P.S. Fort Pickins has been reinforced. I think that after its reduction Davis will march on Washington. J.H.C.
P.S. 12 O'clock the river has again commenced to rise.