Clouds from the retreating storm looked like a triumphant army, hauling away its ordinance for another engagement—with only white-gray stragglers tagging behind.
For an account of the Virginia convention of 1861, which adopted the Ordinance of Secession, see Virginia.
Almost immediately after the adoption of the ordinance a mass meeting at Clarksburg recommended that each county in north-western Virginia send delegates to a convention to meet in Wheeling on the 13th of May 1861.
Some delegates favoured the immediate formation of a new state, but the more far-sighted members argued that as the ordinance had not yet been voted upon by the people, and Virginia was still in the Union, such action would be revolutionary, since the United States Constitution provides that no state may be divided without its consent.
At the election (23rd May 1861) the ordinance was ratified by a large majority in the state as a whole, but in the western counties 40,000 votes out of 44,000 were cast against it.