Document Type

Research Paper






"On the late evening of Monday, April 15th, 1861, seventeen year-old Chloe Whittle sat down to transcribe a thrilling tale of the weekend in Norfolk into her diary. She wrote the wrong date at the top of her page, perhaps intending to mark the importance of April 12th, 1861 for posterity. She took care to write that she was in “Norfolk, VA United States”, as a prediction that soon she would not reside in the United States, but in the Confederate States of America. As a secessionist, Chloe said “this is the last day I will even be able to write [the words United States]”, in expectation that the Confederacy's victory at Fort Sumter would drive Virginia to secede from the Union. According to her diary, Chloe was not the only person in Norfolk who felt this way. Accompanied by “the universal cry” of “Secession!”, the Confederate flag had waved “triumphantly” in Norfolk’s streets soon after the first shots of the Civil War were fired. In Chloe’s words, the city was as “united as me now” and finally ready to support Virginia’s secession from the Union...."