William T. Sutherlin to Benjamin Franklin Gravely, July 9, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.
On July 9, 1861, tobacco merchant William T. Sutherlin, of Danville, wrote Benjamin Franklin Gravely, of Henry County, about the tobacco market. He mentioned "lugs," the poorest quality marketable tobacco leaves. "No war news to day," he wrote. "Lincolns message is war enough." On July 4, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln sent a formal message to a special session of Congress that met that day. In it, Lincoln reported on his attempts to prevent the secession crisis from evolving into a civil war and how he planned to prosecute the war that had begun. Lincoln also recognized the Restored government at Wheeling as the legitimate government of Virginia. Sutherlin had represented Pittsylvania County in the Virginia Convention, where he voted against secession on April 4, 1861, and for secession on April 17.