Election Return, Preston County, October 24, 1861, Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond), Records, 1861–1961, Acc. 40586, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 93, Library of Virginia.
On October 24, 1861, five men from Preston County, in northwestern Virginia, who were in a Confederate military camp in Pocahontas County elected Robert Edwin Cowan and Charles James Pindall Cresap to represent their county in the third session of the Virginia Convention, in Richmond. They replaced William G. Brown and James Clark McGrew, who had been expelled for taking part in the Wheeling Conventions that restored the loyal parts of Virginia to the Union and took the first steps toward creating a new state. Also on October 24, 1861, voters in Preston County elected two men to represent them in the constitutional convention that met in Wheeling in November to draft the first constitution for the state of West Virginia.