The Greensboro Patriot of early 1861 was a leading Unionist newspaper in North Carolina and thought to be the expression of former Governor John M. Morehead, though not his official organ. The editor “plainly expressed the doctrines of James Madison that, while not allowing the right of secession, except as revolution, that the Constitution gave no power of coercion” to the federal government, and sure that “a million and a half strong Union men” in the North would oppose Lincoln’s invasion of the South. He went on to “outline reconstruction after victory” over Lincoln’s usurpations and that one treaty condition should be that “North Carolina is a free and independent sovereign State,” and [will] determine whether she wishes to reconstruct the Union or join the Confederacy.”
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Repel the Enemies of North Carolina!:
“On April 17th Virginia, in secret action, seceded, and on the same day, Governor [John W.] Ellis of North Carolina, drew his call for a special meeting of the [General] Assembly for May 1, 1861; but Virginia did not announce her action until April 24 and Ellis’s proclamation was published in the [Greensboro] Patriot of April 25th. He also called upon the militia and among those who responded were the Guilford Grays and Minute Men under Captain W.S. Hill.
The arsenal at Fayetteville was captured by a thousand volunteers. “On Tuesday” (23d April] said the Patriot, “our streets were filled with an excited crowd. They were addressed by Mr. J.W. Thomas of Davidson, [former] Governor [John M.] Morehead, Hon. R.C. Puryear, Hon. J.A. Gilmer, Ralph Gorrell, Esq., Samuel P. Hill, J.R. McLean, R.P. Dick, Thomas Settle and perhaps others.
The speeches of all these gentlemen all breathed the true spirit of resistance to tyrants, and that the time had come for North Carolina to make common cause with her brethren in the South in driving back the Abolition horde. North Carolina may rest assured that the people of Guilford are all right.”
The Guilford Grays, under Capt. John Sloan, were at Fort Macon on duty. Two other companies were organizing…..A company of Home guards, also, under Capt. Jos. A. Houston, was organized and the ladies forming organizations to provide supplies and hospital appurtenances.
It is a curious fact that when the Guilford Grays started for Goldsboro on the first call, both Senator Gilmer and Judge Dick – Whig and Democrat – and Richard Sterling, as well, said to them substantially: “Go! Defend your State! Carry with you the Stars and Stripes, and fight under that banner! Repel any armed force that puts foot on North Carolina soil – whether it comes from South Carolina, Virginia, or Yankeedom!”
On the 27th of May, 1861, President [Jefferson] Davis proclaimed North Carolina a part of the Confederacy.”
“John Motley Morehead and the Development of North Carolina, 1796-1866, Burton Alva Konkle, W.J. Campbell Publisher, 1922, pp. 390-391)