From the Richmond Daily Dispatch February 13, 1863:
To the Voters of Virginia.
–Fellow-citizens: Having been requested by many of you to become a candidate for the office of Governor at the regular election in May next, I respectfully announce that I cheerfully yield to such request, and, in the event of my election, will diligently and to the best of my ability perform the duties of the position.
I am sensible of the responsibilities which I announce my willingness to assume. I am painfully aware of the g[al]lant struggle which is in progress, and that it may be my duty to assume such responsibilities without counting the cost to myself. In such event I shall unhesitatingly do so, only asking the liberal construction of my fellow-citizens for my vindication and defence.
I regret that it will not be in my power to appear among you and address you upon public affairs. But, having deemed it my duty to adhere to the army, to which, after a confinement of some months, I am about to return, I shall not have an hour to spare for any other purpose. I regret this the less, however, as I flatter myself that I am sufficiently well known to you in person, or by reputation, to enable you to exercise the sovereign power of suffrage with all proper intelligence.
With no parties to divide us — with but one great impulse — that which seeks to protect our liberties and establish our independence — we surely can work together with one will to realize this vital consummation. At any rate, if elected, I shall seek to deserve your confidence by devoting to the duties of my position all the powers of mind and body which I possess.
Believing, if true to ourselves, that a gracious Providence will crown our righteous and glorious efforts with success, I have the honor to be, most respectfully and cordially, your fellow-citizen.
William “Extra Billy” Smith was “the oldest Confederate general to hold field command in the American Civil War”. He suffered three wounds at Antietam but returned to the field in March (after serving in the Confederate Congress during his recuperation). He won the May 1863 gubernatorial election; he resigned his field command on July 10, 1863. Mr Smith went to Richmond in time to serve as Virginia’s governor from January 1, 1864 until the end of the war.
You can learn a great deal about Extra Billy at his website.
It is debatable whether the lack of defined political parties in the Confederacy had a positive or negative impact.