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Civil War Related Articles from e-WV, the West Virginia Encyclopedia

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A

Abolitionism

From the 1830s through the Civil War, the abolitionists worked to emancipate all slaves within the United States. In what is now West Virginia, abolitionists quietly fought this crusade in the early decades of the movement. The debate quickened as the Civil War approached.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/7

John Appleton

John Appleton, who was white, sought and received a commission as second lieutenant in the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a black regiment formed in Boston and led by Col. Robert G. Shaw. Appleton led Company A into intense combat on the sea islands of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/261

Atheneum Prison

From October 1863 to October 1865, the Atheneum in Wheeling was rented for use as a military prison, barracks, and hospital. Called by some the ‘‘Lincoln Bastille,’’ the Atheneum held Confederate prisoners captured in battle, civilians who refused to take the oath of allegiance, rebel spies, court-martialed soldiers, and those guilty of various other offenses such as bushwhacking.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/305

Averell’s Raid

Averell’s Raid of August 1863 was the first of three Union cavalry raids launched from West Virginia toward Confederate railroads and troop and supply concentrations in western Virginia during the latter half of 1863. The second raid in November culminated in a Union victory in the Battle of Droop Mountain.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/316

B

Gordon Battelle

Minister Gordon Battelle was elected as a delegate to the first Constitutional Convention in 1861 and was instrumental in including a provision in the proposed constitution to support free public education. He failed, however, in having the abolition of slavery included in the final draft of the constitution.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/406

Battle of Allegheny Mountain

Fought on December 13, 1961, the Battle of Allegheny Mountain in Pocahontas County was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War’s first year. Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy led a force of about 1,900 troops in an attack on the Confederate brigade which numbered about 1,200 men.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/191

Battle of Carnifex Ferry

The force under Union Gen. William Rosecrans made contact with Confederate troops under the command of Gen. John Floyd on September 10, 1861. Instead of concentrating his force for an overwhelming assault, Rosecrans spent the day sending in his brigades one at a time as they arrived at the battlefield. During the night, the Confederates decided to retreat before they could be defeated in the morning.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/971

Battle of Cheat Mountain

The Battle of Cheat Mountain was fought near the Randolph-Pocahontas County line on September 12, 1861. It was an important loss to the Confederacy, with Gen. Robert E. Lee coming into Western Virginia to give support to Gen. William W. Loring, commander of the Army of Northwestern Virginia. The large concern was for the safety of the Virginia Central and the Virginia & Tennessee railroads.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1113

Battle of Corricks Ford

On July 12, 1861, during the Battle of Corricks Ford, General Robert S. Garnett was shot and killed. He was the first general killed during the Civil War. Union Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris saw to it that his former West Point classmate’s body was transported to his family in eastern Virginia.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1606

Battle of Droop Mountain

Droop Mountain was the site of one of the most important Civil War battles in West Virginia, as well as the last large-scale engagement fought on our soil. The decisive Union victory ended Confederate efforts to control the new state. Between August and December 1863, Gen. William W. Averell led his Union soldiers in three daring raids. The second raid resulted in the Battle of Droop Mountain, fought November 6, 1863.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1964

Battle of Guyandotte

The outbreak of the Civil War saw strong support for the South in Guyandotte, with many residents leaving to fight for the Confederacy. A Union post was established in the village, which on November 10, 1861, was attacked by a 700-man Confederate cavalry unit. The Confederates easily overcame the Union forces, most of whom were raw, untrained recruits, but they withdrew the next day when fresh Union troops arrived.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/96

Battle of Keslers Cross Lanes

The Battle of Keslers Cross Lanes on August 26, 1861, lasted only 30 to 45 minutes, but at its conclusion the Union forces had been entirely routed from their position. The Confederate victory temporarily severed the Union army’s lines of communication between the Kanawha Valley and Union headquarters in Wheeling.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1192

Battle of Lewisburg

The Battle of Lewisburg, a Union victory, occurred as U.S. troops maneuvered from Western Virginia toward Tennessee in the spring of 1862. Gen. John C. Frémont, commander of the Mountain Department for the U.S. Army, planned to concentrate his forces in Monterey, Virginia, and then move southwest until he reached the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad near Christiansburg.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1371

Battle of Moorefield

Confederate cavalry under Gens. John McCausland and Bradley Johnson camped on August 6–7, 1864, in the fertile South Branch Valley at Old Fields, about three miles north of Moorefield, Hardy County. The generals ignored scout reports of union troops nearby and warnings from the local McNeill’s Rangers, Confederate partisans, that their position was exposed.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2038

Battle of Philippi

When Confederate troops threatened the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Grafton, the federal government quickly moved troops into the area. Just before dawn on June 3, 1861, the first land battle of the Civil War involving organized troops took place at Philippi, about 15 miles south of Grafton. Some 3,000 federal troops drove about 800 Confederates from the town. The outnumbered Rebels retreated so briskly that the battle was sometimes humorously referred to as the ‘‘Philippi Races.’’

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1846

Battle of Pigeon Roost

The Battle of Pigeon Roost occurred on the morning of May 17, 1862, and consisted primarily of fighting between the 51st Virginia infantry and soldiers of the 37th Ohio. The Union men were noisily approaching Princeton from the southeast, unaware that the Confederates were lying in ambush. The attack left an estimated 18 federal troops killed and 38 wounded.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1854

Battle of Rich Mountain

The Battle of Rich Mountain, fought July 11, 1861, had two important results. First, the victor, General McClellan, was given command of the Army of the Potomac for the next two years. More significantly for our state’s history, trans-Allegheny Virginia was to all intents and purposes lost to the Southern cause, helping to clear the way for the formation of West Virginia.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/78

Battle of Scary Creek

Located in Putnam County, Scary Creek was the site of one of the earliest battles of the Civil War and one of the first Confederate victories. Fought July 17, 1861, the battle was the result of a movement by Gen. Jacob D. Cox of Ohio to clear the Kanawha Valley of the Confederate Army.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/190

Battle of White Sulphur Springs

In the summer of 1863, Confederate forces reoccupied Lewisburg and began probing toward Charleston. The new state of West Virginia had just been created, and in August, Union forces were dispatched to seize the Virginia state law library which had previously been established at Lewisburg. On August 26, the forces collided.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1240

Ambrose Bierce

Writer Ambrose Bierce found the setting for some of his famous short stories in the mountains of Western Virginia. Bierce enlisted at age 18 in Company C, 9th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, which came into western Virginia during the first year of the Civil War. Many of his writings were influenced by his observations of the war in the Tygart Valley, as the war’s first battles and skirmishes occurred from Philippi to the Cheat and Allegheny mountains in Randolph and Pocahontas counties.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/480

Jacob Beeson Blair

Jacob Beeson Blair was serving in the U.S. House of Representatives when on New Year’s Eve 1862, he and his two congressional colleagues from the state met at the White House to discuss West Virginia’s admission into the Union with the president. Eager for Lincoln’s answer, Blair entered the White House the next morning through an open window and was informed of his decision.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/525

Arthur I. Boreman

On May 28, 1863, Arthur I. Boreman was elected the first governor of the new state of West Virginia.  Boreman’s primary business during the first 22 months of his governorship was steering the infant state through the remainder of the Civil War. It was not an easy task.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/614

Alexander Robinson Boteler

Congressman Alexander Robinson Boteler hoped to preserve both slavery and Virginia’s place in the Union, but after Virginia seceded, Boteler served in the Confederate Congress. He designed the seal of the Confederate States of America, which incorporated a likeness of George Washington.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/621

Bourbon Democrats

The term ‘‘Bourbon’’ was once used to describe Democratic leaders who succeeded Republican Radicals and Carpetbaggers in Southern state governments in the years following the Civil War. The reference was not to corn whiskey but to the Bourbon kings of France, who, it was claimed, had learned nothing from the bitter years of the French Revolution.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/630

Belle Boyd

Belle Boyd, who was born in Martinsburg, started her career as a Confederate spy after shooting a Yankee soldier on July 4, 1861. She carried news of Union plans to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson during Jackson’s successful 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/632

John Brown

Abolitionist John Brown played a significant role in the coming of the Civil War. His October 16, 1859, raid on Harpers Ferry galvanized the nation, further alienating North and South and drastically reducing any possible middle ground for compromise.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/668

Buffington Island

During the Civil War, Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s daring 1863 raid across Indiana and Ohio came to an end at Buffington Island. The Battle of Buffington Island scattered Morgan’s forces and spilled over onto the island when a number of his men crossed its head to reach the ford leading to the West Virginia shore. The deployment of the gunboats was the only naval action involving hostile fire ever to take place in West Virginia waters.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/704

Burning Springs Raid

In April and May 1863, Confederate Generals William E. Jones and John D. Imboden conducted an extensive raid into West Virginia. Their plan called for destruction of all railroad bridges and trestles of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad between Oakland, Maryland, and Grafton. They also hoped to recruit men for their army and possibly influence the May elections.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/727

Bushwhackers

In West Virginia, some took advantage of the Civil War to settle personal grievances or pursue personal gain or other nonmilitary ends. They were called bushwhackers from their habit of ambushing or ‘‘bushwhacking’’ their adversaries from under cover.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/737

C

Camp Carlile

Camp Carlile was a military training camp on Wheeling Island from 1861 to 1865. Soon after the beginning of the Civil War, enlistment centers opened in Wheeling, causing great numbers of men to travel to the city to join the Union Army. Most loyal West Virginia military units were mustered into service at Camp Carlile, and many also mustered out there.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/822

John S. Carlile

U.S. Senator John Snyder Carlile played a controversial role in the creation of West Virginia. In the summer of 1862, when the Senate began considering admission of West Virginia to the union, Carlile insisted upon a referendum among the people of the proposed new state before statehood could be approved. Given the Confederate sympathies in several southern and eastern counties, this might have derailed statehood.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/967

Camp Piatt

Camp Piatt was one of many U.S. military camps situated in West Virginia during the Civil War. The camp was located in Belle, at Malones Landing about 15 miles south of Charleston. The camp was strategically situated on the Kanawha River, where it served as a major hub for the steamboats that carried soldiers as well as supplies for the Union cause.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/895

Archibald Campbell

Archibald W. Campbell was a member of the fledgling Republican Party, and editorials in his paper favored Republican causes, especially the abolition of slavery and preservation of the Union. The Intelligencer was the only Republican daily paper in Virginia and the only paper in the state to endorse Abraham Lincoln for the presidency in 1860.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/903

Allen Taylor Caperton

As a member of the Virginia constitutional convention of 1850, Caperton supported the western position in arguing for legislative representation on the basis of white population with no allowance for the number of slaves. Although he opposed secession, Caperton voted for it in the Virginia convention of 1861 in the belief that it might preserve peace. After Virginia entered the Confederacy, its state Senate elected him to the Confederate Senate, a position he held throughout the Civil War. 

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/923

The Casto Hole

The Casto Hole is a cave hidden by the woods, located near Limber’s Ridge on the waters of Straight Run, a branch of the Tug Fork of Mill Creek in Jackson County. It was a Unionist refuge during the Civil War.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1008

Ceredo

Reformer Eli Thayer believed that slavery could eventually be eliminated by limiting its spread to new territories. When Thayer turned his attention toward establishing a model free labor community in the South, he acquired the property of Thomas Jordan, a slave holder who owned land between the mouths of Twelvepole Creek and the Big Sandy River. Abolitionists under the auspices of Thayer’s Emigrant Aid Company moved there and founded Ceredo.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1040

Civil War

The causes of the American Civil War were varied and complex. Most of the issues at the heart of the sectional conflict, however, can be attributed to the institution of slavery, particularly matters pertaining to the extension of slavery into the western territories of the United States. Events such as John Brown’s raid on the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 made a precarious political situation much worse.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1193

J.R. Clifford

Attorney John Robert ‘‘J. R.’’ Clifford, the son of Isaac Clifford and Saltipa Kent Clifford, was born in present Grant County. During the Civil War he served as a corporal in the U.S. Colored Troops. Between 1875 and 1885, Clifford was a teacher and later principal at the Sumner School in Martinsburg. 

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1311

Confederate Soldiers in West Virginia

West Virginia is the only state born out of the Civil War, and its allegiances were severely divided by the conflict. Many residents served the Confederate cause, a majority of them joining the Virginia forces mobilized by Gov. John Letcher.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1499

The Constitutional Convention of 1861–63

The Constitutional Convention of 1861–63 was West Virginia’s first constitutional convention and provided the foundation for state government in preparation for statehood. It convened on November 26, 1861, in Wheeling upon the authorization of the voters the previous month. Fifty-three delegates were in attendance, and John Hall of Mason County was chosen president.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1566

Constitutional Convention of 1872

In the bitter aftermath of the Civil War, ex-Confederates were initially denied key political rights. They and their sympathizers joined in 1870 in electing a Democratic-Conservative legislature and governor of West Virginia. This first non-Republican regime since statehood immediately set out to undo the ‘‘Yankee’’ constitution of 1863.

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Constitution of West Virginia

The writing of a constitution was an essential step toward the creation of the new state. Voters in Western Virginia had authorized the convention and elected the delegates following Virginia’s decision to secede from the United States. The delegates relied heavily on the Virginia constitution of 1851, but made several significant reforms to address inequities that had long provoked Western Virginians.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1558

Copperhead Movement

In the colorful jargon of the Civil War, the ‘‘Copperheads’’ were Northern Democrats who supported the war, but with some reservations. They opposed what they considered to be unconstitutional attacks on states’ rights, including the outright abolition of slavery.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1596

D

Declaration of Rights of the People of Virginia

At the first session of the Second Wheeling Convention, Convention President Arthur I. Boreman appointed a committee of 13 to prepare an agenda for the meeting. The committee presented a Declaration of Rights of the People of Virginia, which drew upon principles that were in the Virginia bill of rights of 1776.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1736

Martin Robison Delany

Activist and physician Martin Robison Delany, an African-American, was born free in Charles Town, May 6, 1812. In February 1865, he was commissioned as a major in the U.S. Colored Troops. He was the only African-American Civil War officer to be given a field command.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1870

Joseph H. Diss Debar

A supporter of the movement to create West Virginia, Diss Debar was commissioned in 1863 to design the Great Seal. He created a two-sided medallion whose front depicts a farmer, a miner, the state motto, and other symbols.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1930

E

John Echols

John Echols organized a military company of which he was captain and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the Confederate Army in 1861. Later brigadier general, Echols participated in the battles of First Manassas and Kernstown, where he was wounded. He served in the Kanawha Valley in 1862 and commanded Confederate forces at their defeat at the Battle of Droop Mountain in November 1863.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1996

F

Daniel D.T. Farnsworth

As Virginia moved to secede from the Union, Daniel D.T. Farnsworth chose to serve during the summer of 1861 in the Second Wheeling Convention and there helped to create the loyal Reorganized Government of Virginia and later the new state of West Virginia. He was the state’s second governor and served the shortest term.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2242

Charles James Faulkner

Faulkner was U.S. minister to France for 14 months before the Civil War. In 1861, he delivered his last report to Secretary of State William Seward. As Faulkner headed home to Martinsburg, Seward had him arrested as a suspected Southern sympathizer. Seward offered to release Faulkner if he would swear an oath of allegiance. Faulkner refused and was eventually traded for another prisoner.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2243

Flick Amendment

Following the Civil War, former Confederates were barred from voting in West Virginia and the voting rights of African-Americans were not assured. The divergent issues were brought together in the Flick Amendment .

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William H.H. Flick

William H.H. Flick wrote what became known as the Flick Amendment to remove voting restrictions on former Confederates. The amendment, ratified in 1871, granted voting privileges to all male West Virginians who were not otherwise disqualified by age, mental condition or conviction of a felony. The amendment applied, as well, to former slaves, who were in any case enfranchised by the recently adopted 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2332

John B. Floyd

In August 1861, General John B. Floyd was assigned to command the Army of the Kanawha, with the expectation that he could retain that region for the Confederacy. On September 10, 1861, his forces fought the Battle of Carnifex Ferry. Forced to withdraw the following day, Floyd participated in the Sewell Mountain campaign with General Lee.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2210

Formation of West Virginia

The creation of West Virginia was an outcome of the Civil War. Statehood was preceded by decades of sectional conflict between leaders of eastern and western Virginia, but sectionalism was a staple of politics in many other states. While other states saw occasional calls for ‘‘dismemberment,’’ only one—Virginia—actually split.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2034

Fort Boreman

Originally called Fort Logan, the Union garrison overlooked the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers at Parkersburg. When West Virginia became a state, June 20, 1863, the fort was renamed for Arthur I. Boreman, the new governor and a citizen of Parkersburg.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2041

Freedmen’s Bureau

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, known as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was the first social welfare agency created to address the problems of freedmen and refugees in the former Confederate states or anywhere the U.S. Army had operated during the Civil War.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2068

G

Grand Army of the Republic

The Grand Army of the Republic, a national fraternal organization for Union veterans of the Civil War, was founded in 1866 in Illinois. All soldiers and sailors of the U.S. army, navy, and marine corps who served during the Civil War were eligible for membership, provided that they had an honorable discharge.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2143

Grafton National Cemetery

Grafton National Cemetery was authorized by Congress in 1865 as a common burial site for Confederate and Union soldiers. Work began in 1867 on the 3.21-acre site, and within two years, 1,251 Union and Confederate troops, including 664 unknown soldiers, were reburied in the cemetery. The first casualty of the Civil War, West Virginian Thornsberry Bailey Brown, is buried in the cemetery, his grave marked by a special monument.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2142

Granville Davisson Hall

Hall recorded the proceedings of the Wheeling Conventions that led to the separation of Virginia’s northwestern counties and the creation of the state of West Virginia. Hall’s notes, later published as The Rending of Virginia, became the main source of information on the formation of the state. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/123

H

Harpers Ferry Civil War Campaign

On April 18, 1861, the day following Virginia secession, several companies of state militia closed in on the 47 army regulars defending the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The Union soldiers set fire to the buildings and fled. The Virginians reacted quickly and saved most of the machinery. For a time, Harpers Ferry was the northernmost point of the Southern Confederacy.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/268

Thomas Maley Harris

General Thomas Maley Harris was born June 17, 1813, at present Harrisville. He rose to prominence after the Civil War, when he served on the military commission that tried conspirators who acted with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/271

Nancy Hart

In the early days of the Civil War, Nancy Hart assisted Perry Conley and his Moccasin Rangers in their Confederate resistance to the Union efforts to control Western Virginia. Captured in Braxton County in the fall of 1861 while in her late teens or early 20s, Hart convinced the federal troops that she was innocent. When they released her, she returned to the Confederates with much information on the movements of federal troops and their Home Guard allies.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/275

Jedediah Hotchkiss

Jedediah  Hotchkiss served on Stonewall Jackson’s staff, and his careful mapwork made an important contribution to Jackson’s success. His journals and diaries are the largest single source of information on Jackson.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/499

Chester Hubbard

Chester Hubbard served in the Virginia legislature (1851–52), and in 1861 vigorously opposed secession as a delegate to Virginia’s secession convention. He was elected a colonel of volunteers upon his return to Wheeling. Hubbard was a member of the First and Second Wheeling Conventions, which established the loyal Reorganized Government of Virginia and opened the way to West Virginia statehood.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/708

Milton Humphreys

Milton Wiley Humphreys enlisted in the Confederate service as a sergeant in Bryan’s Battery, Virginia Artillery. At the Battle of Fayetteville, Sergeant Humphreys fired his cannon at Union artillery from behind an intervening forest. This demonstration set a precedent for modern warfare by the use of indirect fire. After the war he became noted as an authority on gunnery and ballistics.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/717

I

George William Imboden

George William Imboden was a distinguished attorney, Confederate soldier, and a leading citizen of Ansted. Imboden enlisted in the Southern service on April 17, 1861. He rose to the rank of colonel by December 1862, when he took command of the 18th Virginia Calvary which fought at Chancellorsville and in many other battles. He was seriously wounded at Gordonsville, Virginia.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/831

John D. Imboden

At the outbreak of the Civil War, John Imboden entered Confederate service as captain of the Staunton Artillery, a light battery which he formed and subsequently commanded at the initial capture of Harpers Ferry in 1861. In the spring of 1863, he led one contingent of the famous Jones-Imboden Raid through present West Virginia.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/833

John Jay Jackson Sr.

John Jay Jackson Jr., one of the state’s founders, served in the convention in Richmond that voted for Virginia to secede from the United States. Jackson himself voted against secession and before leaving Richmond presided over the Powhatan Hotel conference of Western Virginians who resolved to try to keep Virginia loyal to the union.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/942

Stonewall Jackson

When Virginia left the Union in 1861, Thomas Jackson dutifully went with his native state. He commanded the strategically important post at Harpers Ferry until being appointed a brigadier general of infantry. In the opening battle at Manassas on July 21, 1861, he and his brigade won the name ‘‘Stonewall’’ for steadfastness at the critical point in the engagement.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/948

Mudwall Jackson

William Lowther Jackson joined the Confederate Army as a private. After helping to organize an infantry unit, he was promoted to colonel. He served on the staff of his cousin, Gen. Thomas J. ‘‘Stonewall’’ Jackson, and was jokingly nicknamed ‘‘Mudwall.’’ He was one of one of at least three Southern officers to bear the nickname.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/946

Anna Jarvis

Anna Jarvis organized Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, which raised money to buy medicine for needy families and cared for families stricken by tuberculosis. During the Civil War, Jarvis believed the work clubs to be neutral havens in the deeply divided north-central counties. Club members nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/982

Albert Jenkins

At the start of the Civil War, Albert Gallatin Jenkins enlisted recruits for a Virginia unit called the Border Rangers and was elected their captain. In July 1861, at Scary Creek in Putnam County, Jenkins’s leadership was instrumental in defeating the Union force. In August he formed the 8th Virginia Cavalry and became its colonel. In November Jenkins with other cavalry units staged a surprise raid on a Union camp at Guyandotte.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1005

Jenkins Raid

On August 18, 1862, Confederate Gen. William Wing Loring began planning an attack in western Virginia. Loring sent his cavalry on an extensive sweep through the area north of the Kanawha Valley with Gen. Albert G. Jenkins, a Cabell County native, leading the raiding party.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1006

J

Jones-Imboden Raid

Between April 24 and May 22, 1863, Confederate cavalry under Generals William E. ‘‘Grumble’’ Jones and John D. Imboden carried the Civil War into north central West Virginia. Their goals were to disrupt the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at Oakland, Maryland, and at Grafton, cut telegraph communication, and weaken federal control in the area.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1059

K

Kanawha Riflemen

Lawyer George Smith Patton organized the Kanawha Riflemen, a Virginia militia company, after moving to Charleston in 1856. As the Civil War approached, the group and its comrades were unabashedly pro-Southern. In 1861, the worst fears of the Kanawha Riflemen were realized as federal troops headed up the Kanawha River for Charleston.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1120

Benjamin Kelley

General Benjamin Franklin Kelley formed the 1st (West) Virginia Infantry, and was named its colonel on May 22, 1861. Severely wounded in action at Philippi on June 3, 1861, he was promoted to brigadier general. During the Jones-Imboden raid through central West Virginia in late April and early May 1863, part of Kelley’s forces, especially the 5th Brigade, destroyed bridges and otherwise attempted to delay and disrupt the Confederate raid.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1177

L

Daniel Lamb

When the secession vote split Virginia, Daniel Lamb helped craft the government and constitution that would lead to the creation of West Virginia. He was a member of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia and a member of its legislature from 1863 to 1867.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1290

George Robert Latham

At the onset of the Civil War, George Robert Latham transformed his law office into a recruiting station for the Union army. The troop he formed, Company B, 2nd Virginia Infantry, was ordered by Latham to remain in Grafton to vote against Virginia’s 1861 Ordinance of Secession before leaving for battle. Later that year, the company participated in the Battle of Corricks Ford, near Parsons.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1296

Robert E. Lee

Placed in command of the Department of Northwestern Virginia, General Robert E. Lee attempted to retain military control of the region for the Confederacy. Unprecedented rainfall, bickering subordinates, inexperienced officers, and rampant disease all contributed to failed campaigns at Cheat Mountain and Sewell Mountain.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1340

Joseph A.J. Lightburn

A Union man, Joseph A.J. Lightburn went to Wheeling in 1861 and later became colonel of the 4th West Virginia Infantry. In the spring of 1862, he was ordered to Charleston, and was subsequently placed in command of U.S. forces in the Kanawha Valley, with headquarters at Gauley Bridge. In September 1862, Confederate forces won temporary control of the Kanawha Valley and Lightburn’s army was forced out.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1382

Logan Wildcats

The Logan Wildcats was the unofficial name of Company D 36th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The company was created at Logan Courthouse on June 3, 1861, and consisted of about 85 men.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1451

Loring Raid

As the Union army maneuvered to stop Robert E. Lee in Maryland, about 5,000 federal troops in the Kanawha Valley were called away. Confederate leaders in Richmond learned of the move and ordered General Loring to begin an attack on the Kanawha Valley from the Confederate stronghold around Pearisburg, Virginia. Serious fighting began on September 10, 1862.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1455

Daniel Bedinger Lucas

Daniel Bedinger Lucas served with Confederate Gen. Henry A. Wise in the Kanawha Valley campaign in 1861. In January 1865, he escaped from Virginia through the Union blockade and went to Canada where he tried to assist in the defense of Capt. John Y. Beall, a Confederate who had been accused of spying and guerrilla warfare in the North.

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John McCausland

When Virginia seceded in 1861, John McCausland organized and took command of the 36th Virginia Infantry. After the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain in May 1864, he assumed command of a cavalry brigade and was soon commissioned as a brigadier.

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McNeill’s Rangers

McNeill’s Rangers, a Confederate guerrilla force, began operations in September 1862 under the leadership of Capt. John H. ‘‘Hanse’’ McNeill. Operating out of the Moorefield area, the Rangers attacked Union troops, camps, and property of the vital Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

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Moccasin Rangers

The Moccasin Rangers were a Confederate guerrilla company that operated around the headwaters of the Little Kanawha River during the first two years of the Civil War. The Moccasins, led by Perry Conley, drew most of their members from Calhoun County, but at various times included men from Webster and Braxton counties. The Moccasins were regarded as bushwhackers by many.

Read more at http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2005

Montani Semper Liberi

The Latin term, ‘‘Montani Semper Liberi,’’ which translates in English as ‘‘Mountaineers are always free,’’ is the West Virginia state motto. The first West Virginia legislature adopted the motto on September 26, 1863.

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Morgan’s Raid

In the summer of 1863, Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan led 2,460 cavalry men on a long raid across Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, before remnants of his force escaped southward through West Virginia. This raid was the only time a large Southern force entered Indiana or Ohio. The raiders led the local militias and growing numbers of regular Union troops on a wild chase across three states.

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Old Stone Presbyterian Church

The Lewisburg church escaped damage during the Civil War, when it was used as a hospital and for billeting troops. Following the Battle of Lewisburg, May 23, 1862, Confederate dead lay in the sanctuary. The Union commander refused to allow services, in retaliation for sniper fire that killed one of his wounded soldiers.

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John Oley

At the outset of the Civil War, Oley served with the 7th Regiment of the New York National Guard. He was one of six New Yorkers sent to western Virginia to drill troops following a request by Francis Pierpont, governor of Reorganized or Unionist Virginia. In the fall of 1861, Oley organized the 8th (West) Virginia Infantry, which would later become the 7th West Virginia Cavalry.

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Francis Harrison Pierpont

On June 20, 1861, Francis Harrison Pierpont was unanimously elected as governor of the unionist Reorganized State of Virginia, which sat at Wheeling until West Virginia entered the Union two years later. Often called ‘‘the Father of West Virginia,’’ Pierpont’s statue stands in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington, one of two West Virginians so recognized.

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Samuel Price

Samuel Price, a Virginia legislature, was a member of the Secession Convention of 1861. He sought reconciliation and voted against secession; however, he subsequently signed the Ordinance of Secession. In 1862, he was arrested by Col. George Crook for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States. While on parole, awaiting proper exchange, Price was rescued by Confederate forces. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1918

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Reconstruction

Reconstruction was the period after the Civil War, when the nation attempted to ‘‘reconstruct’’ the returning Southern states. West Virginia’s Reconstruction experience was unique.

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Redeemers

The Redeemers, once a faction in the Democratic Party, helped to establish Democrat rule in West Virginia after the Civil War. The Redeemers, largely former Confederates whose philosophies reflected rural and antebellum values, were strongest in eastern and southern counties.

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The Rending of Virginia

The Rending of Virginia is perhaps the most significant and insightful memoir and history of the West Virginia statehood movement by an observer. A fiercely partisan, pro-statehood view, the volume explains the causes of Virginia’s rupture and justifies the accomplishments of Western Virginians and their allies.

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Jesse L. Reno

General Jesse Lee Reno, who was born in Wheeling, was in command of a federal arsenal in Alabama when it was seized by state forces in January 1861. He later commanded the U.S. arsenal at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, until called east in late 1861 to take command of a brigade, for which he was promoted to brevet brigadier general.

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Reorganized Government of Virginia

When Virginia voters approved the Secession Ordinance in May 1861, those in western Virginia who opposed leaving the Union had to decide whether to re-create a loyal Virginia government or to seek the creation of a new state. In practice, it proved necessary first to do the one and then the other. Leaders such as John S. Carlile and Francis H. Pierpont influenced the Second Wheeling Convention to form a ‘‘Reorganized Government of Virginia’’ which became effective on July 1, 1861, with headquarters in Wheeling.

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William Stark Rosecrans

When the Civil War erupted, William Stark Rosecrans joined Gen. George McClellan’s staff and was commissioned brigadier general. He commanded McClellan’s right wing at the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861, conceiving and executing the maneuver which won.

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Henry Ruffner

Henry Ruffner is best known for his controversial anti-slavery treatise, Address to the People of West Virginia (1847), more popularly known as the ‘‘Ruffner Pamphlet.’’ The Address argued for gradual emancipation not on moral grounds, but economic and social.

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Sectionalism and the Virginias

Sectionalism in Virginia and later West Virginia evolved as a consequence of settlement patterns and other geographic, political, social, and economic factors. As Virginians pushed west, sectional differences emerged.

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Heyward Shepherd

Heyward Shepherd was an African-American killed at Harpers Ferry on October 17, 1859, by John Brown’s raiders. In life, Shepherd was a porter at the local railroad station and a property owner in nearby Winchester, Virginia. In death, as a free black man ironically killed by abolitionists during a raid to liberate slaves, he became a symbol to people who believed John Brown’s mission had been wrong.

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Slavery

Although relatively uncommon in Western Virginia, slavery nonetheless greatly influenced its political destiny. Slavery furnished the basic source of grievances that eventually split Virginia. Even in the statehood movement, the slave issue was paramount.

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Spy Rock

Spy Rock is located on U.S. 60, 18 miles east of Hawks Nest. During the Civil War as both Union and Confederate forces marched along the turnpike, Spy Rock was used for observation. On September 15, 1861, in the aftermath of the Battle of Carnifex Ferry, Union forces under the command of Gen. Jacob Cox who were pursuing the defeated Confederates occupied the area of Spy Rock.

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Storer College

Storer College, a product of the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, was established in 1867 in Harpers Ferry by the Freewill Baptist Church to educate freed slaves in the Shenandoah Valley. The college was supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands and endowed by John Storer of Sanford, Maine. Storer College was integrated and coeducational from the start.

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David Hunter Strother

Artist, author, soldier, and statesman David Hunter Strother (‘‘Porte Crayon’’) was born in Martinsburg, When the Civil War erupted Strother remained neutral until political pressures and threats eventually induced him to join the Union army. He served as a topographer and staff officer to various generals, his intimate knowledge of the Valley of Virginia making him a boon to the North and consequently the bane of the South.

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Sumner School

Sumner School, the first school for African-American children in West Virginia, was established as a subscription school in Parkersburg in 1862. Local legend holds that barber Robert W. Simmons, a leader of the African-American community, traveled to Washington to request Abraham Lincoln’s support for the school.

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W.D. Thurmond

Thurmond served as a captain during the Civil War with Thurmond’s Rangers. These irregular Confederate troops were commanded by brother Philip Thurmond, who was killed in Putnam County in 1864. The guerrilla war favored by the Rangers characterized the Civil War in the mountains, and W. D. Thurmond’s own family was burned out by opposing forces.

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Thurmond’s Rangers

Thurmond’s Partisan Rangers were raised for the Confederate service primarily from Fayette, Greenbrier, and Monroe counties during the spring and summer of 1862. Considered by some to be nothing more than bushwhackers, partisan rangers assisted the Confederacy as scouts, spies, and raiders. They were feared and respected in this capacity.

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Traveller

General Robert E. Lee’s warhorse Traveller was bred and born in Greenbrier County. General Lee first saw the horse when he took command of Confederate troops near Big Sewell Mountain in 1861. Traveller became a Confederate icon.

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Underground Railroad

Neither underground nor a railroad, the Underground Railroad was a covert and loosely organized conspiracy that endeavored to aid escaped slaves on their way to Canada or safe areas in the northern states. Free African-Americans, Quakers and other white sympathizers, and other blacks still in slavery, played the most prominent role in hiding and aiding slaves as they made their way north. Three crucial junctions of the Underground Railroad existed in Virginia, at Norfolk and Richmond and in western Virginia.

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Peter Godwin Van Winkle

Peter Godwin Van Winkle is one of the founders of West Virginia. He served in the Second Wheeling Convention in 1861 and was a member of the Governor’s Council of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, 1861–63, under Governor Francis H. Pierpont. On August 4, 1863, Van Winkle was elected as one of the first two U.S. senators from the new state of West Virginia.

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Virginia Debt Question

With West Virginia’s creation in 1863, the question arose as to the new state’s responsibility to help pay the existing Virginia state debt. The founders of West Virginia recognized that their state owed a share of Virginia’s pre-1863 public debt, in compensation for improvements made in the counties that now made up in the new state.

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Virginia v. West Virginia

Following the Civil War, Virginia sued West Virginia in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case known as Virginia v. West Virginia, seeking to reclaim Berkeley and Jefferson counties. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1871 rejected (7-3) Virginia’s claims. The Court did not directly address the constitutionality of West Virginia’s statehood, even though its validity had been questioned. Nevertheless, the result in Virginia v. West Virginia implicitly settled the matter, for all practical purposes.

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West Virginia Independence Hall

The birthplace of West Virginia, West Virginia Independence Hall is now a museum dedicated to the history of statehood and the Civil War. Located in downtown Wheeling, the three-story structure was built to be the federal custom house for the Western District of Virginia. The building also housed the post office and the federal district court. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1068

Willey Amendment

The Willey Amendment to the West Virginia Statehood Bill provided that all slaves under 21 years of age on July 4, 1863, would be free on reaching that age. The compromise, later superseded by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, led to the passage of the statehood bill and resulted in the creation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863.

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Waitman Willey

Waitman Willey was elected as one of West Virginia’s first two U.S. senators and served from 1863 to 1871. Willey is remembered for the Willey Amendment, which provided for the emancipation of slaves as a precondition for the creation of West Virginia.

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