The Two [West] Virginias

From the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, the State of Virginia existed as two separate entities: the Confederate allied government in Richmond and the Union allied government in Wheeling. Following the Second Wheeling Convention in July 1863, the 48 northwestern counties of the Old Dominion formed the State of West Virginia. Despite this political shift, new lines drawn on the map changed little of the personal loyalties which existed from township to township, household to household. Above is a roll of West Virginians who continued to serve the Confederate cause despite the fact that their homes were once again within the borders of the United States.

Many of the soldiers listed on this Roll of Honor died on familiar soil in the vicinities of White Sulphur Springs, Scary, and Guyandotte. The latter locale was the only town on the Ohio River to vote for secession and formed a strong opposition to their Union neighbors in the community of Ceredo. Unionists within the state rejoiced when Guyandotte was captured by Federal troops and razed to the ground. One reporter for the Wheeling Intelligencer remarked, "It ought to have been burned two or three years ago." A century and a half later, Guyandotte and Ceredo are practically united by the expansion of the City of Huntington, which now covers the ground once fought for by neighbors with different visions of the same home.

Image from AC.892: Roll of Honor of West Virginia Soldiers Who Fought for the Lost Cause, 1883.

Published: Nov 11, 2014 12:00am