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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
Undated
February 1864


The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
February 05, 1864

From the New York Tribune

WEST VIRGINIA

The Philadelphia Age originates and following sample of the intense and reckless malignity wherewith the Copperheads regard those citizens of the Border States who are thoroughly loyal and true to their whole country :

“THE VIRGINIA SENATORS—It should be gratifying to the people of Pennsylvania and New York, that the state of Virginia is so far ‘in the Union’ as to furnish four members of the Senate. There are probably one thousand ‘loyal’ voters in the entire State, and the elections are chiefly held in camps; but the woven millions of the two chief States in this Union have no more power in the Senate than the officers who happen to be in command in Virginia on election day.”

The State of West Virginia, whose loyalty is thus libeled, consists of some forty main range of the Allegheny Mountains. These counties almost or quite unanimously chose Union delegates to the Virginia Convention of 1861. When a portion of the Union delegates from other counties were bullied by the slave-breeders and slave-traders congregated at Richmond voting for Secession, at the fall of Sumter, the representatives of the Western counties almost unanimously stood firm. When the ordinance of secession was submitted to the people, and Gen. Letcher, without awaiting a vote, proclaimed Virginia a member of the rebel confederacy, and Senator Mason gave notice that whoever voted against Secession must, if defeated, prepare to leave the State, the West defied the banded traitors and voted overwhelmingly for the Union. When their State was nevertheless plunged into the abyss of treason, the Western Counties held a great Convention and demanded separation from the gangrened body which had deserted them and gone over to the public enemy. That demand, steadily persisted in, and backed by overwhelmingly majorities, indorsed by a Legislature of Virginia wherein all her loyal counties were represented, was a finally acceded to; and she thus became a State of the Union. That State, when there was no contest polled in April last 28, 321 votes for and 572 against her present Constitution (only 7,828 of them all “in camps”)—which we believe the largest aggregate ever polled in a new State on a similar occasion. In June, though there was no opposition, and though a third of her area was under the armed heel of treason, she gave Governor Boreman 25, 897 votes, which was more than half the vote for President in 1860 of the entire State, and at least two thirds that the counties now voting. Such is the heroic and invincible foe of slaveholding treason which the Age delights to slander by asserting that “there are probably one thousand ‘loyal’ voters in the entire State.”—that number being evidently one thousand more than the Age wish there were.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: February 1864

West Virginia Archives and History