Creation of West Virginia – this section includes: Pre-War Western Virginia and Secession; both Wheeling Conventions; setting up a loyal Virginia state government; the 1st West Virginia Constitutional Convention; the "gradual emancipation" (Willey) amendment; and admission as the 35th state of the Union.

Willey"… Willey was one of the premiere founding fathers of the State of West Virginia. He represented Monongalia County in the First Constitutional Convention, gained a reputation as the ‘Orator’ of the West Virginia Statehood movement, and served both the ‘Restored Government of Virginia’ and the new state of West Virginia as United States Senator." He also authored the "gradual emancipation" amendment to the new West Virginia Constitution –known as the Willey Amendment-- which, when overwhelmingly ratified by the loyal Virginia voters, satisfied the conditions set forth by the President and the Congress and paved the way for West Virginia statehood, on June 20, 1863."

Photo: Credit – Loyal West Virginia, 1895 Deutsch Publishing Co. edition



Map of turnpike system in western Virginia in 1861


Preview of Multimedia CD Contents

Overview of the Civil War

Creation of West Virginia

Civil War places in West Virginia

West Virginia Civil War personalities – both Union and Confederate

Civil War battles & other military operations in which West Virginia soldiers participated

West Virginia military units – both Union and Confederate

West Virginia Civil War Soldiers’ Database (Sample)

Civil War era music

Civil War emblems – flags, medals and badges

An extensive bibliography, entitled "For Further Reading"


" … new settlement patterns developed as slave-owning farmers migrated into the tier of counties just west of the Alleghany crest, the Kanawha Valley and the southernmost counties in the west. Internal improvements, especially the Staunton-Parkersburg and James River & Kanawha turnpikes linked these areas to the Valley of Virginia and created significant differences between the residents of northwestern Virginia and those of southwestern Virginia."

These turnpikes became the source of post-war indebtedness for the new State of West Virginia: "At the time of the Dismemberment Ordnance of August 20, 1863, the State of West Virginia agreed to reimburse the Commonwealth of Virginia for the value of internal improvements now within the new state, such as the construction of turnpikes and waterway improvements. West Virginia took until 1939 to repay this debt of $12.4 million, … putting final closure on one last, long- lingering aspect of West Virginia’s Civil War legacy."