Civil War divides a nation and a state . . .
Before the Civil War Virginia and West Virginia existed as one state, but with two distinctly different lifestyles. The eastern side adopted a coastal way of life with a slave economy, which allowed them a larger legislative voice as the number of slaves increased their population for larger representation. Yet they paid lower taxes than the west because slave property was valued less. The western side, meanwhile, established a river-based economy and lifestyle, mostly without slaves. The predominant view was anti-slavery, which is how the militant abolitionist, John Brown was able to set up a camp for runaway slaves in the West Virginia mountains. For decades, these differences caused a rift between the two regions. But the final blow came when Virginia ceded from the Union to join the other Confederate states. Western Virginia declared the secession void and joined the Union in 1863 as the 35th state.
Name Origin: American (originally part of Virginia)
Area: 24,232 square miles
Statehood: June 20, 1863 (35th)
Nickname: The Mountain State
Motto: "Mountaineers are always free"
Famous For: Appalachian Mountains, Monongahela National Forest, White Sulphur Springs, Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, Smoke Hole Caverns, Apple Butter Festival, Grave Creek Burial Mounds, Country Music, Coal, Oil, Gas