West Virginia in The Civil War

When Virginia decided to join the Confederacy, many in the western part of the state were not in agreement and decided to stay with the union.

It is difficult to determine accurately the number of men who volunteered for service in the Union or Confederate armies. The National Archives index shows that West Virginia provided to the Union Army 31,872 regular army troops, 133 sailors and marines, and 196 United States Colored Troops. This count is not accurate however, as there are many duplicates and alternate name spellings. The Union numbers are also boosted because of the large number of Ohioans, Pennsylvanians, and others who enlisted as "Virginians". An analysis of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry by the Moore Center in Shepherdstown revealed that only 32% were Virginians. The Confederate Dept. of Western Virginia gives the number of soldiers for 1863-4 at 18,642. Recent studies have concluded that the numbers of Union and Confederate soldiers from West Virginia were about equal, in the range of 22,000 - 25,000 each.
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