West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of only two states formed during that War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).
West Virginia in The Disunited States of AmericaEdit
In an alternate where the United States failed in the early 19th century, the territory that made up West Virginia in the Home timeline was still part of the country of Virginia, as there was no American Civil War to split the state. Justin Monroe and Beckie Royer were trapped in this part of Virginia during the Ohio-Virginia War of 2097.
West Virginia in The Guns of the SouthEdit
The northwestern counties that formed West Virginia broke away from Virginia in 1863 during the Second American Revolution, refusing to go along with the Richmond government's decision to secede from the United States. Protected by Federal guns in its secession from secession, West Virginia formed a separate state government and was admitted to the Union. It remained part of the United States after the Confederate States renounced claims to it during the post-war border negotiations in 1864 once the U.S. made it clear that it was willing to keep fighting for it.
None of the Confederacy's generals who campaigned in the mountainous state early in the war were ever able to get anywhere. One of them was Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and Judah Benjamin all tactfully avoided mentioning that fact while discussing the peace talks with the U.S.
Later on that year during the presidential election, West Virginia was one of the 12 states that incumbent Republican President Abraham Lincoln carried during his unsuccessful reelection campaign. The state had five electoral votes during the election.
West Virginia in Southern VictoryEdit
During the War of Secession, a Union army under George McClellan secured West Virginia against a Confederate army under Robert E. Lee through the heroics of William Rosecrans. West Virginia remained a part of the US after the US granted the CS independence.
West Virginians remained distrustful of and distrusted by Confederates for generations to come.
During both the Second Mexican War and the Great War, West Virginia was used as a staging area for US invasions of the Confederacy. The Second Mexican War invasion failed, the Great War invasion succeeded.
At the end of the Great War, the C.S. extracted territorial concessions from the Confederate state of Virginia, which extended West Virginia's borders to the Rappahannock River. The U.S. sought to prevent Washington, DC from being threatened or occupied ever again. The inhabitants of the annexed area were not content with this state of affairs, identifying themselves as Confederate citizens under military occupation.
Sensitive about the fate of Washington - still officially the US capital, even though Philadelphia was the de facto capital - U.S. President Al Smith refused to include the new West Virginia territory among the territories returned to the Confederacy under the Richmond Agreement in 1940, and remained steadfast in that refusal into the next year. C.S. President Jake Featherston used his refusal as a casus belli for launching the Second Great War.
During the Second Great War, West Virginia was the staging area for Daniel MacArthur's invasion of Virginia. The Freedom Party encouraged Confederate diehards within the annexed territories to sabotage US supply lines and support forces, to which the US authorities reacted with ruthless acts of retaliation.
Shortly after the Race first attacked, the United States government evacuated Washington. Some high ranking personnel took refuge in West Virginia. Jens Larssen met with General George Marshall at the Army's temporary HQ in White Sulphur Springs to lobby in favor of the Metallurgical Laboratory.