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Tried for treason, Brown was hanged that December. Before his death, he predicted that "the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away; but with Blood.

8 Things You May Not Know About West Virginia

The tensions between North and South were mirrored in a growing schism in the nation's political parties. Following the compromise of and the crisis in Kansas, the nation's two major parties, the Whigs and Democrats, began to fracture along regional lines. In the North, the Whigs largely blended into a new party: the Republicans. Formed in , as an anti-slavery party, the Republicans offered a progressive vision for the future that included an emphasis on industrialization, education, and homesteading. Though their presidential candidate, John C.

In the South, the Republican Party was viewed as a divisive element and one that could lead to conflict. With the division of the Democrats, there was much apprehension as the election approached. The lack of a candidate with national appeal signaled that change was coming. Their counterparts in the South nominated John C. Looking to find a compromise, former Whigs in the border states created the Constitutional Union Party and nominated John C. Balloting unfolded along precise sectional lines as Lincoln won the North, Breckinridge won the South, and Bell won the border states.

Douglas claimed Missouri and part of New Jersey.

American Civil War: Causes of Conflict

The North, with its growing population and increased electoral power had accomplished what the South had always feared: complete control of the government by the free states. In response to Lincoln's victory, South Carolina opened a convention to discuss seceding from the Union. On December 24, , it adopted a declaration of secession and left the Union. As states departed, local forces took control of federal forts and installations without any resistance from the Buchanan Administration.

The most egregious act took place in Texas, where Gen. David E. Twiggs surrendered one-quarter of the entire standing US Army without a shot fired. When Lincoln finally entered office on March 4, , he inherited a collapsing nation. Share Flipboard Email. Table of Contents Expand. Two Regions on Separate Paths. Slavery in the Territories. States' Rights. Causes of the Civil War: Election of Causes of the Civil War: Secession Begins. An iron foundry established in shipped pig iron to Pittsburgh, but by ceased operations. Although large coal deposits existed within the county, they remained virtually undeveloped for most of the century.

Generally, wealth in Barbour County was evenly distributed, as evidenced by the figures in Table 1, based on the values of real and personal property reported in the census. The predominance of family-operated farms is readily apparent.

Virginia in the Civil War

Fully two-thirds of Barbour families were headed by landowners, over one-third of whom owned property valued between five hundred and twenty-five hundred dollars. The landless, tenant farmers for the most part, constituted one-third of the families living in the county.

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This figure is somewhat misleading, for it includes a number of merchants and professionals who, while not owning land, were nonetheless fairly well-to-do. This category also includes the married children of landowners, who would eventually inherit a portion of their parents' holdings. Every county had wealthy families and Barbour was no exception. Fifty-four families possessed property valued in excess of ten thousand dollars and controlled 30 percent of the total wealth reported for the county.

Few of Barbour's middle-class families possessed sufficient wealth to dominate the economic life of the county. Only seven individuals owned property worth more than twenty-five thousand dollars. The wealthiest Barbour County resident John H. The possibility of war was looming by the time the census was nearing completion. Although not immediately apparent, early found Barbour County's population sharply divided. Because many of the county's leading citizens and virtually all county officials supported secession, Union sympathizers had little chance to influence political developments in the months preceding the outbreak of hostilities.

When Spencer Dayton, a local attorney, attempted to speak out in favor of the Union at a mass meeting held at the courthouse in Philippi, he was removed at gunpoint. From then on, Union men kept a low profile. Those who did not flee the county entirely held their meetings in secret.

By mid-May, secessionists organized three companies of volunteers which soon occupied the principal towns of the county. With such a show of force, it is not surprising that Barbour voted in favor of Virginia's secession by a majority of Secessionist domination of Barbour County was briefly reinforced in June with the arrival of Virginia troops under Colonel George Porterfield.

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Ordered by Governor John Letcher to organize state forces in the northwest to repel an expected invasion from Ohio, Porterfield was unable to gather more than a few companies totaling less than one thousand men, most untrained, undisciplined, and mainly unarmed. Aware that a strong Federal force was descending upon him Porterfield retreated from Grafton to Philippi, intending to continue his retreat to better defensive positions in Randolph County.

However, the Federals surprised him on the morning of June 3 by occupying the heights above the town. When the Federals opened fire, the Confederates fled in a confused mass into Randolph County. Miraculously, no one was killed in the brief skirmish, which West Virginians have labeled the first land battle of the Civil War. Except for this footnote in history, Barbour's role in the war was insignificant. Although Confederate forces again occupied the county for a few days in , Barbour remained under Federal control throughout the war; however, that control was never complete.

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Confederate raiders, many of them former residents, frequently infiltrated the county, ambushing wagon trains, robbing stores, harassing Union sympathizers, and, above all, gathering recruits. In fact, of men from Barbour who joined the Confederate army, enlisted after , either by making their way to Rebel lines or being recruited within the county. In effect, Barbour's primary role in the war was as a recruiting ground for both sides. This fact makes it worthy of close examination, as neighbors who lived together in peace for decades suddenly found themselves enemies.

Over four dozen families were divided in their sympathies, with brother literally fighting brother. In order to determine the basis of Union and Confederate sentiment within Barbour, data was gathered on the social, economic, and religious backgrounds of individuals who directly participated in the war, either enlisting in the army or serving as public officials under the Pierpont or Boreman governments. Also included are those persons whose allegiance can be determined from public records, local histories, or biographies.

Fortunately, a wealth of biographical information exists on individuals and families who lived in Barbour during the war. Beginning in the nineteenth century, local historians began compiling the histories of West Virginia families. The foremost, Hu Maxwell, Oren Morton, and Thomas Conduit Miller, either lived in Barbour or neighboring counties, so the bulk of their studies dealt with people of the immediate region.

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Their work constitutes an invaluable resource on the history of the county. Of the individuals included in the study, all lived in Barbour County during the war. Among Union sympathizers were men who enlisted in the armed forces, 72 who held public office, and 48 who demonstrated pro-Union sentiments. Confederate sympathizers included men who enlisted in the army and 61 sympathetic to the Southern cause. The most glaring omission is that of women, only nine of whom were included in the study. Although legally barred from voting, there can be no doubt that women held very definite views on secession and the war. However, local histories, written entirely by men, virtually ignore the very important role they played in the struggle.

Women were expected to carry on their traditional roles as homemakers, albeit in a decidedly untraditional context. Most of the women included in this study were those whose sympathies could be confirmed because their actions overstepped these bounds and could not be ignored by historians of the era.

The same could be said with some justification of the men, who represent only 38 percent of the total male population of the county over the age of fifteen listed in the census. This group includes all whose devotion to the Union or Confederate cause compelled them to participate actively in the war.