Attack on Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1863. WHILBR – Western Maryland’s Historical Library.

West Virginia’s role in the Civil War was more geographical than anything else. The Confederacy occupied most of West Virginia because it was considered a “border state” meaning that it fell on the line between the Union and the Confederacy. This meant that today’s West Virginia was a concentrated area of fighting between the North and the South.

One particular important act of violence that happened in modern West Virginia, is the Jones-Imboden Raid. This was a Confederate-led raid that ultimately resulted in Confederate control over trade in the Allegheny region. This was an action to stomp out the efforts of those that pushed for West Virginian statehood.

The burning of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was a tactical move that majorly disrupted trade between the East Coast and the Midwest.


Up Next: Border Disputes between the States