In the context of the American Civil War, the term border states refers to the five slave states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and West Virginia, which bordered a free state and were aligned with the Union. All but Delaware share borders with states that joined the Confederacy. In Kentucky and Missouri, there were both pro-Confederate and pro-Union government factions. West Virginia was formed in 1863 from those northwestern counties of Virginia which had seceded from Virginia, after Virginia had declared its secession from the Union. Though every slave state (except South Carolina) contributed some white troops to the Union as well as the Confederate side, the split was most severe in these border states, with men from the same family often fighting on opposite sides.
In addition, two territories not yet states – the Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma) and the New Mexico Territory (now the states of Arizona and New Mexico) – also permitted slavery. Yet very few slaves could actually be found in these territories, despite the institution's legal status there. During the war, the major Indian tribes in Oklahoma signed an alliance with the Confederacy, and participated in its military efforts. Residents of the New Mexico Territory were of divided loyalties; the region was split between the Union and Confederacy at the 34th Parallel. Oklahoma is often cited as a "border state" today, but Arizona and New Mexico are rarely, if ever, so characterized.
With geographic, social, political, and economic connection to both the North and the South, the border states were critical to the outcome of the war, and still delineate the cultural border that separates the North from the South. After Reconstruction, most of the border states adopted Jim Crow laws resembling those enacted in the South, but in recent decades some of them have become more Northern in their political, economic, and social orientation, while others have adopted a Southern way of life. 
Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, designed as a war measures act, applied only to territories not already under Union control, so it did not apply to the border states. Maryland and West Virginia each changed their state constitution to prohibit slavery. Slavery in Kentucky, Missouri, and Delaware (as well as remnants of slavery in West Virginia and New Jersey) was not ended until the 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.
The five border states
Both houses of Delaware's General Assembly rejected secession overwhelmingly, the House of Representatives unanimously.
The Maryland Legislature rejected secession in 1861, and Governor Thomas Hicks voted against it. As a result of the Union Army's heavy presence in the state and the suspension of habeas corpus by Abraham Lincoln, several Maryland state legislators, as well as the mayor and police chief of Baltimore, who supported secession, were arrested and imprisoned by Union authorities. With Virginia having seceded, Union troops had to go through Maryland to reach the national capital at Washington DC. Had Maryland also joined the Confederacy, Washington DC would have been totally surrounded. Maryland contributed troops to both the Union (60,000), and the Confederate (25,000) armies.
Maryland was not affected by the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, since it had not seceded; only States in rebellion fell under the Proclamation's jurisdiction. Maryland adopted a new state constitution in 1864, which prohibited slavery and thus emancipated all slaves in the state.
Kentucky was strategic to Union victory in the Civil War. Lincoln once said, "I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we cannot hold Missouri, nor Maryland. These all against us, and the job on our hands is too large for us. We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capital" (Washington, which was surrounded by slave states: Confederate Virginia and Union-controlled Maryland). He is further reported to have said that he hoped to have God on his side, but he had to have Kentucky.
Kentucky did not secede, but a faction, known as the Russellville Convention, formed a Confederate government of Kentucky, which was recognized by the Confederate States of America as a member state. Kentucky was represented by the central star on the Confederate battle flag.
Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin proposed that slave states like Kentucky should conform to the US Constitution, and remain in the Union. When Lincoln requested 75,000 men to serve in the Union army, however, Magoffin, a Southern sympathizer, countered that Kentucky would "furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern states."
Kentucky tried to remain neutral, even issuing a proclamation May 20, 1861, asking both sides to keep out. The neutrality was broken when Confederate General Leonidas Polk occupied Columbus, Kentucky, in the summer of 1861, though the Union had been openly enlisting troops in the state before this. In response, the Kentucky Legislature passed a resolution directing the governor to demand the evacuation of Confederate forces from Kentucky soil. Magoffin vetoed the proclamation, but the legislature overrode his veto. The legislature further decided to back General Ulysses S. Grant, and his Union troops stationed in Paducah, Kentucky, on the grounds that the Confederacy voided the original pledge by entering Kentucky first.
Southern sympathizers were outraged at the legislature's decisions, citing that Polk's troops in Kentucky were only en route to countering Grant's forces. Later legislative resolutions—such as inviting Union General Robert Anderson to enroll volunteers to expel the Confederate forces, requesting the governor to call out the militia, and appointing Union General Thomas L. Crittenden in command of Kentucky forces—only incensed the Southerners further. (Magoffin vetoed the resolutions but all were overridden.) In 1862, the legislature passed an act to disenfranchise citizens who enlisted in the Confederate States Army. Thus Kentucky's neutral status evolved into backing the Union. Most of those who originally sought neutrality turned to the Union cause.
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Magoffin, still functioning as official governor in Frankfort, would not recognize the Kentucky Confederates, nor their attempts to establish a government in his state. He continued to declare Kentucky's official status in the war was as a neutral state—even though the legislature backed the Union. Magoffin, fed up with the party divisions within the population and legislature, announced a special session of the legislature, and then resigned his office in 1862.
Bowling Green remained occupied by the Confederates until February 1862, when General Grant moved from Missouri, through Kentucky, along the Tennessee line. Confederate Governor Johnson fled Bowling Green with the Confederate state records, headed south, and joined Confederate forces in Tennessee. After Johnson was killed fighting in the Battle of Shiloh, Richard Hawes was named Confederate governor. Shortly afterwards, the Provisional Confederate Congress was adjourned on February 17, 1862, on the eve of inauguration of a permanent Congress. However, as Union occupation henceforth dominated the state, the Kentucky Confederate government, as of 1863, existed only on paper, and its representation in the permanent congress was minimal. It was dissolved when the Civil War ended in the spring of 1865.
After the secession of Southern states began, the newly elected governor of Missouri called upon the legislature to authorize a state constitutional convention on secession. A special election approved of the convention, and delegates to it. This Missouri Constitutional Convention voted to remain within the Union, but rejected coercion of the Southern States by the United States. Pro-Southern Governor Claiborne F. Jackson was disappointed with the outcome. He called up the state militia to their districts for annual training. Jackson had designs on the St. Louis Arsenal, and had been in secret correspondence with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, to obtain artillery for the militia in St. Louis. Aware of these developments, Union Captain Nathaniel Lyon struck first, encircling the camp, and forcing the state militia to surrender. While marching the prisoners to the arsenal, a deadly riot erupted (the Camp Jackson Affair.)
These events caused greater Confederate support within the state. The already pro-Southern legislature passed the governor's military bill creating the Missouri State Guard. Governor Jackson appointed Sterling Price, who had been president of the convention, as major general of this reformed and expanded militia. Price, and Union district commander Harney, came to an agreement known as the Price-Harney Truce, that calmed tensions in the state for several weeks. After Harney was removed, and Lyon placed in charge, a meeting was held in St. Louis at the Planters' House between Lyon, his political ally Francis P. Blair, Jr., Price, and Jackson. The negotiations went nowhere, and after a few fruitless hours Lyon made his famous declaration, "this means war!" Price and Jackson rapidly departed for the capital.
Jackson, Price, and the state legislature, were forced to flee the state capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861, in the face of Lyon's rapid advance against the state government. In the absence of the now exiled state government, the Missouri Constitutional Convention reconvened in late July. On July 30, the convention declared the state offices vacant, and appointed a new provisional government with Hamilton Gamble as governor. President Lincoln's Administration immediately recognized the legitimacy of Gamble's government, which provided both pro-Union militia forces for service within the state, and volunteer regiments for the Union Army.
Fighting ensued between Union forces, and a combined army of General Price's Missouri State Guard and Confederate troops from Arkansas and Texas, under General Ben McCulloch. After winning victories at the battle of Wilson's Creek, and the siege of Lexington, Missouri, the secessionist forces had little choice but to retreat again to Southwestern Missouri, as Union reinforcements arrived. There, on October 30, 1861 in the town of Neosho, Jackson called the exiled state legislature into session, where they enacted a secession ordinance. It was recognized by the Confederate congress, and Missouri was admitted into the Confederacy on November 28.
The exiled state government was forced to withdraw into Arkansas in the face of a largely reinforced Union Army. Though regular Confederate troops staged several large-scale raids into Missouri, the fighting in the state for the next three years consisted mainly of guerrilla warfare. The guerrillas were primarily Southern partisans, including William Quantrill, Frank and Jesse James, the Younger brothers, and William T. Anderson. Such small unit tactics pioneered by the Missouri Partisan Rangers were seen in other occupied portions of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The James' brothers outlawry after the war has been seen as a continuation of guerrilla warfare.
The serious divisions between the western and eastern sections of Virginia did not begin in the winter of 1860-1861. West Virginia historian C. H. Ambler wrote that “there are few years during the period from 1830 to 1850 which did not bring forth schemes for the dismemberment of the commonwealth.” The western part of the state during this time was “the growing and aggressive section,” while the east was “the declining and conservative one.” The west centered its grievances on the east’s disproportionate (based on population) legislative representation, and share of state revenues. The east justified this dominance because of its dependence on slaves, “the possession of which could be guaranteed and secured only by giving to masters a voice in the government adequate to the protection of their interests.” In 1851, the Virginia Reform Convention, forced to recognize that the White population of the western part of the state outnumbered the east, made significant changes. Universal white suffrage was granted, and the governor was to be determined by the direct vote of the people. The lower house of the legislature was apportioned strictly based on population, although the upper house still used a combination of population and property in determining its electoral districts.
By 1859 there were again strong sectional tensions at work within the state, although the west itself was split between the north and the south, with the south more satisfied with the changes made in 1851. Historian Daniel W. Crofts wrote, “Northwesterners complained that they had become ‘the complete vassals of Eastern Virginia,’ taxed ‘unmercifully and increasingly, at her instance and for her benefit.’” Internal improvements important to the west, such as the James River and Kanawha Canal, or railroads connecting the west to the east, had been promised but not built. Slaves, for tax purposes, were not valued above $300, despite a top field hand being worth five times that amount. The west had 135,000 more whites than the east, but the east controlled the state Senate. In the United States House of Representatives, because of the three-fifth rule, only five of Virginia’s thirteen representatives came from western districts. In the 1859 gubernatorial elections there was disenchantment with both parties in the west. Western grievances were ignored as “both parties engaged in a proslavery shouting match.” Antislavery Whigs began to move towards the Republican Party; in the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln received 2,000 votes from the western panhandle.
Crofts wrote that “no document better captures the mood of unconditional northwestern Virginia Unionists” than the following from a March 16, 1861 letter by Henry Dering of Morgantown to Waitman T. Willey:
Talk about Northern oppression, talk about our rights being stolen from us by the North – it’s all stuff, and dwindles into nothing when compared, to our situation in Western Virginia. The truth is the slavery oligarchy, are impudent boastful and tyrannical, it is the nature of the institution to make men so – and tho I am far, from being an abolitionist, yet if they persist, in their course, the day may come, when all Western Virginia will rise up, in her might and throw off the Shackles, which thro this very Divine institution, as they call it, has been pressing us down.
Virginia’s secession and western reaction
By December 1860 secession was being publicly debated throughout Virginia. Leading eastern newspapers such as the Richmond Inquirer, Richmond Examiner, and Norfolk Argus were openly calling for secession. The Wellsburg Herald on December 14 warned the east that the west would not be “legislated into treason or dragged into trouble to gratify the wishes of any set of men, or to subserve the interests of any section.” The Morgantown Star on January 12 said that their region was “unwilling that slavery in Virginia shall be used to oppress the people of our section of the state. ... We people in Western Virginia have borne the burden just about as long as we can stand it. We have been ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ for Eastern Virginia long enough.” In addition to traditional east- west differences, the specter of secession raised new issues for the northwest. This section shared a 450-mile (720 km) border with Ohio and Pennsylvania and, by virtue of the state’s failure to build roads, was isolated from the rest of the state. A leading unionist said, “We would be swept by the enemy from the face of the earth before the news of the attack could reach our Eastern friends.” Another unionist, addressing the section’s close economic links with the North, asked, “Would you have us ... act like madmen and cut our own throats merely to sustain you in a most unwarrantable rebellion.”
Despite unionist opposition, a special session of the state legislature in early January called for the election of delegates to a state convention on February 4 to consider secession. A proposal by Waitman T. Willey to have the convention also consider reforms to taxation and representation went nowhere. The convention first met on February 13 and voted for secession on April 17, 1861. The decision was dependent on ratification by a statewide referendum.
On April 22, 1861 John S. Carlisle led a meeting of 1,200 people in Harrison County. The meeting approved the “Clarksburg Resolutions”, calling for the creation of a new state separate from Virginia. The resolutions were widely circulated and each county was asked to choose five “of their wisest, best, and distinguished men” as delegates. Historian Allan Nevins wrote, “ The movement, spontaneous, full of extralegal irregularities, and varying from place to place, spread like the wind. Community after community held mass meetings.”
Unionists in Virginia met at the Wheeling Convention from May 13 to May 15 to await the decision of the state referendum called to ratify the decision to secede. In attendance were over four hundred delegates from twenty-seven counties. Most delegations were chosen by public meetings rather than elections and some attendees came strictly on their own. The editor of the Wheeling Western Star called it “almost a mass meeting of the people instead of a representative body.”
Carlisle, in front of a banner proclaiming “New Virginia, now or never”, spoke for the immediate creation of a new state consisting of thirty-two counties. Speaking of the actions of the Virginia secession convention, he said, “Let us act; let us repudiate these monstrous usurpations; let us show our loyalty to Virginia and the Union at every hazard. It is useless to cry peace when there is no peace; and I for one will repeat what was said by one of Virginia’s noblest sons and greatest statesmen, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’
Speaking in opposition to action at this time, Willey argued that the convention had no authority to take such an action and referred to it as “triple treason”. Francis H. Pierpont supported Willey and helped to work out a compromise that secured the withdrawal of the Carlisle motion, declared the state’s Ordinance of Secession to be “unconstitutional, null, and void", and called for a second convention on June 11 if secession was ratified.
Willey’s closing remarks to the convention set the stage for the June meeting:
Fellow citizens, the first thing we have got to fight is the Ordinance of Secession. Let us kill it on the 23rd of this month. Let us bury it deep within the hills of Northwestern Virginia. Let us pile up our glorious hills on it; bury it deep so that it will never make its appearance among us again. Let us go back home and vote, even if we are beaten upon the final result, for the benefit of the moral influence of that vote. If we give something like a decided ... majority in the Northwest, that alone secures our rights. That alone, at least secures at independent State if we desire it.
Second Wheeling Convention
The statewide vote in favor of secession was 132,201 to 37,451. In the core Unionist region of northwestern Virginia the vote was 30,586 to 10,021 against secession, although the total vote in the counties that would become West Virginia was a closer 34,677 to 19,121 against. Other sources give the total vote as 125,950 in favor and 20,373 against, with many ballots in western Virginia not being counted.
The Second Wheeling Convention opened on June 11 with more than 100 delegates from 32 western counties representing nearly one-third of Virginia’s total voting population. Members of the Virginia General Assembly were accepted as long as they were loyal to the Union "and still others were seemingly self-appointed." The convention met “ in open defiance of the Richmond authorities” and efforts were made in many counties to restrict attendance. Delegates were required to take a loyalty oath to the United State Constitution “anything in the Ordinance of the Convention which assembled in Richmond, on February 13 last, to the contrary notwithstanding.”.
Arthur I. Boreman, the future governor of West Virginia, was chosen as president, but the main leaders were Carlisle and Frank Pierpont. While many still supported Carlisle’s original plan to create a new state, Article IV Section 3 of the Constitution presented a problem. This section guaranteed that “no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state... without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States Concerned as well as of Congress.” The legal solution chosen by the convention is described by author W. Hunter Lesser:
A new Virginia government would be created. All state offices would be declared vacant, the traitors thrown out by proxy and Union men appointed in their place. Loyal Unionists would claim the political framework of a state already recognized by the Federal government – thereby courting favor with a Lincoln administration not anxious to deal with the Rebels. Lincoln himself held the constitutional authority to determine which of two competing parties was the lawful state government. An 1849 Supreme Court case in Rhode Island – Luther vs. Borden – had set the precedent.
This restored Virginia government would then, under this theory, have the authority to the creation of a new state within the Old Dominion’s old borders as long as the federal government approves of this new state.
On June 13 Carlisle presented his “Declaration of Rights of the People of Virginia” to the convention. It accused the secessionists of “usurping” the rights of the people, creating an “illegal confederacy of rebellious states”, and declared it was now their duty “to abolish” the state government as it existed. The convention approved this declaration on June 17 by a 56 to 0 vote. On June 14 “An Ordinance for the Re-organization of the State Government” was presented which provided for the selection of a governor, lieutenant governor, and a five-member governor’s council by the convention, declared all state government offices vacant, and recognized a “rump legislature” composed of loyal members of the General Assembly who had been elected in the May 23 statewide voting. This ordinance was approved on June 19.
Francis H. Pierpont was chosen as governor by the convention on June 20. Historian Virgil Lewis said this process was carried out in an “irregular... unjustifiable mode.” The next day Governor Pierpont notified President Lincoln of the convention’s decisions. Noting that there were “evil-minded persons” who were “making war on the loyal people of the state” and “pressing citizens against their consent into their military organization and seizing and appropriating their property to aid in the rebellion,” Pierpont requested aid “to suppress such rebellion and violence.” Secretary of War Cameron, replying for Lincoln, wrote:
The President ... never supposed that a brave and free people, though surprised and unarmed, could long be subjugated by a class of political adventurers always adverse to them, and the fact that they have already rallied, reorganized their government, and checked the march of these invaders demonstrates how justly he appreciated them.
"Restored" Virginia and dismemberment
The Restored Government of Virginia granted permission for the formation of a new state on August 20, 1861. The Lt. Governor of the Restored Government, Daniel Polsley, strongly objected to the ordinance for the new state, saying in a speech on August 16:
If they proceeded now to direct a division of the State before a free expression on the people could be had, they would do a more despotic act than any done by the Richmond Convention itself...They now proposed a division when it was impossible for one-fourth of even the counties included in the boundaries proposed to give even an expression upon the proposition.
The October 24, 1861 popular vote on the new state drew only 19,000 voters (compared to the 54,000 who had voted in the original secession referendum), one hundred of whom, in Hampshire County alone, according to officials of the Wheeling government, were Ohio soldiers.
The Second Wheeling Convention had proposed that only 39 counties be included in the new state. This number included 24 anti-secession counties and 15 secessionist counties which the new state would find “imperative” because of their geographic relationship with the rest of the new state. These 39 counties contained a white population of 272,759, 78% of whom had a Unionist orientation. While there was overwhelming support at this convention for statehood, there was a “small, effective minority” that opposed this and they used “obstructionist tactics at every opportunity” in their efforts to defeat the majority. It was this group opposed to statehood that was largely responsible for the inclusion of additional counties beyond this core.
When the constitutional convention was held in Wheeling on November 16, 1861, the obstructionists attempted to have 71 counties included in the new state, a move which would have created a white confederate sympathizer majority of 316,308. Eventually a compromise was worked out to include 50 counties. Historian Richard O. Curry summed the results up this way:
In conclusion, then, twenty-five of fifty counties encompassed by West Virginia supported the Confederacy and opposed dismemberment. The Rebel minority ran as high as 40 per cent in a few Union counties but the reverse was also true. Therefore, because northwestern Union counties contained 60 percent of the total population and the Confederate counties 40 per cent, a 60-40 ration, the majority being Unionists, would appear to be a fair estimate of the division of sentiment among the inhabitants included in the state of West Virginia.
However, as observed by Chapman J. Stuart at the Constitutional Convention in Wheeling, December 10, 1861-
"Now, Mr. President, to show you, and it needs but to look at the figures to satisfy the mind of every member, that even a majority of the people within the district composed of the thirty-nine counties have never come to the polls and expressed their sentiments in favor of a new State. In a voting population of some 40,000 or 50,000 we see a poll of only 17,627 and even some of them were in the [Union] army."
Curry further concluded:
On the other hand – and this is important too – the West Virginia government did not coerce the unwilling counties of the Valley and the southwest; it made little or no attempt to exercise effective control over these Confederate counties until after the war. Never at any time during the war did the Pierpont government or the administration of Arthur I. Boreman, first governor of West Virginia, control more than half the counties in the state.
However, despite Mr. Curry's interpretations, the Wheeling legislators themselves approved of coercion. Ephraim B. Hall of Marion County, said at the Constitutional Convention in Wheeling, December 5, 1861
"I am in favor of 'coercion' in that respect; and I have been opposed to that old [boundary] line; and I do trust in this convention that we shall get a different line. I want that we have a line with natural boundaries; and if any county is in the boundary that ought to be included, however unwilling that county may be, I shall insist on applying the rule that the necessity of the many shall and must prevail against even the will of a county."
Military events and statehood
While the above political events were unfolding, in the late spring of 1861 Union troops from Ohio moved into western Virginia with the primary strategic goal of protecting the B & O Railroad. General George B. McClellan in June 3 at Philippi, July 11 at Rich Mountain, and September 10 at Carnifex Ferry “completely destroyed Confederate defenses in western Virginia.” However after these victories most Federal troops were sent out of the new state to support McClellan elsewhere, leading Governor Boreman to write from Parkersburg "The whole country South and East of us is abandoned to the Southern Confederacy." In central, southern and eastern West Virginia a guerrilla war ensued that lasted until 1865. Raids and recruitment by the Confederacy took place throughout the war. Estimates of Union and Confederate soldiers from West Virginia have varied widely, but some recent studies indicate that the numbers were about equal, from 22-25,000 each. Historian Richard Nelson Current places the number of West Virginians fighting for the Union at approximately 29,000.
The new state constitution was passed by the Unionist counties in the spring of 1862 and this was approved by the restored Virginia government in May 1862. The statehood bill for West Virginia was passed by Congress in December and signed by President Lincoln on December 31, 1862. As a condition for statehood the US Congress required that a policy of gradual emancipation be granted to the slaves of the new state, called the Willey Amendment, which was amended to the state constitution on March 26, 1863.
New Mexico and Arizona territories
Conventions at Mesilla, New Mexico, on March 18, 1861, and Tucson, Arizona, on March 23 adopted an ordinance of secession. The conventions established a pro-Southern government for the southern portions of the territory and called for the election of representatives to petition the Confederacy for admission and relief. Lewis Owings of Mesilla was elected the territory's first provisional governor, and Granville Henderson Oury of Tucson presented the territory's petition for admission into the Confederacy. In July 1861, Confederate forces from Texas, under Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor, entered Mesilla, described as "a strongly pro-Confederate community." The following day, Union Major Isaac Lynde approached Mesilla to engage Baylor's forces. Baylor's men, accompanied by militia out of Mesilla, attacked and defeated Lynde at the Battle of Mesilla on July 27. On August 1, Baylor proclaimed that the Confederate territory of Arizona would extend to the 34th parallel and named himself the new territorial governor. The territory was home to several subsequent engagements and skirmishes between the western armies of the Union and the Confederacy during the war. The Confederate loss at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, in March 1862, drove them back to Texas and ended involvement of New Mexico in the Civil War.
Though Tennessee had officially seceded, East Tennessee was pro-Union and had mostly voted against secession. Attempts to secede from Tennessee were suppressed by the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis arrested over 3,000 men suspected of being loyal to the Union and held them without trial. Tennessee came under control of Union forces in 1862 and was omitted from the Emancipation Proclamation. After the war, Tennessee was the first state to have its elected members readmitted to the US Congress.
Winston County, Alabama, issued a resolution of secession from the state of Alabama.
Border states and Emancipation
President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was designed with the interests of border states in mind. The Proclamation did not free slaves within current Union-controlled territory because the presidential war power did not extend there. Lincoln maintained that under the Constitution, ending slavery in a state not in active rebellion against the Union could only be done legally by action of that state, or by amendment to the Constitution.
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- Richard S. Brownlee, Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy: Guerrilla Warfare in the West, 1861-1865 (1958).
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- Crofts, Daniel W. Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis. (1989).
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- Curry Richard O. A House Divided: A Study of Statehood Politics and the Copperhead Movement in West Virginia. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1964.
- Curry, Richard O. "A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia". The Journal of Southern History Vol. 28, No. 4. (November, 1962) pp. 403–421.
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- Link, William A. Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia. (2003)
- Lesser, W. Hunter. Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan at the Front Line of a Nation Divided. (2004)
- Maslowski Peter. Treason Must Be Made Odious: Military Occupation and Wartime Reconstruction in Nashville, Tennessee, 1862-65 1978.
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- Parrish William E. Turbulent Partnership: Missouri and the Union, 1861-1865 University of Missouri Press, 1963.
- Patton James W. Unionism and Reconstruction in Tennessee, 1860-1867 University of North Carolina Press, 1934.
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- Sheeler J. Reuben. "The Development of Unionism in East Tennessee." Journal of Negro History 29 (1944): 166-203. in JSTOR
- Stiles, T.J. "Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War". Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
- History of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV
- World History Blog: Pro-Union Southerners
- Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, by Mary L. Hart, Charles Reagan Wilson, William Ferris and Ann J. Adadie, Univ. of N. Carolina Press, 1989. ISBN 0807818232
- Ambler, Charles "The History of West Virginia". re: the discard of the 1863 State Constitution and adoption of the new 1872 Constitution: "As a consequence of these changes, for more than twenty years West Virginia was allied with the 'Solid South'...It gave West Virginia the laws and institutions that best reflected the sentiments of her people..."
- Telsur Southern Dialect Regional Map http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/maps/MapsS/Map1S.html
- Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4 page 533 Roy P. Basler 
- Irby, Jr., Richard E.. "A Concise History of the Flags of the Confederate States of America and the Sovereign State of Georgia". About North Georgia. Golden Ink. http://ngeorgia.com/history/flagsofga.html. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- Ambler (1910) pp. 764-765
- Crofts pp. 57-58
- Crofts p. 159. The only railroad in the area, the B & O, had been built with out state money. Slaves under age 12 were not taxed at all.
- Nevins p. 140. Nevins also wrote, “... according to Francis H. Pierpont, the principal western leader, each year [the east] escaped paying $900,000 in taxes justly its due” and “all of the $30,000,000 by which the State debt had been augmented since 1851 had gone for internal improvements in the east.”
- Croft pp. 59, 160. Ambler p. 779. Ambler wrote f the state Republican platform drafted in Wheeling in the spring of 1860, “It also alleged that the slave interests of Virginia had encroached upon the personal rights of the free white men of her western counties by weighing them down with oppressive taxation and by denying them a proportionate representation in the general assembly.”
- Crofts p. 163
- Croft p. 102
- Link p. 250
- Crofts p. 162
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia” p. 404. Throughout this article the term “northwest” refers to a section made up of 35 counties, only twenty four of which had significant unionist strongholds
- Crofts p. 160
- Crofts p. 161. After the ordinance was passed by the convention Chester T. Hubard wrote to Willey, “I should like to show those traitors at Richmond ... that we are not to be transformed like the cattle on the hills or the slaves on their plantations, without our knowledge or consent.” Curry “A Reapphdhdhchchchdfhchcfhcfhchchcdhchdhdchchchxchchchraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia”, p. 406
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia”, p. 406. Lesser pp. 25-26.
- Nevins p. 141
- Link p. 251
- Lesser p. 26. Curry p. 406
- Lesser p. 27
- Lesser pp. 28-29. “Triple treason” referred to, in Lesser’s paraphrasing, “treason against the State of Virginia, treason against the U. S. Constitution, even treason against Virginia’s alliance with the Confederacy.”
- Lesser p. 30
- Crofts p. 341
- "Chapter Six: Ratification of the Ordinance of Secession". http://www.wvculture.org/History/statehood/statehood06.html.
- Lesser p. 77
- Ambler, "The History of West Virginia", p. 318
- Lesser pp. 77-78
- Lesser p. 78
- Lesser pp. 78-79
- Lewis, "How West Virginia Was Made", p. 266
- Current p. 15
- Current pp. 15-16
- Lewis, "How West Virginia Was Made", p. 230
- "Mr. Lamb, of Ohio County, whose Unionism could not be doubted, declared that out of two thousand voters in Hampshire County, one hundred and ninety-five votes had been cast and he had heard that of these one hundred had been cast by soldiers. Mr. Carskadon confirmed this and added that only thirty-nine were the votes of citizens of the state." McGregor, "The Disruption of Virginia", p. 270
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia" p. 417
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia” p. 412
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia” pp. 417-418
- Charles Ambler, Debates and Proceedings of the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia Vol. 1, pg. 376
- Curry “A Reappraisal of Statehood Politics in West Virginia” p. 407
- "Never did the Reorganized Government control more than twenty or twenty-five counties included in the state of West Virginia; and even in Union counties of the Northwest, the maintenance of law and order was often a difficult and hazardous undertaking, as the war in western Virginia did not end with the expulsion of Wise and Floyd in the Kanawha Valley and the crushing defeat of Garnett's army at Rich Mountain. Fighting continued. Only the character of the war changed." Curry, "A House Divided, p. 74
- "Who denies that McDowell, Wyoming, Raleigh, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton, Clay, Tucker, Randolph, Webster, Nicholas, Boone, Logan, Pocahontas, Roane, Wirt, Monroe and Greenbrier - add to that Barbour and many others - are all dominated by the spirit of the Rebellion..." remarks of Mr. Sinsel, January 13, 1862, Wheeling Constitutional Convention http://www.wvculture.org/History/statehood/cc011362.html
- "I am informed by the delegate from Wayne, notwithstanding Ziegler had a regiment then, that all the elections had to be guarded by his regiment. Suppose he had not been there with his regiment - perhaps Wayne would not have been represented. I do not know how many elections were held in Cabell county. Perhaps my friend (Mr. Parker) who lives just across from Guyandotte knows. However, they held one somewhere and the county is represented. Boone, which has eight places of holding elections, by a detachment being sent from Kanawha and a home-guard on Mud River held an election at two precincts, one at Peytona and the other at Mud. They gave 223 votes in favor of the new State. The returns are not here; the man I sent may have been captured. Logan could not be represented. That is my opinion. If it required a military force in the county where Zeigler's regiment were stationed to hold an election; if Cabell county which borders the Ohio river, had to have a military force to hold an election there; if Boone which lies adjoining Kanawha had to have a military force to hold an election at two points - if a detachment went up and held an election there, and by risking their lives and losing one killed and two or three captured got into a corner in Raleigh and held an election there - with what difficulty are those counties here represented! No wonder Wyoming and Fayette had to be represented by petition." Comments of Mr. Hagar, Constitutional Convention, December 7, 1861WV Constitutional Convention
- Charles Ambler, Debates and Proceedings of the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia Vol. 1, pg. 214
- McGehee p. 149
- Curry, "A House Divided", p. 77
- "Exterminating Savages", by Kenneth W. Noe, in "The Civil War in Appalachia", pp. 104-130
- "Although early estimates noted that Union soldiers from the region outnumbered Confederates by more than three to one, more recent and detailed studies have concluded that there were nearly equal numbers of Union and Confederate soldiers." http://www.wvculture.org/History/civwaran.html
- Current p. 216
- Mark Neely, Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties 1993 pp. 10–11
el:Συνοριακές Πολιτείες (Αμερικανικός Εμφύλιος Πόλεμος) fr:États frontaliers (guerre de Sécession) la:Civitas finitima (Bellum Civile Americanum) no:Grensestatene pl:Stany graniczne (wojna secesyjna) sv:Gränsstaterna