This is an excellent series of videos.
Check out the site West Virginia – The Other History too.
We have this false image of West Virginia as being a bastion of loyal Unionist mountaineers who created an independent state during the War Between the States. The truth is that there was a putsch similar to the one in Missouri where Gen. George McClellan invaded western Virginia from Ohio and helped set up the puppet “restored” government in Wheeling.
Here’s an excerpt from John Alexander Williams’ book on southern West Virginia’s support for secession, Appalachia: A History:
“It was also a fact, however, that the mountain region had plenty of secessionists. Thomas Clingman and William Waightstill Avery, Democratic rivals of Vance for leadership in western North Carolina, were “fire-eaters” even before the secession crisis. The representatives of southwest Virginia, including present southern West Virignia, voted as heavily in favor of secession in the Richmond convention as representatives from the northwest voted against it. ..”
Half of West Virginians fought for the Confederacy in the War Between the States most famously Stonewall Jackson who was born in Clarksburg. Southern West Virginia and eastern West Virginia were pro-Confederate. The state of West Virginia was essentially created by the yellow counties in the northern part of the state around Wheeling. The eastern panhandle of West Virginia was thrown in to keep the Baltimore & Ohio railroad within the boundaries of the new state.
Richard Henry Owen has a book called Rogue State: The Unconstitutional Process of Establishing West Virginia Statehood which describes the illegal process by which West Virginia was created. I plan to order the book and review it on this website. It was essentially same process by which Missouri was restored to the Union which was through violence, illegal test oaths to disenfranchise Confederate sympathizers, illegal seizures of property, intimidating Confederate sympathizers at the polls, etc.
The 14th Amendment which we pretend today is legal and which disenfranchised ex-Confederates was passed at gunpoint by the Black Republicans during Reconstruction against the consent of the Southern states. None of this happened with the “consent of the governed.” The Lincoln administration was a military dictatorship that violated virtually every amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Former Confederates seized power in West Virginia during Reconstruction, forced Francis Pierpont and his gang out of power and called a constitutional convention which replaced the Constitution of 1863 with the Constitution of 1872 which event today is still its constitution.
Note: West Virginians fought for Virginia in every major battle of the War Between the States.