The Commonwealth of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederate States of America when it joined the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held a state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion, following the capture of Fort Sumter, and the Virginia convention voted to declare secession from the Union. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war.

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  • The Commonwealth of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederate States of America when it joined the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held a state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion, following the capture of Fort Sumter, and the Virginia convention voted to declare secession from the Union. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war. In May, it was decided to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, in part because the defense of Virginia's capital was deemed vital to the Confederacy's survival. On May 24, 1861, the U.S. Army moved into northern Virginia and captured Alexandria without a fight. Most of the battles in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War took place in Virginia because the Confederacy had to defend its national capital at Richmond, and public opinion in the North demanded that the Union move "On to Richmond!" The successes of Robert E. Lee in defending Richmond are a central theme of the military history of the war. The White House of the Confederacy, located a few blocks north of the State Capitol, became home to the family of Confederate leader, former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis. (en)
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  • The Commonwealth of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederate States of America when it joined the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held a state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion, following the capture of Fort Sumter, and the Virginia convention voted to declare secession from the Union. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war. (en)
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  • Virginia in the American Civil War (en)
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