Citizens Claim Independence From the Confederacy – and the State of Virginia

On June 20, 1863, West Virginia formally claimed independence from the Confederacy. Rather than secede from the Union, West Virginia citizens overwhelmingly voted in favor of seceding from the state of Virginia to forge their own destiny.

West Virginia was officially admitted as the 35th state of the Union with Abraham Lincoln’s presidential proclamation. In the presidential election of November 1864, 760 votes were cast for Lincoln to 190 for James M. Callahan in Jackson County.

Independence Runs Deep in Jackson County

Earlier, in 1831, Jackson County itself had been incorporated as an independent county by citizen petition. It was formed from parts of Kanawha, Mason, and Wood counties. Later, Jackson County was subdivided with Wood County to create Wirt County (1848) and then Roane County (by succession vote) in 1856.

“Mountaineers Are Always Free”