A Call to Arms
A May 30, 1861, broadside issued by Colonel C. Q. Tompkins, commanding colonel of volunteer forces in Kanawha County in western Virginia, urges the men of that region to "rise and strike for your firesides and altars" against the Yankee enemy who has "invaded your soil and threatens to overrun your country under the pretext of protection." This Confederate call to arms was printed in Charleston, Virginia (now West Virginia), four days after Union troops commanded by George B. McClellan had invaded northwestern Virginia. Though Virginia voters had overwhelmingly approved the Ordinance of Secession (thereby joining the Confederacy) during the previous week, there were major pockets of dissent, especially in the northwestern portion of the state where several anti-secession conventions were held.
In August 1861, a pro-Union political convention in the city of Wheeling approved an ordinance to form a new state called Kanawha out of the western counties. During the political wrangling that followed the state was renamed West Virginia. On July 14, 1862, the U.S. Senate approved the West Virginia Statehood Bill and the House of Representatives did the same on December 10, 1862; Lincoln signed the bill on December 31, 1862, and, after voters approved the revised state constitution and elected a governor, West Virginia was officially declared the United States' thirty-fifth state on June 20, 1863.