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2011-2012 Exhibit

2011-2012 Exhibit: "The Issue Is Upon Us!"

In commemoration of the dramatic events that gripped our nation in 1861, the WVU Libraries' 2011 West Virginia Day Exhibit focuses on the outbreak of the Civil War. Drawing upon the West Virginia and Regional History Center's unparalleled holdings of documents by West Virginia's two founding fathers, Francis H. Pierpont and Waitman T. Willey, the exhibit elucidates the emergence of two Virginias in the spring of 1861, one Confederate and one Union. The two Virginias vied for control of western Virginia until West Virginia was formed as the nation's 35th state on June 20, 1863.

The exhibit focuses on the beginning of the war and the war's first two years during which the Reorganized Government of Virginia was based in Wheeling. The title of the exhibit is drawn from this broadside titled "Union or Disunion? The Issue Is Upon Us!", announcing a mass meeting in Clarksburg roughly six months before the delegates at the Virginia Convention voted to secede.

Though the WVRHC is primarily a repository for archives and manuscripts, it also holds selected artifacts. Items from the Civil War include powder flasks, swords, pieces of military uniforms, and Harpers Ferry and Springfield Rifled Muskets. Also included in the exhibit are pages from secession polls, diaries and correspondence of Civil War officers, telegrams written to Governor Francis H. Pierpont, Confederate currency, and sheet music of patriotic songs.

To access a PDF slideshow of the exhibit, please use the following: