West Virginia split from Virginia in 1863 during the height of the Civil War, electing to remain with the Union while the rest of the Commonwealth remained firmly entrenched within the Confederacy. Tensions based on a divergent economies, cultures and geography simmered between the western and eastern portions of Virginia for decades leading up to the war, and ensuing hostilities drove a wedge down the Appalachian ridgelines. The founders of this new state elected to name it West Virginia in commemoration of their location and their heritage. But West Virginia isn’t fully west of Virginia, it’s actually, generally northwest. This presents an interesting anomaly with one chunk of Virginia further west than any spot in West Virginia.
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