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The Department of West Virginia

The Department of West Virginia was created June 28, 1863, during a military reorganization of Union forces in the Civil War. It included all Union forces from the new state of West Virginia and that part of Maryland west of the Alleghenies, and was 23,000 men strong. The department disbanded in June 1865 when most of its men were discharged at the close of the Civil War. The Department of West Virginia should not be confused with the Army of West Virginia, commanded by Brevet Maj. Gen. George Crook during Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s 1864–65 Shenandoah Valley campaign. Today, the state organization of the American Legion is called the Department of West Virginia.

Written by Joy Gregoire Gilchrist-Stalnaker


  1. Stutler, Boyd. West Virginia in the Civil War. Charleston: Education Foundation, 1966.

  2. Lang, Theodore. Loyal West Virginia from 1861 to 1865. Baltimore: Deutsch Pub., 1895.