Following the passage of the Confederate Ordinance of Secession in April 1861, pro-Union Virginians met in Wheeling and began the process that would lead to the formation of West Virginia as a separate state. Despite the new state's allegiance to the North, the population of West Virginia remained divided in its loyalties, as author John W. Shaffer has described in his other book, Barbour County, A Clash of Loyalties: A Border County in the Civil War. In his latest effort, Union and Confederate Soldiers and Sympathizers, Mr. Shaffer enumerates over 1,000 individuals who comprised the fractious community of Barbour County.
Using official military records, the 1860 U.S. federal census, and a variety of other primary and secondary sources, the author lists 718 Union and 528 Confederate soldiers and sympathizers from Barbour County. These individuals are arranged by army and thereunder alphabetically. For each we learn the military unit (except for sympathizers), dates of service, duties, date of birth, names of parents, postwar occupation and other activities, and date of death. Mr. Shaffer's Introduction describes the background of the Civil War in Barbour County, while the Appendices specify the Union and Confederate units and military engagements in which Barbour citizens fought.