being about 68,000 square miles, while New York had 47,000, all of New England
68,348, and Georgia
Her greatest breadth from the North Carolina
line to the northern end of the ‘panhandle,’ within 900 miles of Lake Erie
, was about 430 miles; her greatest length, from east to west along the North Carolina
lines, from the Atlantic
to Cumberland gap
, was 440 miles. Her outline was varied and richly developed.
On the east the Virginian sea
of the Atlantic and Chesapeake bay
—with its many tidal rivers and estuaries, some penetrating her territory fully 150 miles, dividing it into numerous large and small peninsulas and furnishing more than 1,500 miles of tide-washed shore line, with numerous harbors of unsurpassed capacity and depth—permeate over 11,000 square miles of her tidewater country.
The navigable Ohio
belonged to her all along her northwestern border, receiving numerous navigable tributaries that drained the larger part of her Trans-Appalachian territory.
The relief characteristics of the State
were noteworthy and remarkable.
These divided it into seven natural grand divisions, each differing from the other in soil, adaptation to production, climate and other characteristics, and each equal in area to some of the States of the Union
1. The Tidewater
, about 11,000 square miles in area, is the great low-lying plain that extends from the Atlantic
border westward from 150 to 200 miles, rising from sea level to an elevation of about 200 feet at the head of the tide, where it meets the granitic step, or ‘Coast ridge,’ at the borders of the Midland, at the first falls of the rivers, where are situated the commercial and manufacturing cities of Alexandria
Many of the most important battles of the war of 1861-65 in Virginia
were fought along this ‘Coast ridge,’ generally a sharply-defined line of escarpment.
2. The Midland
is the undulating higher plain of the Atlantic
slope, somewhat triangular in form, that extends from the eastern rim of the ‘ridge’ westward to the broken range of hills and low mountains called the coast range of the Atlantic
Its area is about 12,500 square miles.
It is intersected by many eastwardly flowing rivers; its surface is rolling or uneven, and deeply