char_flat_500_webAuthor/historian Terry Lowry will be signing his new book, The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign, at the West Virginia Book Festival this Saturday, October 29th, from 9am to 5pm.

The West Virginia Book Festival is an annual free event held at the Charleston Civic Center.

 

char_flat_500_webThe Battle of Charleston, and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign

by Terry Lowry

The Battle of Charleston (West Virginia), fought September 13, 1862, between the Confederate forces of Gen. William Wing Loring and the Federal command of Col. Joseph Andrew Jackson Lightburn, pales in comparison to many of the more well-known and documented engagements of the American Civil War. Yet the battle and the activities comprising the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign, particularly Lightburn’s subsequent retreat, beginning at Fayetteville and ending at Point Pleasant, were of much more strategic importance than readily meets the eye and held special meaning for many of its participants.

One such individual was Sgt. Joseph Pearson, Company F, 44th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who wrote about the battle of Charleston in his journal, “We had several killed and wounded in this affair, but it was only a skirmish to what we afterwards learned of war. Yet I was more impressed with the dread[ful] feeling of that little action than all the others I was in to the finish.”

The 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign has long been neglected by scholars, probably due to the great national attention placed on the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign, which took place during this same time period. Owing to the meticulous work of author/historian Terry Lowry, it has finally been given its due.

487 pages, 8.5×11 trim size, hard cover, 332 photos and images (many never before published), 11 maps

Available here from 35th Star Publishing….

Greg Carroll

Greg Carroll

The boom-and-bust cycle that to this day marks West Virginia’s economy was set in motion not too many years after the Mountain State’s emergence as a state in 1863, said historian Greg Carroll.

Carroll will present a portrait of the tangled and influential political and social history of the state’s early years in the free lecture “Reconstruction in West Virginia, 1865-1875: A Failure that Led to Future Mistakes,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 15, 2016, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center in the state Capitol Complex.

Read the full article from the Charleston Gazette….

Patrons may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. for the lecture and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround. Visitors parking there should enter at the front of the building. For more information on the Archives and History lecture series, call 304-558-0230.

 

mike smith retirement july31 2016

[L-R]: Terry Lowry, Hunter Lesser, Billy Joe Peyton, Mike Smith, Steve Cunningham, Rick Wolfe

After 34 years of faithful service to the state of West Virginia, Droop Mountain Battlefield Superintendent Mike Smith has retired.  Smith was also responsible for nearby Beartown State Park.

To honor his many contributions to preserving and interpreting the Droop Mountain Battlefield, West Virginia historians honored Mike with a surprise lunch party on his last day at the park.

More info on Droop Mountain Battlefield….

Read a article on Mike Smith by Rick Steelhammer of the Charleston Gazette…

 

Six West Virginia State University students, working with two history professors and an archaeologist, have spent the past two weeks on a hilltop overlooking downtown Charleston.

They’re digging into the task of learning more about one of West Virginia’s best-preserved yet least-known Civil War forts — despite the fact that two men who would later be U.S. presidents served together there.

Built in May 1863 by men from three Union regiments under the command of Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, who would go on to become the nation’s 19th president, Fort Scammon was named in honor of Hayes’ predecessor as commanding officer of the 23d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. Eliakim Parker Scammon, who left the regiment in October 1862 after being promoted to brigadier general.

Read the entire article from the Charleston Gazette….

Historic Preservation Lecture: Investigating Fort Scammon, Charleston’s forgotten citadel by Dr. Billy Joe Peyton

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is continuing its lecture series to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Dr. Billy Joe Peyton will present the talk, “Investigating Fort Scammon: Charleston’s forgotten citadel” at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 23, 2016, at the Culture Center, located on the state capitol grounds, in the Museum Education Media Room. The lecture series is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact John Adamik, education and planning coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office, at 304-558-0240.

 

Steven C. French

Steven C. French

The Hagerstown Civil War Round Table presented Steven C. French with its 2016 Henry Kyd Douglas Award. French, a former middle-school teacher, is the author of “Imboden’s Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign” (2008), which was recognized with three prestigious awards; “Rebel Chronicles: Raiders, Scouts, and Train Robbers of the Upper Potomac” (2012); and a monograph, “The Jones-Imboden Raid against the B&O Railroad at Rowlesburg, Virginia” (2001).

Read the full article here…

Dr. Jonathan W. White

Dr. Jonathan W. White

The next offering of the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series at Marshall University is “Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties during the Civil War” by historian Jonathan W. White of Christopher Newport University.  The program begins at 7:00pm on February 25, 2016, in Foundation Hall of the Erickson Alumni Center.

Dr. White will lecture on Lincoln’s record of suspending habeas corpus and imprisoning disloyal citizens during the Civil War.  Dr. White will discuss several key cases from the Civil War, shedding light on a number of perennially controversial legal and constitutional issues in American history, including the nature and extent of presidential war powers, the development of national policies for dealing with disloyalty and treason, and the protection of civil liberties in wartime.  All these issues resonate in the national security climate of today.

Jonathan White is an historian of the American Civil War with a particular interest in Abraham Lincoln, American politics and the U.S. Constitution.  He is an assistant professor of American Studies and a Fellow in the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University.  He is also the author of several books and articles about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  His book, Emancipation, the Union Army and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (Louisiana State University Press, 2014), was selected by the Civil War Monitor as one of the best books of 2014.  He is the author of two additional books, including Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life (Cumberland House, March, 2015) and Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (Louisiana State University Press, 2011).He is a frequent contributor to blogs including the New York Times Civil War “Disunion” and the Civil War Monitor.He earned his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

wvulibrariesWest Virginia History: An Open Access Reader
West Virginia University Libraries

Kevin Barksdale (Marshall University) and Ken Fones-Wolf (West Virginia University) assembled this collection of essays, mostly from the journal they edit, West Virginia History, to serve as a reader for courses on the Mountain State’s history. In selecting essays, they emphasized pieces that addressed themes from differing perspectives. For example, the first two essays examine the eighteenth-century frontier and Indian-white relations, one from the perspective of Europeans seeking to destroy Native Americans and the other from the vantage of the Cherokee hoping for some security. Among the other topics highlighted in these essays are: the coming of the Civil War, the efforts of women and blacks to negotiate citizenship during Reconstruction, the struggles of immigrants and African Americans during industrialization, the impact of the Cold War, and episodes that might be grouped as part of the culture wars. As such, they offer multiple opportunities for students to compare and contrast the experiences of varying groups of West Virginians throughout the state’s history.

Some of the featured articles include:

Caught between Revolutions: Wheeling Germans in the Civil War Era by Ken Fones-Wolf

The Slaveholders’ War: The Secession Crisis in Kanawha County, Western Virginia, 1860-1861 by Scott A. MacKenzie

“This Bastard New Virginia”: Slavery, West Virginia Exceptionalism, and the Secession Crisis by William A. Link

Test Oaths, Belligerent Rights, and Confederate Money: Civil War Lawsuits Before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals by Kenneth R. Bailey

 

 

reader_frontcover_sep27_2015_14135th Star Publishing of Charleston, West Virginia, has released a modern reprint of the History of the Fifth West Virginia Cavalry.

Originally published in 1890 by the Civil War veterans of the regiment, this new modern version includes the entire original text, 58 images, and an index. The author, Frank S. Reader, a member of Company I, was a newspaper editor and proprietor. His wartime experience as a clerk to both generals Averell and Sigel, as well as his newspaper background, served him well when he was asked by his regimental comrades to write and publish the history of their unit.

The book’s online availability includes www.35thstar.com, West Virginia Book Company, and Amazon.com.

 

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