Archive for Events
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.
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.
Charleston, W.Va. – Thomas G. Clemens, Ph.D., is one of America’s leading historians on the 1862 Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam and is the world’s foremost expert on Gen. Ezra A. Carman, the campaign’s first historian. Clemens’ will present “The 1862 Maryland Campaign and Battle of Antietam: Gen. Ezra A. Carman and Its First History,” on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. The program will be held at the LaBelle Theater in South Charleston. It is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the program.
Clemens’ lecture is the featured program for the 2015 Civil War Scholars Lecture Series, a program of the Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable.
“The Antietam Campaign is one of the most important of the entire Civil War. It marked the first time that the Confederacy invaded the north—and it was done at a time when the South was in the best position to gain its independence. The Union victory at Antietam not only ended that possibility, but it also provided President Lincoln with the opportunity he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The campaign is also important to West Virginia since its opening battle was fought at Harpers Ferry and its closing battle at Shepherdstown,” said Beth White, director of the Civil War Scholars Lecture Series.
“This is an incredible opportunity for area residents to learn about the Antietam Campaign and Gen. Ezra A. Carman, its first historian, from one of America’s leading historians on the subject.”
A veteran of the battle and civil servant after the war, General Carman was appointed historic advisor to the Antietam National Battlefield board in 1894. Carman’s work resulted in the first narrative history of the campaign, maps and the initial interpretation of the battlefield for visitors. Clemens has researched and studied Carman’s work for more than 20 years.
“For decades, scholars who have written about the Maryland Campaign and Battle of Antietam have cited Carman’s manuscript, but little was known about the sources that he used. I wanted to make Carman’s work a more reliable, useful resource,” said Clemens.
One of the most important aspects of Clemens’ work was the discovery of hundreds of firsthand accounts that provided new information about the soldiers’ experiences.
“While Carman was a veteran of the battle himself, the truth is that in the 1890s, he was very much a government employee doing a government job. He was looking for the facts—where were the soldiers positioned and whom were they fighting. He didn’t look beyond that. Yet, when I reviewed the original letters I found powerful, personal narratives that he ignored. They provide a very human side to the battle that did not exist in the original narrative. Those narratives make it come alive,” said Clemens.
Dr. Clemens has edited and annotated two volumes of the Ezra Carman papers that have been published—The Maryland Campaign of 1862: Volume 1, South Mountain and The Maryland Campaign of 1862: Volume 2, Antietam. The third volume, covering the retreat and Battle of Shepherdstown, will be released later this year. Volume One received the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Book Award.
Dr. Clemens is the author of numerous journal and history magazine articles on the campaign and has been a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam for more than 30 years. He is a founding member of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and has served as its president since 1989. He is a professor emeritus from Hagerstown Community College and has taught as an adjunct professor for several colleges. He earned his Ph.D. from George Mason University.
The Civil War Scholars Lecture Series is provided with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support is provided by the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Founded in 1983 by local historian Noble K. Wyatt, the Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable promotes the study of Civil War history in West Virginia and its lasting effects on society and the preservation of our state’s Civil War sites and artifacts for future generations. Membership is open to anyone interested in learning more about the Civil War, its place in American history and West Virginia’s unique role in the Civil War era. There is no membership fee.
On July 18, 2015, the United Daughters of the Confederacy held a rededication ceremony for the Battle of Scary Creek monument, located along the Kanawha River near St. Albans, West Virginia. The monument was relocated to a more accessible location on the opposite side of Scary Creek. Author/historian Terry Lowry, author of The Battle of Scary Creek, was the featured speaker.
A new wayside marker with detailed information on the Battle of Scary Creek has also been installed by the Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail.
On Thursday, August 20, 2015, Dr. Michael Woods will discuss the “Emancipation and Statehood in West Virginia” in the Archives and History Library of the Culture Center in Charleston. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
In the fall and winter of 1862-63, President Abraham Lincoln transformed the Civil War into a revolution by issuing the preliminary and final versions of his Emancipation Proclamation. Professor Michael Woods of Marshall University discusses the origins, development, and effects of the two-part proclamation, paying special attention to West Virginia—then in the process of statehood—in the broader story. Shrouded in myths and half-truths, the Emancipation Proclamation’s true significance and limitations become clearer by considering the relationship of the Mountain State to the politics of slavery and war.
Michael Woods is assistant professor of history at Marshall University. He completed his BA at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and his MA and PhD at the University of South Carolina. His book, Emotional and Sectional Conflict in the Antebellum United States, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. He has also published articles in the Journal of Social History and the Journal of American History. Woods teaches courses on U.S. history, the Civil War era, and the U.S. South.
For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
Last Days of the War Civil War Symposium – Saturday June 6, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
The Davis Center, Potomac State College, Keyser, West Virginia.
As the days of the Southern Confederacy grew numbered, Rebel fighters scattered through the Potomac Highlands kept up their struggle against Union forces guarding the B&O Railroad. The symposium will focus on these often-overlooked military actions.
Welcome – Joe Gratto
Invocation – Pastor Sally Battling
National Anthem – Ellen McDaniel-Weissler
Living Historian – Gary Carter
Introduction of Speaker – Joe Gratto
Talk: Rick Wolfe – “The Kidnapping of Generals” (Crook & Kelley)
Civil War Songs – Ellen McDaniel-Weissler
Introduction of Speaker – Joe Gratto
Talk: Steve French – “Last Gasps of the Highland Rebels”
And more… including period music and local artifacts displays. Free & open to the public.
For more information, contact Steve French: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. at #1 Valley Park Drive, Hurricane WV 25526. The speaker will talk for approximately an hour followed by Q&A and light refreshments. Authors may be selling and signing books, and additional local titles will be available as well. The event will conclude at 9:00 p.m each night.
Monday March 23, 2015: Terry Lowry – “Blueprint for War: The Battle of Scary Creek”
Mr. Lowry is the author of The Battle of Scary Creek and three additional books on the Civil War in West Virginia. A professional musician, he served as the music editor for The Charleston Gazette and as the historian/curator for the Craik-Patton House. Since 2001, Mr. Lowry has been a historian at the West Virginia Archives.
Tuesday March 24, 2015: Wayne Motts – “Fighting the Civil War: Historical Treasures of the Conflict in the Collection of the National Civil War Museum”
Mr. Motts has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park for 27 years. He has worked in historical societies as a curator, artifact collections manager, and executive director. Since 2012, Mr. Motts has been the CEO of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. He will be speaking on artifacts from that collection including Jackson’s gauntlet and Lee’s Bible.
Wednesday March 25, 2015: Steve Cunningham – “Loyalty They Always Had: The 7th West Virginia Cavalry in the U.S. Civil War”
Mr. Cunningham has been researching the 7th West Virginia Cavalry, including four of his ancestors, for more than 20 years. He also maintains a website on the unit and hosts events for their descendants. The owner of 35th Star Publishing, Mr. Cunningham is a past president of the Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable and co-author of Their Deeds Are Their Monuments: West Virginia at Gettysburg.
Thursday March 26, 2015: Greg Carroll – “Freedom or Slavery and the Kanawha Valley during the Civil War”
Mr. Greg Carroll worked as a historian with West Virginia Archives 23 years where he handled research inquiries the Civil War, Native American, and African American research as well as overseeing the West Virginia Union Civil War Medal Program. He serves on the boards of West Virginia Citizen Action Group, the West Virginia Environmental Council, and the West Virginia International Film Festival.
For more information, visit Putnam County Civil War Days…
Since 1996, the Civil War Trust has sponsored Park Day, an annual hands-on preservation event to help Civil War — and now Revolutionary War — battlefields and historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. Activities are chosen by each participating site to meet their own particular needs and can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and trail buildings.
Consider volunteering at one of these West Virginia historic sites on Park Day, March 28, 2015: Shepherdstown Battlefield, Rich Mountain Battlefield, Droop Mountain Battlefield, Harper’s Ferry.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, Robert Thompson will present “Wayne County: Slavery and the Civil War” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Slavery in western Virginia was not as widespread as it was in the Tidewater and Piedmont regions of Virginia; however, it was an economic and political factor in the most western county, Wayne. While the number—143 slaves in the 1860 U.S. Census—was not large, it was a similar amount to that of the surrounding counties of Pike and Lawrence in Kentucky and Cabell and Logan in Virginia. Thompson will share the story of the Pauley family children and their return to slavery in 1850, after they were kidnapped from Ohio and sold to William Ratcliff of Wayne County. Later, Ratcliff, as a delegate of Wayne County, was instrumental in the statehood movement that formed West Virginia.
The second part of Thompson’s presentation will examine the life and career of Milton Jameson Ferguson, a local attorney with a flourishing practice, handling chancery and other property actions. When the Civil War erupted he became a colonel of the Confederate 16th Virginia Cavalry. This unit was formed primarily of men from Wayne County and the surrounding area. Slavery and the county political leaders produced a very complex and volatile situation as Virginia became engulfed in the Civil War and West Virginia was born.
Robert Thompson has researched Wayne County and its history nearly all his life. He is a product of Wayne High School and a 2010 graduate of Marshall University, the alma mater of Milton J. Ferguson. A lifelong Wayne Countian, he currently teaches social science at Wayne High School and is on the Wayne Town Council. He has authored 10 books on the history of Wayne County including Few Among the Mountains: Slavery in Wayne County; Fear No Man: The Life of Colonel Milton Jameson Ferguson; and his latest book, Badges & Bullets: Wayne County, WV Sheriffs 1842-1942.
On June 3, the library will close at 5:00 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only. For additional information, call (304) 558-0230.