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Sep
24

Incidents of Morgan’s Raid

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Brian Stuart Kesterson

Brian Stuart Kesterson

On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, Brian Stuart Kesterson presented “Incidents of Morgan’s Raid with an Account of Stovepipe Johnson’s Retreat through West Virginia” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.

Kesterson focused on the ill-fated 1863 raid of General John Hunt Morgan and Colonel Adam Rankin “Stovepipe” Johnson’s retreat through West Virginia. Several years ago, he traveled over roads and lanes that Col. Johnson and his 300 retreating Confederate cavalrymen traveled. The remoteness of the retreat route largely factored in the preservation of a substantial part of the route, according to Kesterson. “Some of these roads were little better than wagon paths and they have changed very little since the time of the Civil War. About 90% of Johnson’s original retreat route still exists, which is amazing to think about since he and his men retreated over eight counties in West Virginia and two counties in Virginia.”

A native of Wood County, Brian Kesterson received a bachelor’s degree from Marietta College and his teaching certification and master’s degree in education from Ohio Valley College. He currently is a history teacher at Parkersburg High School. He also is a member of the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, which has provided living history, boot camp programs for the school children of West Virginia and Ohio since 1990, and serves as chief musician/bugler for the general staff of the United States Volunteer Infantry.

Kesterson appeared in the in the movie The Patriot (2000) as a special abilities re-enactor for the Revolutionary War time period and has appeared in documentaries on Civil War and other historical topics. He is the author of The Last Survivor: The Memoirs of George William Watson, A Horse Soldier in the 12th Virginia Cavalry (1993); Campaigning with the 17th Virginia Cavalry Night Hawks at Monocacy (2005); Dear Sir . . . Dear Miss . . .: The Letters of Granville B. Mann, Company A, 30th Battalion Virginia Sharpshooters & Miss Lucinda Maria Virginia (Chandler) Mann (2007); and Incidents of Morgan’s Raid with an Account of Stovepipe Johnson’s Retreat through West Virginia (2013).

Click here to view the lecture on the West Virginia Archives and History Youtube channel…

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Click here to watch the Youtube video…

On May 6, 2014, Dr. Kenneth Bailey presented “Civil War Ceredo, A Northern Experiment” at the Tuesday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Cultural Center in Charleston.

Ceredo was part of New Englander Eli Thayer’s project to end slavery by demonstrating that free labor was more efficient and profitable than slave labor. When the town was established in the late 1850s, it was Thayer’s second effort (after a settlement in Kansas), and he and others had high hopes that it would succeed in eliminating slavery without resort to war. Bailey’s talk focused on Ceredo as seen by Charles B. Webb. Webb was one of the early settlers, a newspaper publisher, and eventually a Civil War soldier who wrote of his experiences before, during, and after his residence in the community.

Kenneth Bailey is a graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology, Marshall University, and The Ohio State University from which he received his PhD. He is author of four books and numerous articles on various aspects of West Virginia history. After serving in a number of faculty and administrative positions, he retired as Dean of the College of Business, Humanities and Sciences at WVU Tech.

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Click here to watch the Youtube video…

On March 4, 2014, Rick Wolfe presented “From the Burning of Chambersburg to the Battle of Moorefield” at the Tuesday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.

In the summer of 1864, General Jubal Early moved his Confederate army down the Shenandoah Valley and east to threaten Washington, DC. His mission was to create confusion and draw Union soldiers and resources away from General Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign to destroy General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Early dispatched two cavalry brigades under the command of General John McCausland to burn Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Afterwards, Union cavalry under the command of William W. Averell pursued the town burners. They caught up with the Confederates in Hardy County, resulting in the Battle of Moorefield.

A native of Morgantown, Richard A. Wolfe spent 26 years in the Marine Corps, retiring as a major in 1998. Since then, he has worked in the information technology field with the Department of Justice and in December 2013 retired from Lockheed Martin. Wolfe has been a long-time student of the American Civil War, especially as it relates to West Virginia. He is associated with the Clarksburg and Morgantown Civil War Roundtables, is president of Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation, and is a volunteer on the Civil War Task Force for West Virginia’s Division of Tourism, which is responsible for West Virginia Civil War Trails. In June 2009, Wolfe was appointed by Governor Manchin to the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. He is the author of a book in the Images of America series titled West Virginia in the Civil War.

 

 

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Feb
13

Parkersburg: Guardian of the Union

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On January 23, 2014, Dr. Michael Workman presented “Parkersburg: Guardian of the Union” at the Thursday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.

Workman discussed the Civil War history of Parkersburg and Little Kanawha region. He also discussed the historiography of statehood in West Virginia.

Michael Workman earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and his masters and Ph.D in history from West Virginia University. A historian for the Institute for the History of Technology & Industrial Archaeology at WVU for a number of years, he has been an assistant professor at West Virginia State University since 2010. Workman has written and published on labor, industrial, and West Virginia history. His latest manuscript is a study of the Civil War as it impacted Parkersburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Click here to view the lecture on the West Virginia State Archives’ Youtube channel…

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On November 5, 2013, author/historian Terry Lowry gave a presentation on the 1862 battle of Charleston and the Kanawha Valley Campaign at the Tuesday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.  His upcoming book on the campaign will be released by 35th Star Publishing in 2014.

Click here to watch the lecture on YouTube

Lowry’s presentation on the campaign included details of the battles of Fayetteville, Cotton Hill, Montgomery’s Ferry, Charleston, and Buffalo, in addition to the Trans-Allegheny Raid of Gen. Albert G. Jenkins. He provided insight into the various personalities involved, such as Col. Samuel A. Gilbert, father of Cass Gilbert, who designed the current West Virginia State Capitol, and Col. Edward Siber, who held off more than 5,000 Confederate soldiers with only two under-strength regiments of infantry, at Fayetteville. To compliment his presentation, Lowry displayed a number of actual artifacts from the battle and campaign from his own personal collection, as well as of the State Archives collections, many never before seen by the public.

A native of South Charleston, Lowry received his BA in History in 1974 from West Virginia State College (now University) and studied Civil War History at Marshall University Graduate School. A professional musician for most of his life, he spent over twenty years as music critic at Charleston Newspapers, Inc., and one year with The Atlanta Journal. He published his first book, The Battle of Scary Creek; Military Operations in the Kanawha Valley, April-July, in 1982. Other books have included September Blood: The Battle of Carnifex Ferry (1985); two volumes of the Virginia Regimental Histories Series, 22nd Virginia Infantry (1988) and 26th (Edgar’s) Battalion Virginia Infantry (1991); and Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain, November 6, 1863 (1996). In 2000 he co-authored with Stan Cohen, Images of the Civil War in West Virginia. Lowry’s most recent book is Bastard Battalion: A History of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in World War II (2009). His new book, The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign, is tentatively scheduled for an early 2014 release. Lowry currently is a historian with West Virginia Archives and History, where he has been employed since 2001.

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Jon Averill has recently released a new documentary film, Averell’s Raiders and the 35th Star. The film features several prominent historians, including Eric J. Wittenberg, Scott C. Patchan, Dr. David Bard, and Howard R. McManus. It will be available on DVD in July 2013. Watch the trailer below, and visit www.averellsraiders.com for more information.

 

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Apr
28

Video: Slavery in Virginia, 1619-1860

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Greg Carroll

Greg Carroll presented the talk “Slavery in Virginia: 1619-1860″ on Thursday, April 11, 2013, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston.

Carroll addressed the development and spread of slavery from Virginia’s early years to the Civil War. He discussed how the slavery system in Virginia differed from the types of slavery practiced in South Carolina, the Caribbean, South America, and even the serfdom techniques used in Russia. Carroll explained the main aspects of slavery in economic and social terms. He also explained the contradictions that the system fostered, especially in Virginia, and how the reliance on a slave economy in the southern states split the U.S. in 1860 and brought about the Civil War.

Carroll is a graduate of Marshall University. He was a staff historian for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Archives and History Section for 23 years until his retirement in October 2012. His primary focus was on Native Americans, African Americans and Civil War history.

View the video here…

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Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey

Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey

On November 13, 2012, Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey presented ‘“Scratch ‘em and Sue ‘em’: Post Civil War Legal Issues” at the Tuesday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.

Civil War legal issues consumed much of West Virginia’s court system for several years following the war. Using a PowerPoint program, Bailey discussed legal cases at the Supreme Court dealing with Reconstruction Era issues of voting, false arrest, belligerent rights, acts of Confederate county officers, the value of Confederate money, etc., from the end of the war until rights were restored to former rebels. Former Confederates were “scratched” from the voting rolls and sued for alleged wrongs on civilians during the war. Pictures of individuals and documents were used to illustrate topics covered.

Dr. Bailey is a graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology (now WVU Tech), Marshall University, and The Ohio State University, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1976. He is retired Dean of the College of Business, Humanities and Sciences and Emeritus Professor of History and Geography at WVU Tech. Bailey is the author of Kanawha County Public Library: A History (2004), Alleged Evil Genius: The Life and Times of Judge James H. Ferguson (2006), Raising the Bar: A History of the West Virginia Bar Association (2007), and Mountaineers are Free: A History of the West Virginia National Guard (1979, revised and expanded 2008).

View the video here….

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WV Civil War MedalsOn October 11, 2012, Greg Carroll presented “Applying for a West Virginia Civil War Medal” at the Thursday evening lecture in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston.

The Civil War medals were authorized by the state legislature in 1866 as “tokens of respect” for Union veterans of West Virginia military units. Many were unclaimed, however, and eventually were turned over to Archives and History, which began a program to distribute remaining medals to descendants who file a properly documented line of descent from the veteran to themselves.

Greg Carroll is a graduate of Marshall University and recently retired as a staff historian at West Virginia Archives and History, where he worked for 23 years. He had been working with the Civil War medal claims for about two decades.

View the video here….

For more on the West Virginia Civil War Medals, click here….

 

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A lecture on a select group of West Virginia’s Civil War sites provided by Bethany Canfield of the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office on March 6, 2012. The lecture was held in the West Virginia Archives and History Library at the Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia.

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