wvcwbook_rickwolfeWest Virginia in the Civil War, a new book by Richard A. Wolfe, has been released by Arcadia Publishing.

West Virginia, “Child of the Storm,” was the only state formed as a result of the Civil War. The struggle between eastern and western Virginia over voting rights, taxation, and economic development can be traced back to the formation of the Republic. John Brown’s 1859 raid on the United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry played a major role in the Civil War, which started in western Virginia with the destruction of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad property. When Virginia voted to secede and join the slave-holding Confederacy, the counties of western Virginia formed the pro-Union government known as the Restored Government of Virginia in Wheeling. West Virginia witnessed battles, engagements, and guerrilla actions during the four years of the Civil War. West Virginia in the Civil War chronicles the role West Virginians played in the Civil War through the use of vintage photographs.

An autographed book is available from the author for $23.00 postpaid.  The book will be mailed in a padded reinforced envelope.  Richard A. Wolfe, 38 Gregory Lane, Bridgeport, WV 26330.  Email: ra_wolfe@msn.com.

ShepherdstownThe Civil War Trust has negotiated to purchase a property on the Shepherdstown Battlefield and has asked for the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association’s (SBPA) help in funding the purchase. The property, with a house, is 1.6 acres and contiguous to the Cement Mill property. The price is $185,000.  If the purchase is completed with SBPA’s help, it will mean that SBPA has helped to save 104 acres of the battlefield. In addition the purchase of this property will mean that 79 acres will be contiguous and contain about 1850 feet of river front property along the Potomac River and measure about 2100 feet south of the river.

The Board of SBPA would like to contribute as much as possible and asks your help in effecting this purchase.  We continue to thank you for your past support and hope that you will continue to support our effort to save the battlefield.

-SBPA Board of Directors

Click here to support the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association

Cement Mill Property Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Through the diligent work of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission and Martin Burke, Chairman, the Cement Mill property has been included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  The effort was aided by Tom Clemens, who helped in obtaining the approval of the Washington County (MD) Historic District Commission (WCHDC). As you may know, thePotomac River is in MD which places the Cement Mill dam in the river and in MD. Consequently, the application for inclusion in the NRHP needed the approval of the WCHDC.

The Mason-Dixon Civil War Round Table of Morgantown, West Virginia, is pleased to announce that its annual Civil War Symposium will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014. The Symposium will be held at the West Virginia University Erickson Alumni Center. Registration begins at 8:30 AM with presentations beginning at 9:10 AM.

The Symposium speakers (with topics) are: Charles Knight (New Market), Dave Phillips (Jesse Scouts), Dr. John Rathgeb (Hospital Development in the Civil War) and Scott Patchan (The Army of West Virginia and the Last Battle of Winchester).

The Symposium registration includes not only these excellent speakers but many Civil War displays and exhibits, book sales by prominent authors, a breakfast buffet and lunch, and a year’s subscription to our monthly newsletter delivered electronically. The registration cost is $30. To register, please send a check to Professor Jack Bowman, 28 Vintner Place, Morgantown, WV 26505. Be sure to include your name, mailing address and email address. Your email address will be used to include you in our newsletter mailings.

Co-sponsored by the West Virginia University Department of History and the Stonewall Jackson Civil War Roundtable of Bridgeport, West Virginia.

More info:  Mason-Dixon Civil War Roundtable

On March 4, 2014, Rick Wolfe will present “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. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

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.

Click here for more info…

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…

In a letter from Flat Top Mountain, [West] Virginia, on July 18, 1862, Sergeant John F. Sherrick of Company E, 34th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, describes the beauty of the area, and of prayer meetings being held in camp.  Enlisting at age 27, Sherrick was later wounded at Fisher’s Hill, Virginia, on September 22, 1864, and died of his wounds at Baltimore on October 1, 1864.  He is buried in the Loudon Park National Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

Transcription:

                                                                                                                          Camp Flattop Tannery
                                                                                                                          Flattop Mountain July 18th, 1862

Dear Friends,

          One & all

Once more I try to drop a line to you & endeavor to let you know of my whereabouts yet I know not what is the reason that I do not receive more letters from you, whether you never receive mine, or I yours.

Since our retreat from Princeton we have remained on Flattop Mountain which is a very healthy & pleasant place & the most romantic scenery of any camp we have ever been in.  To go on the highest point one can see from 30 to 60 miles over a hilly or mountainous country which looks beautiful & to a great extent like some vast meadow or grain field when the wind blows making its surface a succession of waves.  In the distance may be seen looking up like some dark cloud the top of some of the highest points of the blue ridge, nearer the Alleghany range & still nearer & nearly surrounding you smaller mountains, spurs of the Alleghany & numbers of large hills, thus you may form some idea of the scenery.  The best of water & plenty of it flows from the top of this mountain.  The health of the men here is good.  There are very few in the hospital & our surgeons are almost idle.  My health is still good.

We started a prayer meeting about a week ago & the 1st night there was 8 or 10 present & we continued on every night & the meeting has been growing both in numbers & interest & I tell you I found it was good for me to be there.  Now we have a couple hundred present generally.  Some confessing that they do not enjoy religion but did once & desire to start anew.   Others say their “feet had well nigh slipped” but they felt encouraged & strengthened & were determined to persevere on & finally reach their “mansion in that sunlight clime”.  One or two say they have felt a change of heart & that they enjoy themselves in a Saviors love & then what touching incidents are related.  One man left home a professed Christian but since he was in the army he grew cold & indifferent in religion.  He had a wife & 5 children at home & he was not blessed with much of this worlds goods.  His companion took sick & died & his children are left without a home, cast upon the cold charity’s of the world, his wife requested him to meet her in heaven.  It aroused him & now his only stay & support is the Savior & his love & mercy & then the prayers of many a pious mother or loved one is often spoke of & its mellowing influence is felt by more than one. 

Amongst those thus assembled are a number of Germans & our meetings are carried on part in English & part in German & from various denominations yet they all seem to travel the same road & have the same theme to talk about namely the love of God, truly one can say here “How pleasant thus to dwell below in fellowship & love” when he sees them thus mingling together in harmony, but there are other things that detract from the loveliness of the scene, such as being in arms & the constant profanity & vulgarity of many others by which we are surrounded.

Oh that all would turn from the error of their way & seek salvation. Remember us in your prayers that much good may be done in the name of God & we all finally meet in heaven.  Please answer & give my respects to all enquiring friends, I must close.  Remaining yours as ever,

                                                                                                                 John F. Sherrick
                                                                                                                Co. E. 34th Regt. O. V. P.
                                                                                                                Via. Charleston W. Va.

Page 1 of 3

Page 1 of 3

 

Page 2 of 3

 

Page 3 of 3

Page 3 of 3

 

 

 

Civil War TrustYou can help save 924 acres of core battlefield at Cool Springs, Virginia, where 5000 troops of General George Crook’s Army of West Virginia fought against a force of 8000 Confederates on July 18, 1864. (Casualties:  Federal 422, Confederate 397)  Several West Virginia units were involved in this fight including the 1st, 4th, 12th, and 15th West Virginia Infantry regiments.

Currently, there is an opportunity to multiply your gift with a $30.53 to $1.00 match!

Visit Civil War Trust web site at civilwar.org for more details….

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.

November 6, 2013, marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Droop Mountain. Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park Superintendent Michael Smith did a great job in organizing a wonderful ceremony to dedicate a new monument to the soldiers killed or died of wounds during the battle. Speakers included my good friends Terry Lowry, author of Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain, and Richard A. Wolfe, representing the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. I had the honor of reading the names of the fallen soldiers of the West Virginia Mounted Infantry units.

For more information, visit www.droopmountainbattlefield.com.

Charleston Gazette Newspaper coverage of the event: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201311090049

On November 5, 2013, author/historian Terry Lowry will give 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. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In 1903 Sgt. Joseph A. Saunier, Co. F, 47th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a veteran of the battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign of the Civil War, wrote, “It is a curious fact that in all the military histories of the late war there is no mention made of one of the most masterly retreats that occurred during the rebellion, and that was the one that was conducted by Colonel Lightburn in the fall of ’62, from Gauley Bridge, West Va., thence to the Battle of Charleston, thence from Charleston to the Ohio River.” The battle of Charleston, fought September 13, 1862, between the Confederate forces of Gen. William W. Loring and the Federal army command of Col. Joseph A. J. Lightburn has long been neglected by historians.

Lowry’s presentation on the campaign will include 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 will detail the burning and mass evacuation of Charleston and provide 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 will display 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 1861, 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.

On November 5, the library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only. For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the lecture, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.