In 1783, Thomas Jefferson stood in awe of its beauty. Abolitionist John Brown raided the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859, only to be captured by U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. J.E.B. Stuart. In 1861, General Thomas J. Jackson occupied Harpers Ferry, then returned in 1862 as “Stonewall,” bringing about the largest mass surrender of U.S. troops of the Civil War.
Today, the Civil War Trust has the opportunity to save 13 acres at Harpers Ferry. This tract—the site of the historic Allstadt’s Ordinary—played a pivotal role in John Brown’s raid and was at the heart of the battlefield in 1862. Now, thanks to a phenomenal $19.41-to-$1 match, we can protect this crucial piece of American history and preserve it for future generations.
From the author of the prizewinning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic American hero.
Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.
In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked — hope — and struck fear into the hearts of the Union.
Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne’s hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. Rebel Yell traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
S.C. Gwynne, author of Rebel Yell, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National BookCritics Circle Award. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. For more information please visit http://www.scgwynne.com.
Gray Days in Morgantown, by Clyde Cale, Jr.
On April 27, 1863, Confederate raiders under the command of General William “Grumble” Jones came to Morgantown in search of supplies and livestock. The raiders were part of a larger force led by Jones and General John Imboden sent to western Virginia to destroy railroads and industrial facilities.
The story of the raid on Morgantown is told by Clyde Cale, Jr., in a new book, Gray Days in Morgantown, published by the Monongalia Historical Society. Cale’s meticulous research uncovered many little known details of the raid. Among these seldom told stories is the fact that the raiders made a return visit to town after residents thought they had left, and surprised many who believed it was safe to bring their horses and cattle from their hiding places. This is a book that Civil War buffs and local historians will want to own.
The book is $25 by mail, posting and handling included. Checks made payable to Monongalia Historical Society may be sent to Monongalia Historical Society, PO Box 127, Morgantown WV 26507.
For more information, contact Richard E. Walters, at 304-594-2290, or email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
Steve Cunningham, regimental historian of the 7th West Virginia Cavalry, will be presenting a lecture entitled “Loyalty They Always Had: The 7th West Virginia in the U.S. Civil War” for the West Virginia State Archives Lecture Series.
The event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the Archives Library at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia, at 6pm on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
Raised and organized in the Kanawha Valley in 1861, the 7th West Virginia Cavalry (previously the 8th Virginia Infantry and 8th West Virginia Mounted Infantry) served during the U.S. Civil War in numerous battles, campaigns, and raids including the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, Cross Keys, 2nd Bull Run, White Sulphur Springs, Droop Mountain, the Salem Raid, Cloyds Mountain, and the Lynchburg Campaign. At war’s end, they facilitated the paroling of more than 5,000 returning Confederate soldiers to the Kanawha Valley region. Cunningham will share from his research for his upcoming book on the unit, entitled Loyalty They Always Had: The 7th West Virginia Cavalry in the U.S. Civil War.
Steve Cunningham has been conducting research on the 7th West Virginia Cavalry for about 20 years, maintains an active Web site about the 7th, and has hosted several events for descendants of the unit. He is a past president of Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable, where he was involved in the organization of the centennial rededication of the West Virginia monuments at Gettysburg, and co-authored the book,Their Deeds Are Their Monuments: West Virginia at Gettysburg. He also is the author or co-author of several articles on the Civil War, including “The 1st West Virginia Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign” for the scholarly journal Civil War Regiments. He was a contributor to the West Virginia Encyclopedia and has contributed research to several other authors’ books.
Cunningham created and maintains the Web site West Virginia in the Civil War, which receives 75,000 visitors each year, and is president and owner of 35th Star Publishing, which specializes in non-fiction titles on West Virginia history and culture. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Tech, and a master’s of business administration from the Marshall University Graduate College. He resides in Charleston and is employed by Charleston Area Medical Center.
For more information on this event, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163.
On Sunday afternoon, June 15th, there will be a marker dedication at 2pm at Quaker Memorial Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, honoring the fallen West Virginia soldiers buried there in unmarked graves. The event is sponsored by the Taylor-Wilson Camp #10 of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. The public is invited to attend. Listed below are the West Virginia soldiers lost during the Lynchburg Campaign.
Many other events and activities are scheduled during the week of June 13-21, 2014. For more information on the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial, contact Kevin Shroyer, chairman of the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Committee.
For more information on the Lynchburg Campaign, visit huntersraid.org.
Union soldiers from West Virginia who were casualties of Gen. David Hunter’s Lynchburg Campaign, June 10-20, 1864
1st West Virginia Light Artillery, Battery B
1. Pvt. John Boyce
2. Pvt. William Rust
1st West Virginia Light Artillery, Battery D
3. Pvt. John G. Beardsley
4. Pvt. John W. Durbin
5. Pvt. James O. Mills
1st West Virginia Cavalry
6. Pvt. Alexander Hoback, Wagoner
2nd West Virginia Cavalry
7. Pvt. James Woodrum, Co. H
3rd West Virginia Cavalry
8. Corp. William Wentz, Co. M
7th West Virginia Cavalry
9. Pvt. Valentine Alexander, Co. G
10. Sgt. Patterson Ballard, Co. B
11. Pvt. William A. Green, Co. I
12. Sgt. Abner Monk, Co. B
1st West Virginia Infantry
13. 2nd Lieut. Joseph B. Gordon, Co. C
14. Pvt. Robert J. Simpson, Co. I
5th West Virginia Infantry
15. Pvt. John Fausnott, Co. D
16. Pvt. Daniel Forbus, Co. B
17. Pvt. Solomon Harrison, Co. D
18. Pvt. James M. Johnson, Co. H
19. Pvt. John Kelley, Co. K
20. Pvt. James H Parker, Co. I
21. 2nd Lieut. David J. Thomas, Co. A
22. Sgt. Colman B.B. Waller, Co. K
9th West Virginia Infantry
23. Pvt. Henry S. Smith, Co. D
11th West Virginia Infantry
24. 1st Lieut. James Barr, Co. D
25. Pvt. Henderson Burdett, Co. G
26. Pvt. Thomas McPherson, Co. K
27. Pvt. James L. Mathews, Co. I
28. Pvt. Francis Proudfoot, Co. C
29. Pvt. Jasper Rand, Co. B
30. Pvt. Morgan Rexroad, Co. C
31. Pvt. John W. Sigler, Co. C
32. Pvt. Francis M. Smith, Co. C
12th West Virginia Infantry
33. Pvt. James M. Stewart, Co. F
34. Pvt. James White, Co. K
14th West Virginia Infantry
35. Pvt. John S. Prince, Co. D
15th West Virginia Infantry
36. Pvt. Phillip Coonts, Phillip, Co. F
37. Pvt. Daniel Daugherty, Co. C
38. Pvt. Daniel Dulaney, Co. C
39. Sgt. Thomas Fowler, Co. A
40. Corp. Joseph W. Hitt, Co. B
41. Pvt. John S. Kayser, Co. D
42. Pvt. William King, Co. K
43. Pvt. Robert Lemmon, Co. C
44. Pvt. George Runner, Co. E
45. Pvt. John Watkins, Co. C
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 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
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.