West Virginia Book Company

Books

New / Best Sellers / Most Recommended

Worthy of a Higher Rank: The 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign Journal of Colonel Joseph Thoburn
by Scott C. Patchan

Based primarily on his 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign journal, this biographical work on Colonel Joseph Thoburn, Commander, 1st Infantry Division, Army of West Virginia, provides significant insight on this period of the Civil War, as well as background on an important field commander of the Union Army who was a physician from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Disorder on the Border: Civil Warfare in Cabell and Wayne Counties, West Virginia, 1856-1870
by Joe Geiger, Jr.

In the last half of the 1850s, the Virginia counties of Cabell and Wayne became immersed in the national debate over slavery. Located only a stone’s throw away from the free state of Ohio, some western Virginians practiced and defended slavery, and the contentiousness between supporters and those who opposed the institution increased dramatically as the nation moved closer to civil war. When the conflict erupted in 1861, disorder was the order of the day.

Although the overwhelming majority of voters in Cabell and Wayne counties opposed the Ordinance of Secession, the most prominent and influential citizens in the area favored leaving the Union. When the state seceded, some who had opposed this step now cast their loyalty with Virginia rather than the Union. During and after the Civil War, dozens of skirmishes, raids, and armed encounters occurred in this border area, and the lengthy struggle only ended with the statewide Democratic victory in the 1870 election.

Federal supporters in Cabell and Wayne counties lived through years of terror. Their efforts to save the Union and create the new state of West Virginia, and their willingness to die on behalf of the country ensured its survival from the greatest conflict in the history of the United States.

Sacrifice All For The Union: The story of Captain John Valley Young personifies the body of rugged Union Army volunteers from West Virginia during the Civil War: highly resilient, stubbornly independent, and fiercely patriotic. Using Captain Young’s wartime letters to his wife, Paulina Franklin Young, and his daughters, Sarah and Emily Young, along with his diary and numerous other original soldier accounts, this book reveals the experiences of a Union soldier and his family who were truly willing to “Sacrifice All for the Union.” 

Seceding from Secession: “West Virginia was the child of the storm,” concluded early Mountaineer historian and Civil War veteran, Maj. Theodore F. Lang. The northwestern third of the Commonwealth of Virginia finally broke away in 1863 to form the Union’s 35th state. In Seceding from Secession: The Civil War, Politics, and the Creation of West Virginia, authors Eric J. Wittenberg, Edmund A. Sargus, and Penny L. Barrick chronicle those events in an unprecedented study of the social, legal, military, and political factors that converged to bring about the birth of the West Virginia.

Battle of Hurricane BridgeThe Battle of Hurricane Bridge, March 28, 1863
by Philip Hatfield, PhD

The Battle at Hurricane Bridge is an often overlooked Civil War action occurring at the small and otherwise quiet western Virginia village. For five hours behind the limited protection of an unfinished earthen fort, the green Union troops of the 13th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry under the command of Captain James Johnson, fought to hold off the hardened Confederate veterans of the 8th and 16th Virginia Cavalry commanded by Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins.

Ultimately, the March 28, 1863, battle at Hurricane Bridge directly contributed to the Union army maintaining control of the James River & Kanawha Turnpike, a key supply line, and enabled Federal control of the Kanawha Valley for the remainder of the war.

 


Rebels at the Gate
Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided
by W. Hunter Lesser

 

 

My Reminiscences of the Civil War
My Reminiscences of the Civil War with the Stonewall Brigade and the Immortal 600
by Captain Alfred Mallory Edgar, 27th Virginia Infantry CSA

 

 


The Battle of Lewisburg
by Richard L. Armstrong

 

 

 

General Topics

Battles / Campaigns

The First Campaign: A Guide to Civil War in the Mountains of West Virginia, 1861, Three One-Day Driving Tours, by W. Hunter Lesser

The Battle of White Sulphur Springs, by Eric J. Wittenberg

September Blood: The Battle of Carnifex Ferry, by Terry Lowry

Campaign in Western Virginia, by George B. McClellan

Holding the Line: The Battle of Allegheny Mountain, by Joe Geiger

The Jones-Imboden Raid, by Darrell L. Collins

General William Averell’s Salem Raid, by Darrell L. Collins

The Coal River Valley in the Civil War, by Michael B. Graham

Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain, by Terry Lowry

The Battle of Scary Creek, by Terry Lowry

 

 

 

Unit Histories

History of the 5th West Virginia Cavalry, by Frank S. Reader

History of the 12th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, by William Hewitt,
Includes: The Story of Andersonville and Florence by James N. Miller

Phantoms of the South Fork: Captain McNeill and His Rangers, by Steve French

Headquarters in the Brush: Blazer’s Independent Union Scouts, by Darl L. Stephenson

 

Biographies

Online Reading

A House Divided: Statehood Politics and the Copperhead Movement in West Virginia by Richard Orr Curry
University of Pittsburgh Press – Digital Editions

The Tarnished Thirty-fifth Star by C. Stuart McGehee
Virginia at War, 1861; edited by William C. Davis and James I. Robertson, Jr.
Virginia Center for Civil War Studies

Loyal West Virginia from 1861-1865 by Theodore F. Lang
The Deutsch Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1895.

New Book Announcements and Reviews

Book Review of the 12th West Virginia Infantry Regimental

In the October 2011 issue The Civil War News, Author/historian John Michael Priest reviews the modern reprint of the History of the 12th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry by William Hewitt. Click here to read the review.... The book can purchased at The West Virginia...

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Pocahontas Times Review of Captain Edgar Reminiscences

The Pocahontas Times has published a review of My Reminiscences of the Civil War with the Stonewall Brigade and the Immortal 600.  These memoirs were written by Captain Alfred Mallory Edgar of the Confederate 27th Virginia Infantry.  Edgar was a native of Greenbrier...

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New book on the Battle of White Sulphur Springs

The History Press has released a new title, The Battle of White Sulphur Springs: Averell Fails to Secure West Virginia, by Eric J. Wittenberg. In August 1863, Union general William Woods Averell led a 600-mile raid culminating in the Battle of White Sulphur Springs in...

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New West Virginia Civil War Book by Historian Mark Snell

West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free by Dr. Mark A. Snell The only state born as a result of the Civil War, West Virginia was the most divided state in the nation. About forty thousand of its residents served in the combatant forces—about...

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September Blood: The Battle of Carnifex Ferry

This is the definitive work on a battle where both sides claimed victory, but in reality neither side won. It is the story of the disorganization of the Confederate forces and the dogged persistence of the Union army.  Filled with personal reflections by soldiers,...

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Reprint of 12th West Virginia Infantry regimental

History of the 12th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry by William Hewitt Includes: The Story of Andersonville and Florence by James N. Miller Contents: The regimental history of the unit originally published in 1892 The Story of Andersonville and Florence by prisoner of...

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The First Campaign Driving Tour

New driving tour book by Hunter Lesser available at the West Virginia Book Company. A Guide to Civil War in the Mountains of West Virginia, 1861. Three One-Day Driving Tours, by Hunter Lesser West Virginia was the setting for the First Campaign of America’s Civil War....

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The Moccasin Rangers

Civilian War in West Virginia, 1861-1863, by George A. Hall. This is an evening program held in the West Virginia Archives and History Library on May 12, 2011. George A. Hall provided a lecture on the Moccasin Rangers, a Confederate guerilla unit that operated in...

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Soldier of the Union by Ken Hechler

At the July 14, 2011, Thursday night West Virginia Archives and History genealogy program in the West Virginia State Archives library in Charleston, Ken Hechler, author, his­torian, and political figure, made a presentation on his new book Soldier of the Union, which...

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