Apr
13

Robert E. Lee’s Feuding Generals: Wise vs. Floyd, with Hunter Lesser, April 17th

Hunter Lesser, the premier expert on the 1861 Western Virginia Campaign, will present “Robert E. Lee’s Feuding Generals: Wise v. Floyd” at the April meeting of the Kanawha Valley Civil War Roundtable.  The program will be Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dunbar Public Library.  It is free and open to the public.

In the initial months of the Civil War in 1861, two former Virginia governors were named generals in the Confederate army and led Confederate troops in western Virginia–Gen. Henry Wise and Gen. John B. Floyd.  Despite pressures from Robert E. Lee in Richmond and the approach of Union troops, their old political rivalry would lead to Confederate losses in western Virginia.

“This is a riotous tale of two former Virginia governors and old political rivals who upend Confederate efforts to reclaim the western counties for the Confederacy,” said Lesser.  “General Wise and General Floyd squabble like school boys–even after they learned that Union troops are on the march to destroy them.  Robert E. Lee was no match for their antics.  It led to the loss of western Virginia and created a scandal that stretched all the way to Richmond.”

Hunter Lesser is the author of Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Lines of a Nation Divided, a comprehensive history of the 1861 Western Virginia Campaign, and The Battle at Corricks Ford.  He is also the author of the guidebook The First Campaign: A Guide to the Civil War in the Mountains of West Virginia, 1861 which features three driving tours.  He is the co-author of the soon to be released Cambridge History of the American Civil War, which is being published by Cambridge University Press.  For more than 20 years, he has worked with the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and other historic preservation organizations to preserve battlefields and other historic sites from the 1861 campaign.

For more information, call 304-389-8587.

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