Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, West Virginia!

Hi there, sorry for the long delay since my last post.  I've been busy researching and writing my dissertation.  I should finish it by the end of the year. 

Today, June 20th, 2013, marks the 150th anniversary of the entry of West Virginia into the Union as the 35th state.  Its tortuous creation occurred when elements in the population rejected the secession of Virginia in 1861 and desired to form a new state based around northern principles and a solid rejection of slavery. Many viewed this notion as collaboration with the hated abolitionists, leading to the heavy divisions within the future state.  These feelings persisted for years after the war.  Nonetheless, happy birthday to West Virginia!

A few weeks back, I took a prolonged trip for research, a conference, and some sightseeing.  It took me to Tennessee, Virginia, briefly Kentucky, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.  It was quite productive, but you'll have to read my book in a few years to find out what I found.  On June 2, I came across the re-enactment of the Battle of Philippi in Barbour County.  I swear that I did not know this event was on this day, nor did I plan on showing up just a few minutes before it happened.  Yet, I came prepared.  I used my digital camera to record the re-enactment as it moved from the covered bridge over the Tygart River all the way down Main Street.  I saw Union "troops" drive rebel "troops" from the town, capturing the Confederate flag from the courthouse along the way.  It was a interesting to see it first hand. 

The video is below, thanks to YouTube.  

Battle of Philippi Re-enactment

Until next time, the Mountaineers shall always be free.

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