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American Civil War history comes alive in West Virginia, the only state to be born from the tragic conflict.


Virginia’s western counties had little in common at the outset of the war with the more populated and politically powerful section of the eastern part of the state.


Political leaders from the west wanted to distance themselves from Virginia’s decision to leave the Union. The unrest was so great that the western counties seceded from the rest of the state. West Virginia became the 35th state on June 20, 1863.


Calhoun County, formed in 1856, just before the Civil War, probably felt more stress than most because of division of loyalty. An example would be on Russett Road, where the Johnson and Huffman families were staunch supporters of the Confederacy, while a few miles away, the Barr family supported the Union.


The skirmishes in Calhoun are not recorded in public documents of the time period, but they are a part of its history.


We have been fortunate in the past few years to be able to listen, ask questions, and observe life at that time.


Members of the 19th Regiment, Co. A, Moccasin Rangers, have been to our schools, festivals and history reenactments to help educate all of us.


When asked about their meals, the youngsters found out that their diet was not made up of K-rations, but such bits of protein as bugs, rodents, and other disgusting items. One little girl felt fortunate because she had a house and didn’t have to live in a dinky tent and sleep on a hard cot with just a blanket.


It was also emphasized that the group is teaching “Heritage, not hate.” Several of the activities combine the Grey and the Blue.


 The 19th Regiment will participate in five county events this year: Apr. 17-18, School of the Soldier, Calhoun County Park, training for new recruits; May 14-16, Battle of Camp McDonald, Arnoldsburg, re-enactment; June 3-5, Wood Festival, Grantsville, encampment; Sept. 10-12, Calhoun Days Festival, Calhoun County Park, living history; and Sept. 24-25, Molasses Festival, Arnoldsburg, encampment.


For information about participation in the activities or training, call Dennis Carder, 991-0205, or Terry Whited, 480-1193.


This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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