New Book Cites Past Heroes

When visitors to West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling view the permanent exhibition of Civil War battle flags, they learn that regimental flags are regarded as sacred relics of wartime bravery and sacrifice for a hard-fought cause.

In that vein, Weirton attorney and historian Michael Nogay has alerted me to the publication a new book that cites soldiers from Hancock, Ohio and Marshall counties as heroes in the siege of Fort Gregg, near Petersburg, Va., in the waning days of the Civil War.

The book, issued by Angle Valley Press, is “The Confederate Alamo: Bloodbath at Petersburg’s Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865,” written by John J. Fox III.

Fox writes that after the 12th West Virginia Infantry’s color-bearer – Sgt. Emanuel Adams from Ohio County – was killed outside the fort, two Marshall County soldiers – in separate attempts – retrieved the regimental flag, but they, too, were slain by Confederate forces. According to Fox’s account, Pvt. Joseph Logsden of Marshall County and Lt. Joseph Caldwell, a Moundsville area farmer, picked up the flag, but were killed as they attempted to advance.

The flag then went down again inside the fort, where 2nd Lt. Josiah Curtis of Ohio County, Cpl. Andrew Apple of New Manchester and Pvt. Joseph McCauslin of West Liberty seized it from the Confederates and held it until the battle turned in the Union’s favor.

Caldwell, Curtis and McCauslin were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor that day. Historans note that the Union Army’s capture of Fort Gregg and Petersburg led to the fall of Richmond and the end of the war.

Author Fox was scheduled to speak at the 10th annual West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston Saturday, Oct. 16.

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Meanwhile, a West Virginia author with a Northern Panhandle connection was scheduled to participate in a book signing Saturday, Oct. 16, during the West Virginia Black Walnut Festival in Spencer.

Event organizers said that author Kelly Kinsolving, who wrote a children’s book, “The Left-Handed Backward Book,” was born in Charleston, but spent most of her elementary years in Middlebourne. She received a degree in speech and language pathology from Marshall University and a degree in elementary education from West Virginia State College.

Kinsolving, who has been involved in education for 25 years, works as a substitute teacher in Kanawha County. She lives and writes in Alum Creek with her husband, Athel, and two children, Lacy and Caleb. Her book is said to be written for young children who are left-handed.

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Singer and Wheeling native Mollie O’Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, are slated to perform in Mountain Stage’s live show at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston at 7 p.m, today, Oct. 17.

But if you don’t have time to travel to Charleston today, you will be able to hear the duo’s performance on radio in a couple of months. Officials said that this episode of Mountain Stage will feed to stations, including West Virginia Public Radio, in December.

Describing O’Brien and Moore, Mountain Stage officials stated, “Their repertoire – and the songs on their debut ‘Saints and Sinners’ – spans the range of American music from ragtime, jazzy blues and gospel to Dixieland, tango and saloon cabaret.” They went on to call O’Brien “one of acoustic music’s premier vocalists.”

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: