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Civil War symposium to cover W.Va.'s birth

March 20, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Civil War buffs will gather in Morgantown next month to discuss West Virginia's birth and other issues surrounding the deadliest war in the nation's history.

The third annual Civil War Symposium sponsored by the Mason-Dixon Civil War Round Table of Morgantown will be Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Evergreen Room of the Morgantown Ramada Inn.

Stuart McGehee, chairman of the Department of History at West Virginia State University, will give the keynote speech at 1:15 p.m. His talk - "The Strange Career of the 35th Star: West Virginia Statehood Reconsidered" - will be open to the public free of charge.

Other speakers will be Lt. Col. Peter Taylor, distinguished military historian and graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College, will discuss Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, with emphasis on actions near Franklin and Romney, W.Va.

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Jack Bowman, former Round Table president, will recount how one 65-man guerrilla unit surprised a federal army of 8,000 soldiers in one of the most daring exploits of the war.

W. Hunter Lesser, author of "Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided," will speak on the early battles in northwestern Virginia.

Additionally, the Michael Foley family of Civil War re-enactors will discuss Civil War attire at home and on the front lines, and there will be a demonstration of Civil War drill, rifle firing and cannon firing.

The cost of the symposium is $40 if paid by April 1 and $50 afterward. For students and members of co-sponsoring organizations (the WVU Department of History, Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation and the Stonewall Jackson Civil War Round Table of Bridgeport), the cost is $25 if paid by April 1 and $35 afterward.

To register in advance, contact Dady B. Dadyburjor at 645 Sylvan Place, Morgantown, WV 26505 or call 1-304-598-3109. Registration at the door will begin at 8:30 a.m. April 16.

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