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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum annual lecture series to begin Aug. 23

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will begin its annual West Virginia Civil War Lecture Series at West Virginia Independence Hall Museum on Thursday, Aug. 23. Noted Civil War author Jeffry D. Wert will present a talk, “Following Old Jack: The Civil War Experience of the Stonewall Brigade.” The Stonewall Brigade, led by Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, included the Shriver Greys—the most famous Confederate unit from Wheeling.

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. The free program is open to the public.

In May 1861, Wheeling businessman Daniel Shriver outfitted 64 men to fight for the Confederate States of America. This unit, the 27th Virginia Infantry, Company G, was made up of representatives of some of the most prominent Wheeling families. The company, which became known as the “Shriver Greys,” was part of a brigade under the command of General Jackson. The brigade distinguished itself at the battle of First Manassas and earned the nickname “Stonewall Brigade.”

Wert is the author of a number of books about the Civil War including “Mosby’s Rangers” (Simon & Schuster, 1990) and “Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer” (Simon & Schuster, 1996). He also wrote “A Brotherhood of Valor” (Simon & Schuster, 1999) for which he was honored by the Austin Civil War Roundtable and the Alan Nolan-Iron Brigade Association. Wert’s most recent book “Gettysburg—Day Three” (Simon & Schuster, 2001) was nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Wert has appeared on television on The History Channel’s “Civil War Journal” and C-Span 2’s “Book Talk” and writes a column for Civil War Times Illustrated. He has degrees in history from Lock Haven University (B.A.) and The Pennsylvania State University (M.A.). He has been a history teacher at Penns Valley Area High School in Spring Mills, Pa., since 1969.

The lecture series will continue at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, with a talk by Frank O’Reilly, a historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park near Fredericksburg, Va. O’Reilly will discuss “Stonewall Jackson’s Last Days.”

West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia.

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of some holidays and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling. It is operated by the Division of Culture and History with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation.

For more information about the Wheeling Civil War Lecture Series, call Gerry Reilly, director of the Museum, at (304) 238-1300.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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