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New book features remembrances of state Civil War veteran

(photo below)

The Civil War stories of Marion County native and Union veteran Jesse Tyler Sturm are now available in a new book. Published by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, From a “whirlpool of death . . . to victory”: Civil War Remembrances of Jesse Tyler Sturm, 14th West Virginia Infantry, is the first book produced by the state’s West Virginia History journal.

Born in 1844, Sturm was living in Harrison County when the Civil War began in 1861. After serving a year with a local militia company, Sturm enlisted in Company H of the 14th West Virginia Infantry in 1862. He spent much of the next two years guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad before participating in his first important action at Cloyds Mountain in southwestern Virginia on May 9, 1864. Over the next six months, the regiment fought at several places in the Shenandoah Valley, including Carter’s Farm, Fisher’s Hill, Winchester (Opequon) and Cedar Creek. Sturm saw his last action during a March 1865 skirmish near Patterson’s Creek in West Virginia.

More than 40 years later, Sturm, by then a longtime resident of Kansas, wrote several series of articles about his wartime service. The longest series, which focuses primarily on events of 1864, was brought to the attention of the Division’s West Virginia State Archives by Sturm’s descendants, who own the original typed manuscript. A published version was located in a Kansas newspaper, and variations between it and the manuscript have been identified in this new book. In searching for the published version, Division staff discovered other Civil War stories Sturm wrote and have included most of those articles in the book. Sturm’s reminiscences are supplemented by an introduction, annotations, illustrations and an index.

The 175-page, softbound book is available for the retail price of $12.95 and may be purchased at the Archives and History Library in the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Books may be ordered by mail for $15 per copy, which includes postage and handling. For more information, call (304) 558-0230.

West Virginia History, the state’s journal of history, biography, genealogy and bibliography, is published by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Issued annually, it features articles, documents, book reviews, and notes on the economic, political, social and cultural history of West Virginia and the Appalachian region.

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 web site at for more information. The Division is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Book cover