Little Known Civil War Battle of Charleston WV

Posted by Paul Helmick

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A small battle in the Civil War happened in Charleston, West Virginia on Sept. 13, 1862. It was a day-long artillery duel and series of firefights that left 43 men dead and 179 wounded, a number of downtown buildings in flames, and most of the town’s 1,500 residents temporarily in flight.  A new book is out that chronicles it in detail.

Civil War historian Terry Lowry’s new book, “The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign,” now is on sale. Lowry is also a historian at the West Virginia State Archives

For every major battle that shaped the course of America’s Civil War, there were scores of smaller, less-defining engagements that produced many of the same incidences of cunning, cowardice, bravery and blundering that could be found on the battlefields of a Gettysburg or an Antietam.

The author Terry Lowry unearthed hundreds of photographs, maps and drawings to illustrate his 479-page, $34.95 book, which includes extensive casualty lists as well as post-war biographical sketches of many of the battle’s key veterans. “The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign” was produced by 35th Star Publishing and is available at area bookstores or by contacting

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