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ISBN-13: 979-8988902003
Pages: 318
Trim: 8.5×11
Format: Paperback

A History of Putnam County, West Virginia, in the Civil War

Philip Hatfield PhD

Formed in 1848 from Cabell, Mason and Kanawha Counties, Putnam County, Virginia, was part of the Old Dominion until June 20, 1863, when West Virginia was admitted into the Union as the thirty-fifth state.

Citizens of Putnam County were intensely divided during the Civil War; it is estimated that 52% of the white male population served in the Confederacy and 48% in the Union Army. Accessible transportation routes on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike (modern U.S. Route 60) and the Midland Trail (modern State Route 34), as well as the Kanawha River, made it easy for military and partisan guerrilla forces to traverse the countryside. This subjected residents to frequent raids, harassment, theft, and even murder. Four battles occurred in Putnam County during the war, at Atkeson’s Gate, Hurricane Bridge, Scary Creek, and Winfield, along with numerous smaller skirmishes and raids.

This otherwise peaceful, agrarian county of western Virginia epitomized the embittered fratricidal struggle America faced during the Civil War. Many former neighbors, friends, and families found themselves mortal enemies in 1861.


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About the Author

Philip Hatfield, Ph.D., is a member of the Company of Military Historians, and holds a doctorate in psychology from Fielding University; a master’s degree in psychology from Marshall University; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and history from the University of Charleston. Dr. Hatfield is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the author of seven books and numerous scholarly articles related to the Civil War.


“In writing A History of Putnam County, West Virginia in the Civil War, Philip Hatfield has produced an engaging and accessible local study demonstrating how the Civil War impacted a border county in its crosshairs. The author is adept at ferreting out greater detail on events otherwise glossed over or entirely overlooked in broader battle or campaign studies. And as with any good local historian, Hatfield ties the story of Putnam County into the larger narrative of the Civil War in West Virginia and beyond.” – Emerging Civil War

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“Philip Hatfield’s comprehensive examination of Civil War events in Putnam County, WV and the people involved in them, both military and civilian, is a worthy addition to an already impressive modern library of Civil War West Virginia county histories. Recommended.” – Civil War Books and Authors Blog

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