by Terry Lowry and Stan Cohen
This amazing book has over 475 photographs, images, and drawings - all made during the Civil War or very soon thereafter, and all related to West Virginia. This is the largest collection of images ever put together on West Virginia during the war. In addition to photos, it includes broadsides, veteran reunions, and miscellaneous paper items. Many of these pictures are from private collections and have never before been published. Also includes a short chronology of battles and events, giving a reference for the images. The book is printed on high quality glossy paper. A must for all Civil War buffs.
A CIVIL MATTER BOOK MAKES DEBUT AT CRAIK-PATTON HOUSE WEEKEND EVENT THAT PAINTS MANY A PICTURE OF THE CIVIL WAR IN WEST VIRGINIA
Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Byline: MARINA HENDRICKS
TERRY Lowry was but a junior high school student when West Virginia and the Civil War marked their respective centennials back in the 1960s.
Around the same time, the magazine Civil War Times Illustrated debuted. "I saw a copy of that floating around the school, and I was intrigued," Lowry recalled.
The more he learned about the colorful uniforms, larger-than-life personalities and the Mountain State's role in the Civil War, the more he wanted to know.
"Almost every American has an [ancestor] who fought in the Civil War. So there's that personal connection. And then the fact that the Civil War took place all over, in some places we haven't even thought of," he said.
To feed that thirst for knowledge, Lowry earned a bachelor's degree in history from West Virginia State College, pursued graduate studies in Civil War history at Marshall University, toured battlefields and built a collection of Civil War memorabilia. He also authored several books, including the 1996 release "Last Sleep: The Battle of Droop Mountain November 6, 1863."
Lowry teamed with Charleston native Stan Cohen on his most recent project, the newly released "Images of the Civil War in West Virginia." The book will make its debut as part of the second annual Col. George S. Patton Memorial Civil War Weekend, held Friday and Saturday at Craik-Patton House in Daniel Boone Park on U.S. 60.
Cohen, who operates Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., has authored or co-authored 68 books and published more than 250. Together, Lowry and Cohen set out to showcase photographs, sketches, illustrations and paintings that depicted the role West Virginia and its citizens played in the war. "That was the idea, to track down everything we could," Lowry said.
The co-authors faced a number of challenges in the five years that Lowry estimated it took to put together the book, which sells for $19.95 at all West Virginia bookstores.
During the Civil War, for example, the state's rugged, mountainous terrain made it hard for photographers to lug around the heavy equipment they then needed to practice their craft. So other than portraits, Lowry and Cohen were able to find few photographic records of that time period in West Virginia. And time itself hindered the duo's efforts, as more than a few of their discoveries were in poor physical condition.
Despite the difficulties, Lowry and Cohen unearthed some real gems, including a soldier's rough sketch of the Battle of Charleston and a photograph of several members of the 34th Ohio Regiment in their distinctive (and flamboyant by soldier standards) Zouave garb.
"It's the only known photograph we've seen of them in the particular uniform they wore," Lowry said. "Later on, they switched to regular uniforms."
The co-authors also were able to correct a mistake on a series of photographs from the state archives.
The photographs, which depict the Gauley Bridge area, originally were thought to have been taken after the war. Lowry and Cohen determined by their subject matter, however, that they did indeed date back to the war itself.
By the time they completed the book, they believed they had assembled as complete a visual history of the Civil War era in West Virginia as possible.
"It's getting thinner and thinner," Lowry said of the source network. "But even after this came out two weeks ago, some things have surfaced.
"We've already thought about [an updated version]. If it does real well, in the second printing we'll add anything new that comes in."