The Seventh West Virginia Infantry: An Embattled Union Regiment from the Civil War's Most Divided State

By Keating, Ryan W. | The Journal of Southern History, May 2020 | Go to article overview

The Seventh West Virginia Infantry: An Embattled Union Regiment from the Civil War's Most Divided State


Keating, Ryan W., The Journal of Southern History


The Seventh West Virginia Infantry: An Embattled Union Regiment from the Civil War's Most Divided State. By David W. Mellott and Mark A. Snell. (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2019. Pp. xx, 354. $34.95, ISBN 978-0-7006-2753-0.)

Writing regimental histories presents challenging tasks for historians, especially as the field of Civil War history has grown and expanded to encompass a vibrant array of voices showcasing the interconnected nature of war and society. Traditional regimental histories that focus on the logistics of movement and battle often appear out of place in a field that values critical analysis of the collision of social and military history. However, as David W. Mellott and Mark A. Snell show in The Seventh West Virginia Infantry: An Embattled Union Regiment from the Civil War's Most Divided State, the regimental history is far from dead.

As the preface notes. The Seventh West Virginia Infantry follows in the footsteps of recent and important studies by Dennis W. Brandt and Lesley J. Gordon, which illustrate how historians might craft accounts that expand the military history of the war by illuminating the social, political, and economic impact that the war had on the men who served and their families. Mellott and Snell's book is successful--to a degree--at demonstrating connections between regiment and state, and soldier, home front, and battle. At the same time, this study illustrates just how challenging this task can be.

West Virginia and her citizens provide an important case study for scholars of the Civil War because of the nuances of patriotism and loyalty on display in that state. The western counties of Virginia harbored long-standing grievances with the eastern portion of the state, stemming both from the stark contrast in slave ownership in those two sections and from "issues concerning universal male suffrage, taxation, political apportionment, and internal improvements" (p. 2). These issues, and the close social and economic ties between western Virginia and Ohio and Pennsylvania, set the backdrop for the state's divisions during the secession crisis of 1860 and 1861. But, as Mellott and Snell show, the political debates that led to the secession of the western counties of Virginia had a profound impact on the men who ultimately served in the Seventh West Virginia Infantry. The authors masterfully weave together the political and social issues that played out on the home front during the war with the intimate experiences of the men who fought and died in the Seventh West Virginia.

The Seventh West Virginia formed in the summer and fall of 1861 in response to the secession crisis. While the unit was composed of men whose backgrounds reflected regional and ethnic diversity, the authors note, they were drawn together "by virtue of their proximity, shared Appalachian culture, and political beliefs" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Seventh West Virginia Infantry: An Embattled Union Regiment from the Civil War's Most Divided State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.