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The Devastating Hand of War  
Romney, West Virginia During the Civil War
By:  Richard Sauers


Hard Cover, 115 pages. Large collection of period photographs of local Romney residences who participated in the war. Maps and Illustrations.


I regret to say that the occupation of Hampshire by the enemy is exercising a demoralizing influence upon our people, who are gradually yielding to outward pressure and taking the oath of allegiance to the United States. There are noble spirits in and about Romney who have given up their earthly all, and are now for our cause and institutions exiles from their homes. I have endeavored to cheer them, and to deter those who remained behind from taking the oath of allegiance to the enemy by holding out to them the prospect of a speedy deliverance, but this, I fear, will prove a delusion, unless the asked-for forces or their equivalent come soon.

- General “Stonewall” Jackson


    The small town of Romney, Virginia, occupied a strategic location in the West Branch Valley of the Potomac River. From 1861 to 1865, Romney was the center of activity for military operations initiated by Union and Confederate forces.

    This book, for the first time, examines in detail the town’s role during the Civil War. The site of numerous skirmishes and engagements, Romney was equally important to both sides throughout the war. The town was prominent not only to the Union commanders, charged with protecting the vital Baltimore & Ohio Railroad but to the Confederacy as well, to hold, while conducting raids against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

    Sauers uses a number of letters and diaries, newspapers, and official records to bring to life the trials and tribulations of the soldiers who served in and around the area. He examines the military operations and their impact on the economy, architecture, and civilians of Romney, and how the town coped with numerous occupations and incursions. Two appendices summarize the area’s military activity and list the units and generals who moved through the town during the four years of the war. This book fills a gap in the literature of the Civil War in the eastern theater

The Author

    Dr. Richard A. Sauers, a native of Lewisburg, PA, received his B.A. in history from Susquehanna University, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from The Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of more than a dozen Civil War books, including The Gettysburg Campaign bibliography (1982), A Caspian Sea of Ink: The Meade-Sickles Controversy (1989), the two-volume Advance the Colors! Pennsylvania Civil War Battleflags (1987-1991), and A Succession of Honorable Victories: The Burnside Expedition in North Carolina (1996). Dr. Sauers has written articles and book reviews which have appeared in a number of Civil War publications.


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