The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

July 9, 2013

‘Stonewall’ to visit Wildwood

To find an example of the divisiveness caused by the Civil War, you have to look no further than Virginia. Not only was the state cut in two by the war, with West Virginia’s birth being the result, but one of its most respected military men had to choose sides as well.

Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was a West Point graduate who remained loyal to Virginia, and went on to become one of the most celebrated officers of the Confederacy.  

“Stonewall” Jackson will be portrayed by Tunnelton resident Doug Riley July 21 at Wildwood at 3:30 p.m. Jackson’s appearance is made possible through the History Alive! program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Tours of the museum will be available prior to the History Alive! Program, from 2 to 3 p.m., at a cost of $3 per person, with children 3 and under free.

Gen. Jackson’s presentation is free to the public and will take place in the backyard of the museum. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Pemberton Coal Camp Church, located at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine complex.

Born in Clarksburg, Jackson was an orphan who became one of the most revered names in military history. He is regarded by experts as a tactical genius and a relentless battlefield commander of unsurpassed ability. The men of the “Stonewall Brigade” were fiercely loyal to their leader. Gen. Jackson was a devoutly religious man whose death by friendly fire was a crushing blow to Confederate hopes for ultimate victory.

The Wildwood Advisory Council is coordinating the event as part of the celebration of West Virginia’s 150th birthday.

Jackson is one of the many available character presentations offered through the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program as a means of exploring history by interacting with noteworthy historical figures. These programs provide audiences with the opportunity to question those who have shaped our history.

This program is available to interested nonprofit groups such as libraries, museums, and historical societies. For more information call the West Virginia Humanities Council at 346-8500 or visit the website

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