- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted August 16, 2005
There is little that I can add to the previous review for the book, By The Banks of The Holly, written by Marie Mollohan. This book provides an informative history of the families who settled Webster County & Central WV. Many stories we have always heard about the area are explained in detail here with the use of letters & journal entires from eyewitnesses to those events. The detailed history of what really happen in some of those situations is the best that I have ever read. Just an enjoyable & excellent book to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2005
I've read this 600 plus page book twice and wanted to go back inside the book to live with those people in the 19th century. What enjoyable reading of history during a war torn era in the hills of western Virginia.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 7, 2005
By the Banks of the Holly: Notes and Letters from the Desk of Bernard Mollohan by Marie Mollohan. 2005 by iUniverse, 649pp., $36.95 softcover 46.95 hardcover. Marie Mollohan has done a marvelous job of distilling decades of central West Virginia history through her great-grandfather¿s desk. Her sharpest focus is on the history and key characters related to Webster County, especially in the years covering the Civil War and Reconstruction. The genius of her use of the desk is that those records were but a microcosm of what everyone in the region experienced during those years. Bernard Mollohan himself must have been a known union loyalist to have become the county surveyor after the war. Such was an important position when only ¿loyal¿ citizens could even vote, and much land was being contested for various reasons. But Bernard¿s loyalties did not keep Marie from giving a fair account of the tensions experienced by so many. Her family, and neighbors were divided into all three sides, as well, during this period. Why do I say all ¿three¿ sides? Marie captures the irony of there being the obvious Union and Confederate sides of the war, yet none were stationed in Webster County. There were no serious battles about which one would read in a national text. That is because a third ¿side¿ existed. They were most often known as ¿bushwhackers¿. They were not in either army, and were a law unto themselves. People throughout the region experienced loss of life, destruction of property and a general sort of, unofficial, martial law. In the name of protection ¿bushwhackers¿ preyed on others, even apart from professed loyalties at times. It became very personal and dangerous in this period, especially for the families of those who chose to serve in a regular army, and left loved ones with little protection. Maybe we could say that Marie has helped to visualize what Webster County¿s version of the movie ¿Cold Mountain¿ might be. There was an insurgency not unlike what we see today in Iraq, and some took advantage of the ill-defined political chaos. Marie captures the personal side of this from true of accounts of family and their friends in the period. Marie¿s chapters on the Civil War (pp.121-460) and related endnotes (pp. 547-592, 615-632) are a treasury of information for those interested in this subject. She has corrected lots of misinformation and added new light to this subject of the Civil War in that region. Key characters are treated with balance and insight. Such names as Tuning, Chewning, Haymond, Spriggs and Connely are among the several cited as leading Guerillas. Incidents such as the burning of Sutton (county seat of Braxton County), Gardner¿s Store and the march on Addison (now Webster Springs, and the county seat of Webster County) are given in a detailed and interesting manner. Webster County¿s hills and rivers were said to have been a natural funnel through which contraband people and goods would flow when Union forces controlled the main routes. Guerilla forces could more easily hold this ground between the counties along the Little Kanawha River, and Greenbrier County, a doorway to the Old Dominion. Guerillas and others could find a ready market for the horses and goods of their neighbors with one army or the other. Of special interest should be some little-known material on how the Union¿s 36th Ohio came to deal with the known and hardened irregulars. The whole tension today of legal rights for ¿terrorists¿ was a problem for Union troops. They dealt with people who were repeat offenders in murder, theft and destruction. The 36th Ohio evolved to a position of ¿take no prisoners¿ (not meaning ¿parole¿), and all of this long before the national policy had hardened enough toward insurgency to be comfortable with the destruction of Sheridan and Sherman in 1864. There were what many would call ¿war crimes¿ today as Union forces fought in Guerilla fashion. One group, called ¿Snake Hunters¿, battled with sucWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2011
No text was provided for this review.