THIS INFORMATION KIOSK was unveiled at the dedication ceremony at Camp Bartow October 5. This Civil War battle site is the first historic acquisition secured by the West Virginia Land Trust.

Jason Bauserman
Contributing Writer

A dedication ceremony for Camp Bartow was held October 5.

The new brochure states: “In 2017, the West Virginia Land Trust purchased land at Camp Bartow, an important part of the Battle of Greenbrier River on October 3, 1861. This 14-acre property lies in the heart of the battlefield and was a campground of the 31st Virginia Infantry. As part of the first campaign of the Civil War, the battle proved instrumental for West Virginia’s statehood in 1863.”

Brent Bailey, Executive Director of WVLT, welcomed those in attendance on a cool and cloudy day.

Ashton Berdine, WVLT Lands Program Manager, worked hard to secure this site. He said since 1995 WVLT has permanently protected more than 10,000 acres of land statewide. Berdine commented that most projects included recreational lands and lands bordering rivers and streams. This was his first acquisition of a historic site.

“It is very rare to preserve and protect a Civil War encampment and battle site that has remained the same for more than 150 years,” Civil War historian and author Hunter Lesser noted.

Sign maker Terry Hackney unveiled the new Camp Bartow sign. Eventually a weather proof metal box will hold brochures for a walking tour.

The public walking tour has five stops up the fairly steep hill. Each stop has a different theme. Hunter Lesser led the tour.

1. Why was the turnpike so important to the armies?

2. Imagine the sacrifices made on this landscape.

3. Why did soldiers build defensive earthworks?

4. A soldier’s life at Camp Bartow.

5. What was it like to experience an artillery duel?

The tour was very informative.

At the top of the hill, AMR reporter Tim Walker, with a crew of Civil War re-enactors, touched off several cannon shots that added an exciting touch to the event.

Refreshments were ser-ved by the Upper Pocahontas Community Cooperative.

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