Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Woods

Second Advisor

Kevin Barksdale

Third Advisor

Jack Dickinson


This thesis covers the events of the Civil War in Cabell County, West Virginia, and how those events were remembered by the county’s residents in the decades after the war. It provides a brief look at the early development of the county and how its inhabitants sought to exploit the county’s topography in order to facilitate commercial investment in the region. Cabell Countians were deeply divided and several skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces produced a time of terror and hardship. When the war was over, Cabell Countians sought a return to normality and to renew projects that might bring economic prosperity to the region. However, the animosity of the war was not easily forgotten and political acts such as proscription and loyalty oaths continued to engender hostility. Collis P. Huntington’s announcement of his desire to finish the C&O railroad and create a new town in the county provided economic opportunity to many in the region. Wealthy landowners and businessmen on both sides attempted to settle the differences of the war through shared and mutual financial success. Their desire to build a city together necessitated forgetting the divisions that had set the inhabitants against one another. Both factions suffered from a strong identity crisis and because of this neither group could project a clear understanding of their side’s reasons for fighting. Cabell Countians were unable to achieve reconciliation, despite their mutual cooperation, because neither side was ready to tackle the issues that had plunged them into war. The economic opportunities offered by industrialism had helped mitigate much of the animosity of the war years, but due to the incomplete nature of reconciliation Union and Confederate veterans were unable to convey a resonant account of their participation in the Civil War and what the war had meant to their side.


Cabell County (W. Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.

United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Cabell County (W. Va.)