On this West Virginia Morning, Willie Carver was Kentucky’s teacher of the year in 2021, but as a gay man, he and some of his students were harassed. So, in 2022, he resigned from Montgomery County High School. Last summer, he released Gay Poems for Red States. The book earned praise and helped turn Carver into a much-followed, outspoken voice on social media. Bill Lynch caught up with Carver.
On November 6, 1863, one of the most important Civil War battles in West Virginia occurred in Pocahontas County. In August of that year, Union General William W. Averell had launched a series of raids to disrupt the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in southwestern Virginia.
During his second raid, Averell hatched a scheme to trap Confederate troops around Lewisburg. His overall plan failed. But, he was able to attack some 1,700 Confederates under General John Echols at Droop Mountain, just south of Hillsboro. The battle opened with nearly six hours of artillery fire, musketry, and hand-to-hand combat. Averell’s infantry finally broke through the Confederate left. The Rebels retreated, and the battle turned into a Union rout.
At first glance, the battle might not have seemed that significant because Echols’s forces managed to escape. Plus, Averell failed to achieve his ultimate objective. However, Droop Mountain marked the last large-scale battle of the war fought on West Virginia soil. It was also the last time the Confederacy made a push to control the new state. The site of the battle is now preserved as a state park.
The National Park Service said the Steep Valley fire was first reported on Monday, Nov. 6 and is now 78 percent contained. The fire continues to burn minimally in steep and rugged parts of inaccessible terrain.
“Believe it or not, West Virginia is a good place to hide. We’ve caught fugitives from Los Angeles, from Canada and other countries hiding here,” Waggaman said. “They think it’s a rural state, it's off the beaten path, not a lot of people talk about this state, it’s a great place to hide, but luckily we have skilled deputy marshals and most of us are from West Virginia and very familiar with the state itself.”
Inside Appalachia Host Mason Adams recently spoke with Hal Gorby, whose lecture on West Virginia statehood was recently featured on C-SPAN’s Lectures in History series. Gorby is a professor at West Virginia University (WVU), who specializes in Appalachian and West Virginia history.