Botetourt County & the War Between the States

February 27, 2019

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Virginia Military Institute
Nichols Auditorium
Lexington, VA 24450


Edwin L. “Ed” McCoy, editor of The Fincastle Herald, will present “Botetourt County & the War Between the States.” discussing his Botetourt County ACW research and the seventy articles he wrote on the subject during the Civil War Sesquicentennial. First published in the Herald, they have now been incorporated into a special booklet by the Botetourt County Historical Society. With military action in the county mostly limited to Hunter’s Raid and the Battle of Buchanan, many of the articles emphasize life on the home front. The County was a major supplier of iron to Tredegar. The Anderson family, who owned Tredegar, bought iron mines and furnaces in Botetourt and arranged for workers to mine and smelt the ore. It is thought that the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimack) was clad in iron from the County. The home front was often as dangerous as the battlefield. In 1862, for example, there was a typhoid epidemic in Botetourt; many soldiers returning home found their families had been wiped out by the disease. Ed’s personal ACW heritage goes back to his birth in Stonewall Jackson’s old house on East Washington Street. He is a graduate of Lexington High School and earned a journalism degree from Washington & Lee. Most of his professional life has been spent as a weekly newspaper editor first in West Virginia, then in Southside Virginia, and finally in Botetourt County where he was editor of The Fincastle Herald from the fall of 1984 until his retirement. He and his wife Terri Ann currently reside in Buchanan; his son is away at college and his daughter lives in Lynchburg. During the Civil War’s Centennial, the McCoy’s lived in Mechanicsville and Ed notes that he spent many hours playing on and exploring the trenches that helped guard Richmond. At least two of his great-great grandfathers served the CSA--one with the Rockbridge Light Artillery and the other with the 33rd Virginia Infantry. This free public event is being sponsored by the Rockbridge Civil War Roundtable and the VMI Museum System.

Civil War, History, Meeting, Lecture, Presentation