CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Douglas McClure Wood will present “The Roots of Un-civil War: The 250th Anniversary of Cornstalk’s Campaign” on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The Shawnee warrior Cornstalk was relatively unknown to European Americans in 1763 when he burst onto the stage of history as the leader of one of the most effective campaigns against the British colonies during Pontiac’s War. A hero to the Shawnee and a fearsome foe to Virginians, Cornstalk was a brilliant military strategist whose coalition-building efforts, strategic planning, campaign coordination and battle tactics were followed 50 years later by another Shawnee, Tecumseh.

Cornstalk’s generation of Shawnee warriors first melded American Indian tactics with European tactics to forge a powerful military alliance that nearly defeated the British. The Virginia frontiersmen’s response to Cornstalk’s warfare was to become more like the enemy in order to “fight fire with fire.” These learned skills became useful to western Virginians in subsequent wars, including the Civil War, when small units of home guards and bushwhackers used similar skills to thwart the efforts of invading enemy armies.

Wood worked as an aquatic biologist and ecologist for 33 years before retiring from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in 2011. Since his graduation from West Virginia University in 1977 with a degree in Wildlife Management, he has researched 18th-century middle Appalachian cultures, with a particular focus on American Indian cultures of the Ohio Valley region. He also is a living history character with the Humanities Council’s History Alive! program, currently portraying Ostenaco, a Cherokee military leader who fought for three years against the French during the French and Indian War.

For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the lecture, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Bobby Taylor, library manager, at or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163.

Participants interested in registering by email should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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