West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Ken Hechler to discuss new book “Soldier of the Union” for July 14 genealogy club in Archives and History Library


Well-known author, historian and political figure Ken Hechler will discuss his new book “Soldier of the Union” at the Thursday evening meeting of the Genealogy Club in the Archives and History Library. The discussion will take place from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14. The session is free and the public is invited to attend.

“Soldier of the Union” (Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 2011) contains several hundred wartime letters written by Hechler’s ancestors George and John and provides a vivid account of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Some of the letters were printed in a series of articles in The Parkersburg News in 1962, but this is the first time they have been published in their entirety. The Hechler brothers enlisted in Parkersburg, trained at Summersville, camped at the present site of the DuPont plant at Belle, and participated in battles at Lewisburg, Antietam, Chickamauga and others. John Hechler was captured at Chickamauga and died in the infamous Confederate prison in Andersonville.

Ken Hechler holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and has taught political science at Columbia, Barnard, Princeton and Marshall universities. A combat historian of the U.S. Army during World War II, he interrogated Hermann Goering, among others. From 1949 to 1953, he was a special assistant to President Harry Truman’s White House staff. He served 18 years in Congress as a representative from West Virginia and 16 years as West Virginia’s Secretary of State. Hechler is the author of eight books, including “The Bridge at Remagen,” which was made into a full-length motion picture.

Advance registration for the program is not required, but is encouraged. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163, or by e-mail at Bobby.L.Taylor@wv.gov. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information about the discussion or the club, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.



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