West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

‘Scratch ‘em and Sue ‘em: Post Civil War Legal Issues’ to be Topic of Discussion at West Virginia Independence Hall on Oct. 27


WHEELING, W.Va. – Kenneth Bailey will give a talk titled “Scratch ‘em and Sue ‘em: Post Civil War Legal Issues” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, at West Virginia Independence Hall in downtown Wheeling. The lecture is being presented in conjunction with the West Virginia Humanities Council (WVHC) and is one of five Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau’s programs made available by the WVHC. Bailey’s talk is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the program.

For many years following the war much of West Virginia’s court system was consumed by war-related legal issues. Former Confederates were “scratched” from the voting rolls and sued for alleged wrongs on civilians during the war.

Bailey will discuss legal cases dealing with the reconstruction-era questions of voting, false arrest, belligerent rights, property disputes, acts of Confederate county officers and the value of Confederate money,  from the end of the war until the “let up” restored rights to former rebels. He will have images of individuals and documents available to enhance the lecture.

Bailey is dean and professor emeritus at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery where he taught history and was dean of the College of Business, Humanities and Sciences. He was president of the West Virginia Historical Society for two terms and editor of the Historical Society publication, Quarterly. In 2003 he received the Virgil A. Lewis award for contributions to the writing and preservation of West Virginia history. Bailey is the author of numerous articles and books including Mountaineers are Free: A History of the West Virginia National Guard (1979, revised and expanded 2008). The West Virginia Humanities Council established its Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau to help organizations across the state strengthen their programs related to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and birth of the Mountain State. The sesquicentennial events will run through 2015.

For more information, contact Travis Henline, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300 or email him at travis.l.henline@wv.gov.

West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market streets in Wheeling.

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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