John Kincaid’s Rev War Narrative, Frontier Forts, Lead Mines, Scandal, and Forensic Pathology

I came across this interesting Rev War pension application, signed by one John Kincaid, with some cool local details, pertaining to the harshness of the winter of 1778-1779 in what is now Lewisburg, (West) Virginia, and as always, one thing leads to another, including a doppleganger John Kincaid, references to our fort, other forts, scandal, …

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The “Singing Cave” of Indian Creek and the making of gunpowder by frontier settlers

A local historian friend sent me this scan of an original 1777 document, signed by early frontiersmen of the Greenbrier Valley, where they are leasing the mineral rights of property belonging to one Jacob Mann, containing a cave with valuable saltpeter, which was used to make gunpowder. From the best that I can read it, …

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General McCausland’s house in West Virginia: an interesting story about war, the Emperor of Mexico, and even Egypt

You may have noticed this house on the side of Route 35 in Mason County, West Virginia, if you’ve ever driven the treacherous route from the West Virginia Turnpike through to Route 35 into Ohio. This is the home built by Confederate General John McCausland. There’s no good way to stop to get a photo …

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Felix Renick’s Drawings, his interesting family, and his life as a scavengeologist on the Ohio Frontier

When I first came across this map, I immediately recognized the name, “Renick,” though I didn’t recall seeing it associated with the name Felix. In the Greenbrier Valley, there is still a “town” named Renick (though it’s mostly just an unincorporated neighborhood at this point, or even you could call it a “ghost town”), and …

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Willowbrook Plantation and Christopher J. Beirne during the Civil War

Confederate officer, farmer, wealthy bachelor, and member of the Skull and Crossbones Secret Society . . . . Check out the documentation we found of “C.J. Beirne’s” agricultural contributions to the Confederate Army, utilizing Willowbrook Plantation, as well as other aspects of his life. So far the receipts from the Confederate Army we’ve found, add …

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James McBride: his actual musket, and his epic life as a frontiersman and soldier

Family tradition has it that this French and Indian War era American musket was used by James McBride (1726-1812) to fight in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774. It was previously on display at the Augusta County Historical Society Museum in Staunton, Virginia, as part of their year-long exhibit on Lord Dunmore’s …

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James Christy of Byrnside’s Fort: “Indian Spy” and Frontier Minister

Here is the original handwritten and signed Revolutionary War pension application of “Indian Spy” James Christy, who was garrisoned at Byrnside’s Fort in the 1770’s and 1780’s. Not only that, but he was the first pastor of the oldest standing protestant church West of the mountains, built of logs, and still standing. And we found …

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