by Andrew J. Wagenhoffer, Civil War Books and Authors blog
Occurring simultaneously with renowned 1862 Confederate grand offensives into Kentucky and Maryland (and dwarfed in size by both), it is no great surprise that the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign remains virtually unknown to the general interest Civil War reader. Until now, the operation has lacked a competent standalone campaign history of any length1 and has been only lightly addressed within wider studies. Stepping into this void, and filling it to the brim, is Terry Lowry’s The Battle of Charleston and the 1862 Kanawha Valley Campaign, a sweeping and utterly exhaustive examination of the topic. Lowry is one of a very small group of authors specializing in Civil War West(ern) Virginia military history. Among his many works is an excellent study of the Union conquest of the Kanawha Valley in early 18612, making Lowry a natural candidate for examining the next major phase of the Civil War struggle for control of the strategic valley.