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Protectors of the Ohio Valley: A Short History of the Fifth West Virginia Volunteer Infantry and the Town they Called Home by Matthew A. Perry

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This is the story of some really courageous and committed and accomplished abolitionists and a wonderful example of resurrecting important hidden history! Ceredo, West Virginia, is located in Wayne County, which is across the Big Sandy from Kentucky and across the Ohio from Ohio. It was founded in 1857 by Eli Thayer, a Republican Congressman from Massachusetts and a land speculator. In 1854, Thayer founded the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company that established anti-slavery communities in Manhattan, Lawrence, Topeka, and Osawatomie, Kansas, at the time when pro-slavery immigrants were also settling “Bleeding Kansas” and often clashed with those who wished it to become a “Free” State. In hopes of establishing an anti-slavery community in Virginia, to show that free labor could thrive in a slave state, he created Ceredo. He named the town after the Roman Goddess of agriculture and fertility, Ceres. Thayer recruited Z. D. Ramsdell, a fellow abolitionist, who moved to Ceredo and established a shoe and boot factory there. This book is an introductory history of Ceredo and the Fifth West Virginia Infantry, the Union Regiment that protected Ceredo and the surrounding area. The author, Matthew A. Perry, is a native of Ceredo and the descendent of soldiers in the Fifth. His book provides a solid introduction to a fascinating story.

Kenova, West Virginia: self-published, 2016. 97 pages with photos, charts, notes, and references. Trade paperback. Signed by author.