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The Castle’s History at Home: Recommendations from The Castle Staff

During this time of social distancing, The Castle is investigating alternative ways in which we can reconnect with the public and continue our historical education mission. “History at Home” provides staff recommendations regarding a variety of topics that you can explore and experience from your home. Our staff members will share informational sources within their specific areas of knowledge in the form of books, movies, tv programs, YouTube videos, online research sources, and much more. Some may be geared to certain audiences (younger students vs. adults) but can be useful for all ages. We trust you will find these postings informative and hope they cultivate new interests for you to pursue long into the future.

Our first entry is from our Executive Director, Scott Britton. He was born in Marietta, raised near Vincent, and graduated from Warren High School and Penn State University. Scott has been interested in history since he was in fourth grade and has been studying and researching Washington County, Ohio history since 1991, particularly its founding and extraordinary military history. He became The Castle’s Executive Director in 2011. He is a member of the following organizations: Co-founder, President, & Battlefield Tour Guide, Civil War Round Table of the Mid-Ohio Valley; past President, Washington Co. Historical Society; past Commander, Gen. Fearing Camp SUVCW; Historian, Marietta Chapter SAR; Board Member, Friends of Joseph Barker Junior House; and new Board of Directors member, Marietta-Washington Co. CVB.

If you decide to order any of the recommendations below online, please consider doing so through Amazon’s charity foundation, Amazon Smile. Log in to your regular or Amazon Prime account or create a new one, follow the instructions, and select “Betsey Mills Corporation” (we’re a division of that group). Note: The Amazon app does not currently support Amazon Smile. Take care, be safe, and I hope you enjoy these recommendations!

History at Home: Recommendations from The Castle’s Director

Civil War

*Service with the Sixth Wisconsin by Gen. Rufus R. Dawes – Marietta officer who led soldiers in the famous Iron Brigade; one of the best first-person Civil War accounts ever written.

*The Quartermaster: Montgomery C. Meigs by Robert O’Harrow, Jr. – Cousin of the Marietta Meigs family, he oversaw all Union Civil War supply logistics, created Arlington National Cemetery, and much more.

*Civil War Leadership and Mexican War Experience by Kevin Dougherty – Some Civil War leaders learned lessons in the Mexican War, good and bad, that ultimately shaped their decision-making during the Civil War.

*Red Cap by G. Clifton Wisler – Children’s book about a Civil War drummer boy who lived in Marietta.

*The Civil War by Ken Burns – Award-winning PBS series narrated by author David McCullough.

Washington County

*Pioneer History: Being an Account of the First Examinations of the Ohio Valley by Samuel P. Hildreth – Marietta “polymath” and one of the main characters of David McCullough’s latest bestseller, The Pioneers.

*The Memoirs of Rufus Putnam and Certain Official Papers and Correspondence by Rufus Putnam – Letters and stories written by the leader of the Marietta founders from his childhood through 1804.

*History of Washington County, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches by H. Z. Williams & Bros. – Written in 1881, it has town, township, and county history, plus biographies of many local families.

*A Century of Church Life by Rev. C. E. Dickinson – Marietta first religious society history (1796- 1896); Others church/denomination histories are online like St. Luke’s Episcopal, Marietta Jewish history, etc.

Revolutionary War & America’s Founding

*The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison, & Jay-Essays on the United States Constitution.

*Various works of Thomas Paine – particularly The American Crisis and Common Sense.

*George Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade-Details the Culper spy ring and the service of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge (Ohio Company Treasurer); a Netflix video series on the same topic is called TURN.

*The American Revolutionary War – Documentary video on the causes, battles, and characters of the war.

*Liberty’s Kids – PBS animated educational cartoon series on the history of the American Revolution.

Research resources

*Washington Co. Library – Their digital catalog has downloadable e-books/audiobooks (library ID needed); Electronic Resources – Links to military resources (Fold3), language learning, resume/career resources, etc.

*Marietta College Special Collections – Digitized Ohio Company papers, Civil War and Marietta photos, etc.

*Memories of Marietta and Memories of Washington County Facebook groups (Note: They are “Private Groups”-have to request admission)-View/post/comment on historical photo and topics; FYI, it’s searchable!

*HathiTrust – Millions of digitized e-books, including Ohio Civil War rosters and World War I rosters.