Book cover. Courtesy of Glencoe Museum.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Sends yours for possible inclusion to

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Glencoe Museum to host book launch

A book nearly 160 years in the making is now illuminating life during the Civil War in Southwest Virginia. The book, which has just been released by the University of North Carolina Press, features the wartime correspondence between Confederate newlyweds Brigadier General Gabriel C. Wharton and Anne Radford Wharton. The book covers 524 surviving letters. 

Co-edited by William C. Davis, a former professor of history at Virginia Tech and the author or editor of 50 books on Civil War and Southern history, and Sue Heth Bell, the Whartons’ great-great granddaughter, “The Whartons’ War” is one of the fullest known sets of correspondence by a high-level officer and his wife from the time of their courtship to the end of the war when Gabriel C. Wharton swore loyalty to the United States and accepted parole before returning to his home in Radford.

Separated by 20 years in age and differing opinions on many subjects, these two well-educated and articulate Virginians frankly discussed their thoughts on generals and politicians, the course of the war, the fate of the Confederacy, life at home and their wavering loyalties. They also explored the shifting gender roles brought on by the war, changing relations between slave owners and enslaved people and much more.

The new home they eventually built in Radford just above the New River is today the Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery, which is sponsoring the launch of the new book Friday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. in the City’s Council Chambers at 10 Robertson St. The authors will provide insight into the couple’s correspondence and how the book developed during a multi-year process. A book signing will follow, and copies will be available to purchase.

Glencoe’s executive director Scott Gardner, who gets to share the story of the Whartons daily, says “we’re excited to kick-off the promotion of this book.” According to Gardner, “General Wharton graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and began his career as an engineer. When war broke out in 1861, he enlisted and was deployed to southwest Virginia where he met an independent-minded, feisty young woman who would change his life forever. In turn, General Wharton forever transformed Southwest Virginia’s development.

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The Wellmore team. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.

Grundy-based team wins national mine rescue championship

The Wellmore Coal Company team won the Mine Rescue National Championship last week in Kentucky. The team is based out of Grundy. 

Bottom left to right. Caleb Schoeff and Shawn Allen

Standing – Jordan Curry, Anthony Grizzle,

Shannon Moore, Shannon Sutherland, Brandon Rasnake, Will Altizer, Todd Ward. 

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Robert Hurt. Courtesy of First National Bank.

Hurt named to board for First National Bank

Pinnacle Bankshares Corporation, the one-bank holding company for First National Bank has announced the appointment of Liberty University Dean and former U.S. Congressman, Robert Hurt, to the Board of Directors of both the Company and Bank.

Hurt currently serves as the Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University.  He is the founding Director of the University’s Center for Law and Government. Prior to his employment with Liberty University, Hurt served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Virginia’s Fifth District in Washington for three terms from 2011 to 2017.  While in Congress he served on the House Financial Services Committee. 

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Hospitals in Tazewell and Wise get federal funding

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia, have announced $2,124,300 in emergency rural health care funding. This funding was awarded through the Community Facilities Emergency Rural Health Care program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The funding included awards to hospitals in Wise and Tazewell counties.

·        $335,000 for Carilion Clinic (Tazewell Community Hospital) in Tazewell to upgrade the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The HVAC system will follow the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 operational protocols for health care and will service the lab and patient care areas, as the current HVAC system is old and unreliable.

·        $752,500 for Wellmont Health System in Big Stone Gap to replace lost health care revenue and help with financial difficulties experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.