Talking strictly from a military-history perspective, West Virginia in general is steeped in history, itself being a product of the American Civil War. With many battles and forced marches occurring within West Virginia, the movement of Civil War armies through its thoroughfares is a common occurrence in my reading. There was even an engagement for the city itself:
|A historical marker commemorating the battle of Charleston|
Every morning I was sure to get up and run around various parts of the city, stopping along the way to read important landmarks such as signposts for famous explorers who traipsed through or paddled along the waters of the Kanawha River, and stories of Civil War lore.
|The Kanawha River|
I walked some beautiful forest trails that witnessed a "drumbeat court-martial" of 2 women who were led up the mountain and summarily executed by what were first thought to be Confederate, and later turned out to be Union Soldiers. They are buried nearby.
|A seriously nice little town - everyone - even the 3 x homeless people - were friendly|
In regards to my meetings at the Capitol building in Charleston, there were some beautiful monuments to West Virginia's sons (and also its daughters) who fought in America's wars since the Civil War and the Capitol grounds are covered in Civil War statues. The history seems to be at odds with itself but it's perfectly appropriate, honoring Soldiers from both the South and the North. If you needed any inspiration for ACW painting, look no further!
|He needs no introduction|
|Too bad the Capitol building was being worked on. It's one of the most beautiful of all of the US state capitols I've seen.|
|Memorial to the WV Soldiers who fought in the ACW|
|Another who needs no introduction!|
|US Government-issued tombstones for Confederate veterans|
|Confederate States Army is not something you normally see on a headstone!|
|State Veterans Memorial|
I also have to say, no visit to West Virginia (or the south) would be complete without eating Biscuits and Gravy. If you don't know - look it up. Here are two favorite spots for the locals - Tudor's Biscuit World, and Suzi's Hamburgers, both known for their excellent Biscuits and Gravy. Biscuits and Gravy, by the way, is a southern US dish which will confuse Europeans who use the term "biscuit" to mean something different than what we call it in the US. If you're curious - here is a tutorial. Take my word for it - it's amazing.
|Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast from Tudor's [click]|
|Biscuits and Gravy from Suzi's. I put hot sauce on it. Suzy's had a clear edge over Tudors, but both were excellent!|