‘Glimpses of Glory’

Belmont County Heritage Museum displays new exhibit on Civil War heroes

T-L Photo/JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUgh The Belmont County Heritage Museum, formerly the sheriff’s residence on Main Street in St. Clairsville, will host a new exhibit on local Civil War heroes through July 6. Two programs will be offered at the nearby public library to supplement the exhibit, with the first at 6 p.m. today.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Heritage Museum’s newest exhibit, “Glimpses of Glory: Belmont County Civil War Heroes,” is on display now through July 6.

The exhibit features Col. James F. Charlesworth’s Civil War presentation sword donated by Harland Thomas of St. Clairsville. Other items on display include memorabilia on loan from the Tri-State Military Veterans Museum in Belmont, in addition to Civil War documents and personal letters belonging to Capt. Julius Armstrong, and photographs and information about other Civil War generals from Belmont County — 10 who served the Union and one from the Confederacy.

In addition to the exhibit, the Belmont County Heritage Museum and the St. Clairsville Public Library will host two free presentations that open to the public.

First, at 6 p.m. today at the library, Curtis Kyer will present “Rediscovering Colonel Charlesworth.” Attendees can learn about James F. Charlesworth, a prominent St. Clairsville resident and veteran of the Mexican-American War and Civil War. Charlesworth held multiple Belmont County positions and belonged to several fraternal organizations, including the Grand Army of the Republic.

Kyer was instrumental in the discovery and subsequent donation of Charlesworth’s Civil War presentation sword to the Belmont County Heritage Museum. Kyer is a lifelong Belmont County resident, local historian and captain at Cumberland Trail Fire District, where he has served for 25 years.

The second presentation will take place at 6 p.m. June 20, also at the St. Clairsville Public Library, where retired judge Edmund A. Sargus will discuss Civil War Capt. Thomas Drummond. Drummond was a legislator, abolitionist and soldier. During the Civil War, Drummond was appointed to the 5th U.S. Cavalry, where he fought in the First Battle of Bull Run in Virginia and at Stoneman’s Raid during the battle at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of the Five Forks near Petersburg, Virginia, and was laid to rest in St. Clairsville at the Methodist Cemetery located along Newell Avenue. A historical marker from the Ohio History Connection is placed there to honor and remember the impact his life made in history.

Sargus, a St. Clairsville native and retired judge of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, is also an educator, historian and author. Sargus recently completed a novel about Drummond, titled “Fallen.” He co-authored an article about Drummond that was published in the New York Times in 2015 and also published a four-part series about Drummond that ran in The Times Leader in 2014.

“We are so grateful for community members and local historians who share their knowledge as well as donate artifacts to the Heritage Museum,” said Cathryn Stanley, curator of the Belmont County Heritage Museum. “When we receive new items like Charlesworth’s Civil War presentation sword, it provides us opportunities to develop educational programming for the community and further promote and preserve the history of Belmont County.”

The Belmont County Heritage Museum is located in the historic former sheriff’s residence at 101 E. Main St. in St. Clairsville. In addition to the “Glimpses of Glory: Belmont County Civil War Heroes” exhibit, visitors will find displays about the county’s sheriffs and artifacts from Belmont County communities representing their industries, landmarks and important historical figures. The displays bring the spirit and history of each area together under one roof. From the designer of the USS Constitution to a major role in the glass industry, people can discover hidden gems Belmont County is proud to hold in its history.

The Belmont County Heritage Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and admission is free. The “Glimpses of Glory: Belmont County Civil War Heroes” exhibit will be on display through July 6. For more information about this exhibit and the Belmont County Heritage Museum, visit belmontcountyheritagemuseum.org or call Stanley at 740-298-7020.


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