A museum-mounted Civil War-era color lithograph listing the men of the 15th Regiment, West Virginia Infantry, was recently donated to the Philippi Public Library.
The lithograph, printed shortly after the Civil War, is of special significance to some Barbour County families, because many of the men are ancestors.
Of even greater significance, however, are the hand-written annotations on the lithograph,.
The annotations, attributed to James Davenport Freeman Jr. (born March 30, 1832, in Faquier County, Va.; died Feb. 9, 1901, in Nicklow, Barbour County, W.Va.), detail what happened to many of the Barbour County infantrymen - where they were wounded or died, when they were promoted to higher rank, etc.
The annotations may be the only such records in
The lithograph was in Barry Row's family (he has two great grandfathers listed on the document), and when it came into his possession, it was badly in need of professional restoration.
It was fragile because of its age, and acid-stained because of its wooden backing. It also had water stains, and the added handwriting was in ink.
A restorer willing to tackle the project was finally found, and the handwritten annotations were color photocopied throughout the restoration process, then typed and presented to the library in a format that can be copied by local historians and genealogical
It is hoped that the lithograph will help local families learn more about their ancestors.
Row said he decided that the lithograph, which has been a family heirloom, should more properly be in a public location that is accessible to people with an interest in the historical information it contains.