History professor to lead talk about “Union League Raid in Berkeley Springs in 1864”

Dr. Randall Gooden, a professor of history at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, will speak to the Morgan County Historical and Generalogical Society about the “Union League Raid in Berkeley Springs in 1864.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the free presentation on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at the Morgan County Courthouse Commission Room.

The talk will explore the attack by Confederate Cavalry, led by Berkeley Springs native Major Charles O’Ferrall, on a meeting of the Union League, a pro-Union and anti-slavery organization, on the evening of March 19, 1864. The Confederates left town with captured horses, the county’s representatives in the West Virginia Legislature, the prosecuting attorney and the leader of the Union League in tow.

Gooden will be delivering his presentation while in West Virginia for the Virginia Forum at Shepherd University. He also will be speaking about the raid at the forum.

His study of the raid on Berkeley Springs is part of his book The Governor’s Pawns: Hostages and Hostage – Taking in Civil War West Virginia, which will be released by Kent State University Press in June.

Gooden was born in Morgantown and grew up in Elkins. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from West Virginia University and taught West Virginia history as a lecturer at WVU. Gooden also worked as assistant curator of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection at WVU. Currently, he teaches courses in the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras, state and regional history, family history and genealogy and public history.