• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

    View a Picture Tour of Union & Monroe County.


The Town of Union – West Virginia Civil War Historical Trail

The Civil War Trail Marker

The Civil War Trail Marker

The Higginbotham House (The Johnson Female Academy), owned by Julia and James Higginbotham and the Burns House (The Union Academy), owned by Bill and Linda Burns, were added to the West Virginia Civil War Historical Trail in 2010. Both homes were the former Union College, founded in 1820. The Union Academy is the earliest private school still standing in West Virginia.

On May 22, 1862, Confederate General Henry Heth marched through Union toward Lewisburg, where he lost a battle the next morning. Between 30 and 40 “sick and exhausted” soldiers were left in Union, and the townspeople cared for them at the Academy, the Courthouse and a church.

Two years later, troops again visited Union, the Federal Infantry and Calvary was led by General George Crook and William A. Averell. Susan Waddell, the wife of the Academy president, James A. Waddell, wrote in her diary about the soldiers raiding her house for supplies to feed the 10,000 troops then occupying Union. After much consultation they took half a barrel of flour, pretending to do so with great reluctance. Susan Waddell writes, “ I must do them justice to say they robbed us in the politest manner imaginable”.

Soldiers covered the Academy’s interior walls with graffiti (later painted over) depicting confederate troops, cannons and other scenes. One figure on horseback was identified as Lt. Col. George M. Edgar, who raised the 26th Battalion Virginia Infantry in Monroe County. The words “Hurrah for the Confederacy” were also found on the walls.


The Higginbotham House (Johnson-Female Academy)

The Burns House (First Union Academy)