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Historian to discuss Civil War raids in the mountains

Historian Michael Hardy will present his program “Kirk’s Civil War Raids Along the Blue Ridge” for the Rowan Rifles 405, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Stanback Room of Rowan Public Library.

In the Southern Appalachian Mountains, no character was more loved or despised than Union officer George W. Kirk. He led a group of deserters on numerous raids in Tennessee and North Carolina in 1863.

At Camp Vance in Morganton, Kirk’s mounted raiders showcased guerrilla warfare, penetrating deep into Confederate territory. As Home Guards struggled to keep Western North Carolina communities safe, Kirk’s men brought fear throughout the region for their ability to strike without warning and create havoc.

Hardy has written 22 books, and his articles have appeared in Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, North and South, Gettysburg Magazine, Tar Heel Junior Historians and Confederate Veteran. Since 2014, he has reviewed books for Blue and Gray magazine.

He is past chairman of the Yancey Historical Association and Avery County Historical Society and Museum. Since 2011, he has been a volunteer-in-parks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, providing historic interpretations about the Civil War in the mountains.

In 2015, the Hardy family was named volunteers of the year for the Pisgah District, Blue Ridge Parkway. Hardy was awarded the 2010 historian of the year award by the North Carolina Society of Historians.

Hardy lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife, Elizabeth, and children, Nathaniel and Isabella.

The project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit agency and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The program is open to the public.

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