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Photo of re-enactor on horseback charging with gun
Captain Wayne Dougherty charges during battle

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Thunder in the Valley
A Local Legacy

There is a city in West Virginia that changed control between the Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War 18 times!

"Thunder in the Valley," is an annual event in Charles Town, West Virginia, to help remember its Civil War heritage. During the Civil War, the Shenandoah Valley was a strategic area, as it was on the main travel route north and south. Control of Charles Town changed hands 18 times while another town in the valley, Harpers Ferry, changed hands eight times.

During "Thunder in the Valley," battle re-enactments are staged. People dress up as Union and Confederate soldiers, set up replicas of Union and Confederate camps, and re-create the brief fights and battles that took place during the Civil War. One of the re-enactments is the invasion of Charles Town by Confederate General John Imboden. People dress up as Union and Confederate soldiers and take up positions in the town for the re-enactment.

Although the thunder of battle is not as loud in the re-enactment as it must have been in the real battle, the smoke, noise and movement of soldiers still gives a good idea of what the invasion was like.

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