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News & Events

June Exhibit & Programs
Glimpses of Glory: Belmont County's Civil War Heroes

 The Belmont County Heritage Museum and the St. Clairsville Library will highlight two Civil War veterans with ties to St. Clairsville in free presentations open to the public.

In June the museum will highlight a recent donation from Harland Thomas of  St. Clairsville native Colonel James Charlesworth’s Civil War presentation sword.

James F. Charlesworth was born in and became a prominent St. Clairsville citizen. He was a wounded veteran of the Mexican-American War and Civil War. He held multiple county positions and belonged to several fraternal organizations. Recently, his Civil War presentation sword and his life story were rediscovered.















Curtis Kyer helped to rediscover the sword and bring it to the Belmont County Heritage Museum. Kyer is a lifelong Belmont County resident who loves history. He has been employed at Cumberland Trail Fire District for 25 years, which is how he came to re-discover the sword. 

Kyer will present “Rediscovering Colonel Charlesworth” about Charlesworth and his involvement in the GAR and other civic groups on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. at the St. Clairsville Public Library.


















On Thursday, June 20 at 6 pm, the Honorable Ed Sargus will discuss his new book on Civil War Capt. Thomas Drummond who was mortally wounded at the battle of Five Forks in Virginia. Drummond was raised in Eastern Ohio and moved to Iowa where he served in the General Assembly and secured the location for the State Asylum for the Blind. As editor of the Vinton Eagle, he was an outspoken opponent of slavery. During the Civil War, Drummond was appointed to the 5th U.S. Cavalry where he commanded George Armstrong Custer and fought at the first battle of Bull Run, Stoneman’s Raid during Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.


Judge Ed Sargus lived the first 60 years of his life in Belmont County, almost all of those years in St. Clairsville. He practiced law in town from 1978-1993. He served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio (the southern 48 counties) from 1993 until he was appointed as a federal district judge for the same district in 1996, where he continues to work. For the past 21 years, he has also taught part-time at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, where his wife Judge Jennifer Sargus also teaches.  


Sargus grew up close to the Methodist Cemetery on Newell Avenue where Thomas Drummond is buried. He played there often as a child, as did all the neighborhood children.  He first learned about Drummond while giving fellow judges a cemetery tour in 2008. He has spent years researching him and his father, Reverend James Drummond.  Sargus and his older son wrote an article about Thomas that was published in the New York Times on April 1, 2015, the 150th anniversary of his mortal wounding at the Battle of Five Forks, just eight days before the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. He also published a four-part series about Thomas Drummond that ran in the Times Leader in 2014

Sargus recently completed a novel about Drummond with the cemetery as a focal point. He also co-authored a book, “Seceding from Secession,” the story of West Virginia statehood.


The June exhibit will also feature personal letters and Civil War documents belonging to Captain Julus Armstrong. He served in the 52nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He was a clerk in the Ohio Secretary of State's office. The documents were recently donated on behalf of Ann Armstrong Knodt.


Located in the historic former county sheriff’s residence at 101 E. Main St. in St. Clairsville, the Belmont County Heritage Museum is open Thursday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.  Admission is by donation.  For more information about this exhibit and upcoming events, visit and follow the museum on Facebook,  Instagram, and Pinterest. For more information about the museum, contact Cathryn Stanley, at 740-298-7020 or

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