I just finished a very interesting history of the Civil War in Southwest Virginia.
Typically, history books of this sort are quite dull as recreational reading goes, but Gary C. Walker brings the era and participants back to life in "The War In Southwest Virginia, 1861-1865". Gary takes us back to the Tazewell, Wytheville, Saltville area during the war, with research and details that are astounding.
He shows the brilliance of Union General Stoneman and the ineptitude of General Burbridge, the determination of Confederate General "Devil" Morgan and Union General Crook, and the bravery and cunning of Confederate Generals Breckinridge and Jackson.
He leads the reader through each of the failed attempts on the saltmines in Saltville, the lead mines at Austinville, and the long bridge over the New River near Wytheville, ending the story with the one somewhat successful raid in the closing days of the war which temporarily disrupted work at both mines.
Gary lives in Roanoke, give him a call at (540) 427-1154 and order this book. Tell him Alton sent you.