Botetourt Artillery remembered in new documentary - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Botetourt Artillery remembered in new documentary

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Like plenty of people in Virginia, John Manspile is a Civil War buff.

He's a regular participant in local and national Civil War reinactments and always represents his favorite unit, the Botetourt Artillery.

"They didn't run. They stayed at their post until they died at their post," he said.

The Botetourt Artillery did the majority of its fighting in Vicksburg, Mississippi where many of the men in the unit were either killed or taken prisoner.

After reading old diaries, newspaper articles, and a book about the artillery by Botetourt native Jerald Markham, Manspile felt more work needed to be done.

"It seems to us like he never got to finish it," he said. "There were some things that we not complete in the book. So we decided we would put everything we could together."

Along with his friend Dan Phelps, in October 2012 Manspile went to Vicksburg, Mississippi to learn more about the Botetourt Artillery.

They filmed the adventure and several unknown discoveries along the way.

"The highlight of it was when we found where Major Anderson actually had got killed," Manspile said. "He was the actual Captain of the Botetourt Artillery and of course he was promoted when he got killed to Major."

Manspile and Phelps put together the documentary and debuted it this spring in Buchanan.

It's getting a strong response so far as the two men look for more ways to spread the word about this legendary artillery.

"Now we need to get it out to the citizens here in Buchanan, you know the people that are interested in the Civil War," he said. "We all do this as a hobby, so we can all learn. We have to get people to see what we actually do in this small town."

Manspile said he's been contacted by the Discovery Channel about possibly reshooting and airing the documentary.

At this point Manspile said his goal is to make sure the history of the Botetourt Artillery reaches as many people as possible.

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