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Jefferson County Civil War Hero Honored With Historical Marker in Hometown

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 He was part of a famous raid during the Civil War that's been turned into books and movies, and even caught the eye of Walt Disney.

Now, after more than 150 years, William Pittenger's hometown of Knoxville, Ohio in Jefferson County, has been honored with a historical marker.

Pittenger joined the Union Army and was part of a historical raid that was supposed to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroads in the Confederate states. Heavy rain stopped the raid from being a total success, but it did not get washed away in history. His military career during the Civil War earned national attention after Pittenger published his first book in 1963. Now, he has been honored with a historical marker in his hometown of Knoxville.

His descendents were on hand to see the new marker. "It's a great privilege and we feel very blessed to have this honor for our great great uncle. It's been a long time coming and we're very happy," said descendent of William Pittenger, Rick Pittenger.

Rick Pittenger says even though he died more than a century ago, he and his family still refer to William Pittenger as Uncle Will, and has been hearing about his adventures in the Civil War his entire life. "That just has always been the story about Uncle Will, and we've always talked about the railroad chase and just had a lot of fun with it so it's been a very interesting history," Pittenger said.

Rick said the whole dedication ceremony Saturday would not have been possible, had it not been for local history buff Virginia Glenn who spearheaded the effort to get a marker in Pittenger's hometown. She first read about Pittenger's war stories while working on her great uncle memoirs and was glad the community turned out.

"The more, the merrier. It's wonderful, it is and there is a lot of interest in the history of this area, a lot of people follow us with the history," Virginia Glenn said. Virginia contacted Andy Verhoff of the Ohio History Connection about getting the marker in Knoxville, and Verhoff says seeing the Pittenger family and the rest of the community, is what the markers are all about: connecting with the community.

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