NOVEL BY WIRT COUNTY NATIVE - '$2,000 A Barrel'

(03/29/2015)

$2,000 A Barrel is an historical novel about the oil industry during the Civil War by Hugh Sheppard. Set in Burning Springs and Wood County in 1862-1863. The book is available at amazon.com in paperback or Kindle format.

The Burning Springs oil field developed simultaneously with the better known one in Titusville, Pa. Burning Springs oil money played a vital role in western Virginia becoming the 35th state, West Virginia, in 1863. It also was the driving force behind the growth of Parkersburg from a small town to a thriving city.

Burning Springs is destroyed by Confederate forces under the very noses of Union forces at Parkersburg despite the hopes of Yankee oil interests who formed an entire regiment to protect the oilfield. Historical accuracy is maintained for the beginning of the oil industry and the Civil War in the region.

Story Ann McGrayson is a beautiful young woman of 21 assisting her widowed father in his growing oil consulting business in 1862. Tragedy strikes when her father is shot down in the street in the oil boomtown of Burning Springs, Virginia.

Ann swears on her father's grave that she will avenge his killer and drill the oil well that had been their dream together. Her brother, a corporal in the Confederate cavalry, escapes from a Yankee prisoner of war camp in Ohio and brings home Steve, a handsome prison camp buddy who has experience drilling oil wells. Ann hires him and together they meet and overcome strenuous obstacles in pursuing Ann's goals to conclusion.

About the Author Hugh Sheppard is a retired engineering consultant living in South Carolina. He grew up in Palestine, eight miles from Burning Springs, WV, the site of the 1860 oil boom. He graduated from Wirt County High in 1958 and then graduated from WV University with a degree in chemical engineering. He served in the US Army and was a company commander in Viet Nam. Later, as a consulting engineer, Hugh specialized in biotech and pharmaceutical plant design.


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