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Cumberland County Teenager already accomplished Civil War Writer - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County Teenager already accomplished Civil War Writer

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    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>
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    A big reason why Darlene Barrick fought to save the Mahanoy Union Church from bulldozers lies in the small cemetery next to it."This is Ulysses Grant Baker. My grandfather Baker," said Barrick, pointing to one of several headstones in the church cemetery with direct family ties. "He helped build the church."At another stone she added, "This is my Uncle Albert who fought in World War One."Since closing in the early 1960's, the church suffered heavily from neglect and vandalism. But stepping in...More >>
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It's a familiar routine for 14 year old Cooper Wingert and his mom. They're getting the word out about his latest book on the Civil War. It's his fifth book, to be exact. This book, "The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg," is a detailed look at the Confederate forces' efforts to seize Harrisburg in late June of 1863.

"Since 1965, there really hasn't been a thorough book, really going into detail on the action on the West Shore, Carlisle area, " Cooper said.

Wingert says a lot of people know that the fighting on the West Shore was the northern most action of the Gettysburg campaign, but they probably don't realize how significant the action was.

"There were 12-hundred confederate cavalry men," he said. "They captured Mechanicsburg. They're on the Carlisle Pike, Rt 11. They're on the Trindle Springs Road at Peace Church. They're at Camp Hill, back then called Oyster Point or White Hall."

His book details events using personal diaries, military logs, maps and correspondence of those attacking, those defending and those caught in the middle.

"Everything is explained in this book," he said. "There's nothing I'm going to assume you're going to understand. So I really hope the people in this area will read this and get a better understanding of what went on, right in their own back yard."

In spite of authoring four other books about the Civil War, the homeschooled writer says he prefers the challenge and excitement of researching events of the war, rather than writing about them.

His mom, Khrystina Wingert, says Cooper never asks for help with his books, but does need transportation to libraries or historical society locations to do his research.

"I keep thinking he might get bored or he might get to the point where he needs a break, " she said. "But, then, he's got another book halfway done."

Cooper has gained national recognition for his books and has already lectured to several Civil War groups in the area.

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