Feeding the Confederacy Highway Historical Marker
This historical marker was dedicated in 2019 and shares the story of how some West Virginians chose to support the Confederate States of America. During the Civil War, the Southern effort relied on its agrarian economy to help support its military operations. Although raiding and foraging occurred often, so too did business transactions between the Confederacy and local farmers. Former Mercer County Clerk Charles W. Calfee was one such farmer who provided the Confederacy with hay, corn, and beef during the war.
Backstory and Context
During the Civil War, the Southern effort relied on its agrarian economy to help support its military operations. Although raiding and foraging occurred often, so too did business transactions between the confederacy and local farmers. Former Mercer County Clerk Charles W. Calfee was one such farmer who found a military marker for hay, corn, and beef during the war.
In 2011-12, the West Virginia Archives & History received funds for new highway markers in memorial of the Civil War and West Virginia sesquicentennial. Placed in 2019, this marker is one of 160 placed through the sesquicentennial program. Due to the decisions made by the current leadership of West Virginia Archives and History, there remains very few historical markers that share the contributions of women and ethnic and racial minorities in West Virginia. The decision to erect this marker for a common farmer who sold his goods to men who took up arms to preserve slavery demonstrates the work that remains for future educators and historians who hope to correct the erasure of diverse West Virginians who made positive and substantial contributions to the state.
1. Johnston, David E. A History of Middle New River Settlements and Contiguous Territory. Huntington, WV: Standard Printing & Publishing Company, 1906.
2. McGehee, C. Stuart. "Mercer County." e-WV: Encyclopedia of West Virginia. June 3, 2013. Web. Accessed June 8, 2020. https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1764.
West Virginia Archives & History, http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers/sesqui/feedingtheconfederacy.html