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History comes alive in Mingo

July 18, 2013
By Lauren Ragland - Special to The Inter-Mountain , The Inter-Mountain

Cannon blasts will vibrate and shake the air.

Artillery fire will echo again throughout the mountains of southern Randolph County at the centennial rededication of the Confederate Soldier Monument in Mingo Flats.

A rare opportunity to repeat history will be offered at 1 p.m. on Saturday July 27. Event organizer Rodger Ware promises that the event will "truly be a spectacle, with muskets, cannons, bagpipes, bugles, a Civil War Color guard - it will be an awesome experience."

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Lauren Ragland
The public is invited to attend the centennial rededication of the Confederate Soldier Monument, pictured above, on Saturday, July 27, in Mingo.

One hundred years ago, on July 23, 1913, over 1,000 people watched the ceremonial unveiling of the statue. It was an all-day celebration planned by members of Camp Pegram No. 1602, U.C.V., Confederate Veterans. The effort to construct and erect the monument was led by Valley Head Commander Capt. George Washington Painter, the great-great-grandfather of the 2013 centennial rededication organizer Rodger Ware.

The monument reads, "To the memory of the Confederate soldiers of Randolph County and vicinity. This includes all soldiers who died on Valley Mountain in 1861, while Gen. Lee was encamped there."

For the 1913 dedication, the soldier was dramatically hidden from the audience, draped in red, white and blue bunting. The monument was slowly unveiled by eight local children, all dressed in white. Throughout the afternoon, the Beverly Band performed and many elderly veterans shared their memories of the Civil War.

Capt. G. W. Painter ended the program with an eloquent, emotional speech sharing his experiences as a Civil War soldier. In 1913, the Randolph Enterprise referred to him as "the moving spirit in erecting this monument."

History has indeed repeated itself. A century later, his great-great-grandson Rodger Ware of Parsons - former commander of the West Virginia Sons of Confederate Veterans and president of the Corrick's Ford Battlefield Foundation - is the moving spirit for the centennial rededication. Ware will stand in Painter's footsteps and plans to deliver another passionate speech.

The featured speaker will be renowned Civil War historian W. Hunter Lesser, author of "Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the front line of a nation divided" and "The First Campaign: A Guide to Civil War in the Mountains of West Virginia."

The public is invited to attend this free event that will bring history alive. The July 27 program, as in 1913, offers an opportunity for all participants to share their personal family stories from the Civil War. Come join this rare opportunity to make history come alive.

Mingo is located 5 miles south of Valley Head and 3 miles north of the Randolph-Pocahontas County line. Follow the signs from Route 219 to Mingo Flats. Parking is organized, but please bring your own chair.

For more information, check out the MHS Facebook page, write mingo.historical.society.com or call 302-339-2598.

 
 

 

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