Confederate Monument Rededication Ceremony

July 25, 2013 |

A hundred years ago this month, Confederate veterans, family of veterans, and locals from the surrounding region made the trek out to southern Randolph County to an unlikely mountain pasture that looks down into the Tygarts River Valley. In 1913, they held a ceremony to dedicate the Mingo Confederate Soldier monument to their fallen Confederate soldiers of the Civil War. This year, on Saturday July 27, the West Virginia branch of the United Confederate Veterans will be hosting a celebration and re-dedication of the monument.

Photo of the confederate monument on Mingo Flats Road, in Randolph County, WV. Photo by Dan Schultz

The monument sits in a green shaded lot on picturesque farmland near the town of Mingo. “This was probably the last place you’d expect a war to begin, the last place you’d expect armies of thousands of men,” says Rodger Ware, past Commander of the Sons of the United Confederate Veterans, who is the rededication of the Confederate Soldier monument in Mingo for its 100th anniversary.

“On July 27, the event will start at 1:00 in the afternoon, and we’re going to have reenactors, we’re going to have artillery, we’ll have muskets and music. Hunter Lesser will be the guest speaker for the day,” says Ware. Hunter Lesser is a noted historian from Randolph County; he wrote the book Rebels at the Gate, which details the first campaign in West Virginia.

Rodger Ware’s ancestors fought with the Confederate army in the area, and his great grandfather, George Washington Painer, commanded the United Confederate Veterans camp that raised money for a Confederate Soldier monument to honor those fallen to be built in here Valley Head nearly 50 years after the end of the Civil War.

The Mingo Confederate monument is often referred to as the Robert E. Lee statue, but that this is in fact a misconception. The statue represents a Confederate soldier of ordinary rank, like so many of those who were guarding this area for long periods of time while being cut off from food. “Many of the troops who were stationed nearby here at Valley Mountain died from starvation. When the roads were bad you couldn’t bring supplies. It rained for 39 days out of 40 when Robert E. Lee was camped up at Valley Mountain. So, you could only imagine what the roads could have been like at that time.”

Compared to the mud-trapped and nearly impassible road that it was 150 years ago, US 219 is a far different journey for people traveling to the Confederate Monument Statue today. Ware says he is extending a special invitation to families of Confederate soldiers from Randolph, Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties to attend the rededication ceremony. There will be a comment period for people to share a bit about their ancestors’ stories. Activities will begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 27th, at the Confederate Soldier Monument on Mingo Flats Road. For more information, please call Rodger Ware 304-613-1208.



Category: Elkins to Marlinton

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